Newbury preview (15.15): Ch’tibello can collect for in-form Skelton
David Metcalf | November 26, 2015
Trainer Dan Skelton has made a tremendous start to the season, and Ch’tibello can take advantage of what looks a handy mark to provide him with another winner in the 2m Intermediate Hurdle on today’s card at Newbury (15.15).
The gelding was a juvenile hurdle winner in France, and has shaped with stacks of promise to finish runner-up in two starts since joining Skelton.
After getting collared close home and beaten a neck by Francis Of Assisi at Fakenham when looking all over the winner having been three lengths clear two from home, the four-year-old ran a stormer to be beaten just 1 1/4 lengths by Altior in a decent nine-runner contest at Ascot.
Ch’tibello made good headway two from home to challenge at the last, and after taking up the running only got headed in the final 150 yards.
The winner is a very useful and highly regarded sort who has gone on to land a Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham and is now rated 147, and the pair pulled 20 lengths clear of the third home Vancouverite who is rated 132.
That gives the form a rock solid look and suggests that Ch’tibello could have got in lightly on handicap debut off an opening mark of 137.
The son of Sageburg also remains unexposed and open to stacks more improvement, and with underfoot conditions holding no fears looks weighted to take all the beating.
In-form John Constable to test Ch’tibello
John Constable is unbeaten in two starts over the obstacles and rates a big danger if ready to go at the first time of asking.
The gelding was a 94-rated performer on the flat for Aidan O’Brien and had little difficulty making a winning debut over the obstacles at Ludlow after joining trainer Evan Williams.
The four-year-old then showed an impressive turn of foot to easily land a 2m novices’ hurdle by five lengths at Huntingdon back in April, and has been allotted an opening mark of 137 on the back of that success.
That looks no gimme, but John Constable clearly has a huge engine and if handling the testing conditions looks sure to go well.
Another that commands plenty of respect is the Paul Nicholls trained San Benedeto.
The four-year-old made it three wins from five starts when readily landing a 2m 4f handicap in the mud at Wincaton last week, and a 6lb rise for that success looks more than fair given that San Benedeto won easing down by five lengths.
A mark of 136 should certainly not be beyond San Benedeto given his upwardly mobile profile, but the big question mark is whether he will be as effective now dropped back to 2m in a race full of speedy types.
Coral’s top tip: Ch’tibello could well have got in lightly on handicap debut and looks decent value to land the spoils for in-form trainer Dan Skelton.