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Stabletalk: “The thing is about this horse, we definitely know he gets up the hill”

| 17.03.2017

Dan Skelton talks us through his Cheltenham Day Two runners…

County Hurdle – 2.10 Cheltenham

Just like we did with Superb Story last year, we have been thinking of this race all season for North Hill Harvey. He is in good form at home. It is great that Arctic Fire runs to keep our weight down. As we have seen this week, it is so important to get up the hill at Cheltenham. Cause Tourjours was travelling well yesterday and looked like he was going to win but didn’t quite get up it. The thing is about this horse, we definitely know he gets up the hill. I am really looking forward to it. I have been taking positive after positive from the form of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last season. I am just hoping we are not the only one not to collect.

North Hill Harvey

North Hill Harvey has a great chance in the County Hurdle

Bertimont has been in good form of late. He has been second to two good horses recently. When you look back two seasons ago he has some good form with The New One.  He is still nicely weighted. This represents a much more competitive race but he has plenty of class and hopefully he will run well.

Mohaayed was kept away from the Supreme because he had numbers to find. I am glad we did because it means he has been able to sneak into the bottom of the weights for this. He travels very well. This is only his fourth start over hurdles. He only has 10-2 on his back which is a great weight for him. If he defies his lack of experience he could be destined to run well. As we have seen all week you need a bit of luck in these big fields though.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – 2.50 Cheltenham

Tommy Rapper got within a length of Willoughby Court who won the Neptune yesterday so the form of his run two starts back has worked out well there. He also ran well behind Keepers Hill and Messire Des Obeaux at Huntingdon last time. He just wasn’t quite as clever as those two on that occasion. He is improving all the time so he needs to run to be a little more streetwise. If he doesn’t win this we will probably put him away for next season as we will have a high class novice for then. I am not expecting too much from him tomorrow.

Cheltenham Gold Cup – 3.30 Cheltenham

Cue Card put a disappointing seasonal reappearance firmly behind him when storming clear to land the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock for a third time. The Colin Tizzard trained 10-year-old stalked 2015 Gold Cup hero Coneygree until taking up the running four from home and pulling clear from the second last to win by 15 lengths. He now has a chance of landing a £1m bonus if going on to land the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day and the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Cue Card will take on stablemate Native River in the Gold Cup

It looks a very competitive Cheltenham Gold Cup this year. Native River has shown his class this season, while Cue Card does not appear to be deteriorating so it looks to be a great match up between those two. When you throw in the other horses such as Djakadam, it is a great race.

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap – 4.50 Cheltenham

Born Survivor would have gone close, if not have won, if he would not have fallen two out at Kelso last time. We have kept away from chasing for a year to try and win a nice handicap hurdle but it has not happened yet. He does travel well and should do so for at least three quarters of this race. After that we will be hoping for a bit of luck. He has improved since the New Year, his run at Kelso shows that.

Pain Au Chocolat has been sat in the water for us in that he has not improved or deteriorated. If you go back to his form at Wincanton he would not be a huge price for this. It just has not really happened for him. He has got it in his locker though to run a credible race.



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Daniel McKeown