Harry Skelton hails Superb ride
Harry Skelton thinks Superb Story has a 'solid each-way chance' in this year's Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Superb Story: Champion Hurdle hopeful
Trained by Dan Skelton, the jockey's brother, Superb Story landed the County Hurdle at last year's Festival and this year he's been readied for the Champion Hurdle after defying top-weight in a class two handicap hurdle at Musselburgh on New Year's Day.
"The Champion Hurdle is cutting up at the moment with Faugheen and Annie Power both out," said Skelton. "I think Superb Story has a solid each-way chance and the current prices [around 16/1] are a fair reflection of his chance.
"People will point to his rating (149) but he has never contested a Grade Two or Grade One hurdle. He is a bit of unknown in that respect. The last day he gave 26 pounds and a beating to the runner-up. Everyone knows Musselburgh is a quick track and there isn't much margin for error around there.
"Ignoring his previous run in Galwa (when pulled up), he has improved with every start and we know he likes Cheltenham. Horses have gone on from County Hurdles to running well or even winning Champion Hurdles. I think he is a Graded horse but we have to go and find out now."
Skelton is also excited about the chances of North Hill Harvey and highly-regarded bumper horse Cause Toujours.
North Hill Harvey has been kept fresh since capturing the StanJames.com Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at The Open in November, while Cause Toujours was an eye-catching winner on his Rules debut at Warwick in December.
"North Hill Harvey is another one to look forward to in the County Hurdle (now sponsored by Randox Health). He battled well to win Greatwood and Dan has kept him fresh since. This race has been mapped out for him but we are still five weeks away, so hopefully all the horses get there OK.
"Cause Toujours has got an entry at Newbury at the weekend but, if the ground is too testing, he won't run and could go straight to the Champion Bumper. He won very impressively at Warwick and didn't come off the bridle. I gave him a little squeeze up the straight to see what I had and there was a lot of horse under me.
"We originally said we wouldn't run him at Cheltenham this year but, just with the ground the way it is at the minute, he might end up going there. He has got the head to cope with The Festival, and is a well-balanced horse so the track shouldn't be a problem either."
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