Grey Dawning was good last weekend at Haydock. He’s a versatile horse, it was a nice step forward from his first run and he has a good future ahead of him, writes HARRY SKELTON.
I think the Hampton Court at Warwick is on the agenda for him, but looking ahead to the spring you’ve got Cheltenham and Aintree, so we’ll just keep our options open until then. He looks like he can go into graded level as a novice chaser.
Grey Dawning is not for catching! 🥇
A bold performance to win the Betfair Exchange Graduation Chase! 💪#ITVRacing | @haydockraces | @DSkeltonRacing | @harryskelton89 pic.twitter.com/cgXmFwLX7a
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) November 25, 2023
Real Stone won well and stepped forward from his first run at Aintree. He jumped well and is going the right way so we look forward to seeing him in action again on Saturday at Newbury which’ll be a much deeper race, but we will see how he goes.
Protektorat struggled to find his rhythm in the Betfair Chase, he never really settled and was quite hard on himself. He did start well, he was big and bold through the first few but nothing clicked for him after that and it came back to bite him later on as he was beaten quite far out.
However, the positives are that he didn’t have much of a race so we can look ahead to the future. The ideal race would be the Winter Millions at Lingfield, going left-handed on likely soft ground which ticks all the boxes for him. It wasn’t our day on Saturday but hopefully he can bounce back.
And now for Friday …..
12.40pm Coral Racing Club Handicap Chase ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET PRICES ⭐
I start off on Richhill, I think going left-handed will definitely suit him better than Kempton did, and he looks like he’s come on a bit for that run at home. The galloping track should suit him well, but it’s a competitive race.
RUE DE LA MER
1.15pm ‘Bet In-Race’ With Coral Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle (Listed Race) ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET PRICES ⭐
Rue De La Mer has shown okay form on the flat and is in very deep waters with the change to hurdles but we’re looking forward to getting her started and we will see how she gets on.
2.25pm Coral John Francome Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET PRICES ⭐
Sail Away (pictured below) will be suited by Newbury’s flat track. He did well last year, finishing up with a win in a Listed race and has done a lot of work at home since, so I expect him to run very well. The track and ground won’t be a problem.
Hoe Joly Smoke
3.35pm Play Coral ‘Racing-Super-Series’ For Free Handicap Hurdle ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET PRICES ⭐
Hoe Joly Smoke has shown some nice form in recent novice hurdles and is now up into a handicap off a mark of 118 which he can be competitive off. We’re dipping our toe in here, there’s a lot of prize money on offer and we hope he’s ahead of the handicapper. We’ve always liked this horse and the step up in trip will suit him well.
Forecast at Newcastle and Bangor
Thinking about Newcastle with all the hype surrounding Constitution Hill, I can’t see that going ahead, nor Bangor for that matter! Let’s hope Newbury does, though, as it’s a great meeting.
I’ll be back on Friday evening with my thoughts on Saturday’s racing.