Mark Howard Publications Ltd

My Drogo & Cloth Cap the Saturday stars

06-March-2021 16:06
in General
by Admin

My Drogo (2/1) was described as 'exceptional' by trainer Dan Skelton when I spoke to Paul Nicholls' former assistant at Aintree in early November. The Milan gelding had finished runner-up in a bumper on his racecourse debut at Cheltenham in October and he has confirmed that promise with three wins over hurdles since. A two and a half lengths winner of the Grade 2 Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot in December, he had the subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Soaring Glory behind him in third. The six year old was due to contest the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon last month but that event was abandoned due to the inclement weather. Rerouted to Kelso on Saturday instead for the Grade 2 Premier Novices' Hurdle, he stayed on strongly to win by nine and a half lengths. Still learning his trade, the further the race progressed, the better My Drogo looked. He will be even better over two and a half miles and, while a trip to Aintree in April has been touted, I would be inclined to put him away for the season and look forward to his chasing career next Autumn. Either way, he is an exciting prospect for owner Richard Kelvin-Hughes and the Skelton's. 

Jonjo O'Neill's excellent season continued and his Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cap provided the Jackdaws Castle team with their 61st winner of the 2020/21 campaign in the Listed Premier Chase at the Borders track. The Beneficial gelding, who won the Newbury showpiece off a mark of 136 in late November, completed his Grand National prepared with a most impressive victory under Tom Scudamore. Similar to his Newbury display, he jumped brilliantly and made all the running to win hard held by seven and a half lengths. Granted similar ground conditions at Aintree, he will take some beating off his feather weight of 10st 5lb. It is somewhat ironic that two of Jonjo O'Neill's high profile chasers, namely Cloth Cap and Sky Pirate, have proved frustrating to follow during the last couple of seasons but have really got their acts together this winter. 

I am looking forward to hear Tom Scudamore's views on Cloth Cath and Festival bound Royal Pagaille on the Value Racing Club Festival preview next Friday.



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