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Chic to hit the right note!

Horses make fools of us all but in the end you cannot blame a girl for thinking about babies from time to time. Unfortunately, Bon Chic decided she would spend her time preoccupied with little ‘uns when she should have been concentrating on running at Cheltenham last time, when she carried a great deal of stable confidence in the 2m5f Listed mares’ novices’ chase.

Trainer Dan Skelton had planned the race meticulously, as you might expect for a man who saddled 104 winners last season including one at the Cheltenham Festival, but there was nothing he nor his jockey brother Harry could do when Bon Chic produced an uncharacteristically quiet run.

“You’ve got to be massively philosophical when something like that happens,” Skelton says. “We presume she was in season as I was delighted with her going into the race and there was no other explanation for her performance.

“She’s a filly and you take that chance with fillies that they may come into season when they run. Travelling to the races and a new environment can just bring about these changes and they go a bit like that. At the end of the day, it’s only nature doing its job.”

Encouragingly for Skelton and the members of the Coral Champions Club, it is obvious this was a run out of keeping with Bon Chic’s usual attitude. She has won three times and been placed on a further four occasions from eight runs for the Coral Champions Club and has looked talented both over hurdles and fences.

Skelton says: “She’s a talented filly and has a great attitude in her races, which has helped her do so well for us. Last time she was never going in the race and never happy which is completely not like her at all. She’s been 100 per cent since that run and we can just write it off and kick on for the summer with her as has been the plan all along.”

The coming months are likely to see Bon Chic at her best. She is fond of a sounder surface underfoot and has been kept relatively fresh over the winter to allow her to excel when conditions are in her favour. Such conditions are likely to be present when Bon Chic runs at Fakenham on Sunday in a £14,000 2m5f handicap chase. Bon Chic won incredibly impressively over fences at Fakenham on Cheltenham Gold Cup day and Skelton is confident there is more to come from the seven-year-old granted she gets the ground that she likes and she has got her ‘game head’ on.

He says: “There are a limited amount of races for her at the moment but she’s won around there and knows what’s coming when she lines up in the race, which is no disadvantage, so we might as well kick on and run. We’ve been saving her for the better ground and it’s here now so we might as well push on.

“She’s done extremely well for us winning three races so far and I’m convinced there’s another win in her off her handicap mark before she goes off and makes someone a lovely broodmare.”

There is little doubt Bon Chic, being a well-bred winner of a bumper, over hurdles and over fences, will be in demand as a broodmare, but hopefully Skelton will be making sure to remind her than her racing career is not over just yet.