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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Betfair Chase: Dan Skelton not shirking Gold Cup hero A Plus Tard with Protektorat | Racing News

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Dan Skelton is well aware of the task facing Protektorat when he reappears in the Betfair Chase at Haydock – but will not shirk the challenge against A Plus Tard.

Third to Henry de Bromhead’s charge in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, he was over the top when only fourth in the Bowl at the Grand National meeting.

While Skelton knows A Plus Tard is the best staying chaser in training at present, the Betfair has always been Protektorat’s aim and the in-form trainer sees no reason to alter his running plans just because the Irish raider is bidding for a repeat win in the Grade One contest.

A Plus Tard pulls clear to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup under Rachael Blackmore
Image:
A Plus Tard pulls clear to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup under Rachael Blackmore

“He’s going to go to the Betfair. I’ve been very happy with him and he’s done everything nicely,” said Skelton.

“I’ve tightened up his pallet, so he’s had pallet surgery, a slight cauterization, just because he hasn’t had it done for two years.

“He might have jumped two out upsides in the Gold Cup but there’s a big difference between two out and the line at Cheltenham.

“A Plus Tard is the reigning Gold Cup winner, he won this race [Betfair Chase] last year – he’s going to be phenomenally difficult to beat, but you don’t have a horse as good as Protektorat and shirk the issue, you’ve got to get stuck in.

“It is 100 per cent the right race for him to run in and the more rain the better.”

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