‘No fears’ for Skelton as My Drogo heads back to Cheltenham

My Drogo will bid to banish memories of his dramatic fencing bow when he returns to Cheltenham next month.

Trainer Dan Skelton has set his sights on the Jockey Club Cheltenham and SW Syndicate Novices’ Chase on December 11, after My Drogo exited two out in what proved an extraordinary match race at Prestbury Park on Friday.

My Drogo had just taken the lead at the penultimate fence, but slipped on landing and parted company with Harry Skelton – with Gin On Lime virtually sliding to a standstill at the same time. Rachael Blackmore somehow managed to stay aboard and go on to an incredible win.

Skelton, who reported the horse to be “absolutely fine” after the fall, felt his Grade One-winning hurdler was just unfortunate, and believes a Cheltenham return over the same two-and-a-half-mile distance is a logical move.

He told Racing TV: “I don’t think he actually lost anything in defeat. I think he jumped really well the rest of the way, learnt a lot on the way round – he was a bit brave at one ditch and a bit brave at a plain (fence), but ultimately he was good.

“He came hard on the bridle turning in and he’d have won. I wouldn’t say he’d enhanced his odds of being a Grade One victor in March by doing what he should have done, but he certainly didn’t underachieve I don’t think.

“He will definitely go back (to Cheltenham) in December. There’s the same race, two and a half miles and obviously the same start but different track.

“Why not go back there? I’ve no fears about the track for him, it’s one of those things that happens two out.”