At the beginning of last season, Dan Skelton was the man for the big occasion. He landed big pots with Protektorat in the Betfair Chase, Ashtown Lad in the Becher Chase and Le Milos in the Coral Gold Cup.
Campaigning his horses the way he did meant he had them absolutely spot on for the race he was aiming for. He wasn’t fussed about saving them for spring, and that is something I admire about his approach. I can’t see why this season will be any different and once again, he’s lining one up for the Coral Gold Cup.
Midnight River showed promise as a novice hurdler, winning three times before falling when 4/1 for the Grade 1 Sefton at Aintree. As a chaser, he greatly improved last season in winning three handicaps, including a couple of high-end ones at Cheltenham and Aintree.
His comeback run in the Charlie Hall was purely a pipe-opener to get him ready for the Coral Gold Cup. He jumped and travelled well into the race, but ultimately his fitness told in the home straight. Never being in a position to challenge, Harry Skelton was not hard on him at all.
In the context of his next outing, that was the ideal preparation.
I wouldn’t say a rating of 156 is especially lenient, but he’s going to be trained to the minute for this race, is proven at the distance and goes on any ground.
As circumstances go, I’m not sure you could wish for much better.
Back Midnight River @ 10/1