AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

HARRY SKELTON: Saturday Preview

A busy afternoon ahead for the yard. I’m riding at Doncaster with thoughts below together with my views on runners at Kelso and Newbury where there is now an 8am inspection writes HARRY SKELTON.

Cheltenham is getting ever closer and I’ve put my thoughts together on the big races in Star’s stats guide. Davy Russell has also previewed the same races so bragging rights are very much at stake 😉




? MICRO MILLIONS, ABSOLUTELY FINE – 1.30pm Get Raceday Ready Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 3) 2m 3 1/2f

We got Micro Millions back on track last time with a good enough run at Catterick. He’s run quite nicely three times before in maiden hurdles but hasn’t quite managed to get his head in front. He’s in good form at home and I think at his level he is more than capable of winning plenty of races, the ground and trip won’t be an issue and the track should suit him. We’re hopeful of a competitive run here and he should be bang there.

This is Absolutely Fine’s first start over hurdles having run rather disappointingly in a bumper at Huntingdon, where he didn’t show an awful lot. We’re intrigued to see whether hurdles will bring anything out of him and offer any improvement. He’s shown us a little bit at home but he’s very much a work in progress.

? MAC TOTTIE – 2.05pm Download The Raceday Ready App Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) 3m 1/2f

It’s great to pick up a spare ride here for Peter Bowen on a horse that holds a Grand National entry. I’ve ridden winners for him in the past and I’m sure this race will blow away the cobwebs for this horse before the National. It should be good prep for him but he has to shoulder top weight which could be tough.

? NUBE NEGRA – 2.35pm Free Digital Racecard At raceday-ready.com Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m 1/2f

I’ve been very happy with how he’s been at home (pictured below) and he seems to really have turned a corner – it’s the best he’s looked all season. We’re training him slightly differently, giving him a few more runs, which seems to be suiting him. He’s back into a handicap this time and I think he’ll be very competitive and should go close to winning. We’re trying out cheekpieces for the first time which might just help him through the race. At Kempton he was off the bridle a fair way out so we hope the cheekpieces will help with that and keep his focus.

? LIGHTENING MAHLER – 3.10pm Tips For Every Race At raceday-ready.com Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed Race) 3m 1/2f

This is a Listed race over three miles and the track and ground will be no problem. We ran her back too quickly last time at Warwick in very holding ground. She’s in a deeper race here but she seems in good form and she’s a good staying mare, so if we could pick up some black type that’d be great. The race just came too soon last time and the holding ground was not what she wants so hopefully it’s a bit drier at Doncaster.

? ASHTOWN LAD, HIDDEN HEROICS – 3.40pm Grimthorpe Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) 3m 2f

Ashtown Lad gets the aid of a pair of cheekpieces this time round which should sharpen him up a little bit. He’s been training well at home and seems to have come alive. He doesn’t want the ground to be too deep so we’ve sat on our hands a little bit over the winter as a result. I think this should be a good trip for him and if he can get into a good rhythm, he could be competitive. I can see him really turning a corner in the spring when the sun comes out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he went close here.

Hidden Heroics is coming back from a little bit of a break, and Heidi Palin will be riding him – they seem to be getting on well at home. There should be a few more options come the spring but hopefully he can pick up some pieces here and blow away the cobwebs to use this as a springboard for the months to come.


SKYCUTTER – 2.50pm bet365 Morebattle Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle) (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m

This is a valuable race, and he gets in off a nice weight. Hopefully the track and ground will suit, he’s a tough and robust horse and that’s what you need in this race. The question is whether he is good enough at the weights, but he won nicely last time at Carlisle and we think there’s a bit more to come despite the step up in class.

SACRE COEUR – 5.10 bet365 Handicap Chase (Class 3) 2m 1f

She’s been an absolute star for us, winning plenty of races and picking up some decent money and black type. She’s in great form and loves her racing – she’s very straightforward to train. She thrives on her racing and seems very uncomplicated, but the handicapper has got her where he wants her, so she has nothing much in hand here. What she does have in her favour however is that she’s tough and in good form.


HELTENHAM – 1.55pm BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 2m 4f

This is a valuable one and considering he came out of his race last week at Kempton really well, we’re taking our chance again. This track should suit him more as it’s a longer, more galloping track and the ground should be softer for him. He’s not an easy ride as he can get quite keen midway through a race and he can find things in the jumping department a bit tricky at times. However, if everything drops right for him and the race thins out, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went really close.

WEST TO THE BRIDGE – 3.00pm Make Your Best Bet At BetVictor Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) 2m 1/2f

He had a run last week at Kempton and ran okay after a heavy fall earlier in the season at Newton Abbot so we’re just looking to build his confidence back up. I think there’ll be easier options for him further down the line once the handicapper gives him a bit more of a chance, as at the minute the handicapper has a good, tight hold of him.

HITCHING JACKING – 4.05 Bet Racing In Running At BetVictor Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Jacky Upton Trophy) (GBB Race) (Class 3) 2m 7 1/2f

I hope the ground doesn’t get too soft for him. The owners have been very patient with this very wet winter we’ve had, as this is a horse that prefers better ground. He had a nice run at Doncaster last time and I think the step up to three miles is what he wants.

Good Luck



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