LiveScore Racing News: Shan Blue on track for Cheltenham

LiveScore
13/01/202215:00
Shan Blue is on course for Cheltenham
Shan Blue is on course for Cheltenham

Trainer Dan Skelton says chaser Shan Blue is on track to run in the Ryanair Chase and will head straight to the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The eight-year-old was last seen at Wetherby in October but the 2/1 favourite took a heavy fall when clear in the Charlie Hall Chase. 

Connections confirmed after the race that their charge had suffered a neck injury but his recovery at Skelton's yard has gone to plan. 

Shan Blue made a name for himself at Kempton in 2020, when he won the Grade One Kauto Star Novices' Chase before finishing second at Sandown and Aintree. 

While his Ryanair Chase rivals, Allaho, Saint Calvados, Fakir Doudairies and Energumene may run one more time before Cheltenham, Skelton says he is happy to head straight to Prestbury Park. 

He told reporters: "His recovery is going really good. I spoke to his owner, Colm, and we are all set and aiming for the Ryanair Chase. I don't think we will be able to get a run into him beforehand. 

"There was an outside chance we might get to the Ascot Chase [on February 19], but I've always said that is a very outside chance. 

"He has had plenty of time. We are that far along with him, so we will just try to keep doing the right thing. We are happy with him and all is good." 

Dan Skelton is hoping to land with Third Time Lucki
Dan Skelton is hoping to land with Third Time Lucki

Skelton failed to train a winner at last year's Festival but he will hope Third Time Lucki can join Shan Blue in the winner's circle. 

Third Time Lucki finished sixth in the County Handicap Hurdle at Prestbury Park, with Belfast Banter winning the contest. 

Skelton's charge has returned in fine style this season, winning twice at Cheltenham, and he has revealed Third Time Lucki will head to Warwick ahead of a run in the Arkle this year. 

He added: "I think the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick [on February 12] is probable for Third Time Lucki. 

"I have yet to confirm with Mike exactly what we'll do in the spring, but I think we will go Kingmaker and then the Arkle."

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