By Dave Nevison
Dan Skelton has been carrying all before him so far this season with more than 80 winners on the board already. It gets a lot more competitive when the Cheltenham fixtures arrive but he rose to the occasion in style on Friday, introducing North Hill Harvey to be a well backed winner of the two-mile novices’ chase and earning himself a Arkle quotes of between 16-1 and 25-1.
It will be a major statement from Skelton if he can do the double in the Saturday novices’ chase. Two Taffs at one point looked a bit expensive for punters but once Davy Russell got on him for his last two starts, coming third at the festival and winning in good style at Ayr, Two Taffs has looked a horse on his way to good things.
Russell is one of the best around Cheltenham and just gets on really well with certain horses so it is absolutely with no disrespect to previous riders but the booking is key. He is the afternoon’s best bet for me.
Double W’s ran out of fuel in amazing style after looking like the winner over 2m 4f here but is clearly a straight two-miler and he could be the answer to a seriously competitive Randox Health Chase at 3.10.
Many might have been a little disappointed in his reappearance run at Kelso but I am taking the view that race might have been needed to set him up for this event. The ground will be absolutely perfect for him and he travelled so well over the wrong trip here that I am convinced the track is ideal. He looks like an insurance bet to nothing each-way.
The outsider for today goes at Newbury where one of my favourite combo’s Palmer/Gordon can give us a good run with Architecture in the St Simon stakes.
This filly definitely has to improve to beat an on song Frontiersman but she stays, goes on soft ground and appreciates a decent pace. She wasn’t quick enough for 10 furlongs last time and will be staying on over this trip. 12-1 is too big a price for a multiple Oaks runner-up in this event and she should be backed each-way
Dave Nevison’s Saturday selections:
(Prices correct at 6.20pm on Friday)
2.15 Newbury: Architecture at a general 12-1
3.10 Cheltenham: Double W’s at a general 11-2
4.20 Cheltenham: Two Taffs at a general 9-4