StableTalk: Dan Skelton looks at Newbury Friday runners including Virgilio and Three Musketeers
“It was a very good ride by Harry and we basically nicked it.”
I was delighted with Ch‘Tibello’s win last Saturday, and I was a little surprised as I didn’t think he’d go on the ground at all. When they went no pace and our horse was able to sit upsides the front I really thought it was a possibility that we could win.
It was a very good ride by Harry and we basically nicked it; you can’t say fairer than that. The handicapper only put him up a pound which is very fair, but sensible given the circumstances in terms of small field and heavy ground. I will probably enter him in the Ryanair Hurdle and Christmas Hurdle, and see what happens. I’m not going to make firm plans yet, and he will also get an entry in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot.
Weekend runners at Newbury
12.30 Newbury – Captain Forez
Captain Forez is a lovely horse. Second on his only start at Auteuil, he is very much a future chaser. I love this track for him, he’s always been aiming for this race and I think he’ll run nicely. Jenkins is a horse with a big reputation so it’s going to be decent contest.
1.05 Newbury – Knockgraffon
Knockgraffon had a lovely run last time at Carlisle over fences. He showed plenty of pace but probably didn’t quite stay up the hill. I’ve always had this race in mind since then, and I think he’ll go well.
1.35 Newbury – Virgilio
This is a really good race and we decided to come here with Virgilio rather than go to Bangor where the ground is very testing. He has a bad run to put behind him. The two occasions he has ever run badly for us he has pulled up, so if he’s on his game he’ll run well. At Wincanton the ground was rock hard and he never got going, it was just one of those things; I don’t understand what happened really. I’m quite happy with him at home so we’ll see how we go, but we have to put that bad run behind us, it’s as simple as that.
2.45 Newbury – Three Musketeers
Three Musketeers ran really well around Aintree but wanted softer ground, which he will get here at Newbury. He has top weight which is not ideal but he’s won around this track in a Grade 2 last year so hopefully he can go and run well.
3.50 Newbury – Classico Dias
Classico Dais is a chaser for the future. He’s a really nice big horse and he just needs to start his career. When these types of horse make their debuts you can’t really expect them just to go out and win a novice hurdle first time up in decent company. He’ll improve massively physically and mentally, and he’s definitely a chaser in the making. A lovely horse.