Dan Skelton has Huntingdon firmly in his sights with the improving Maire Banrigh, who is set to contest the Pertemps Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase at Huntingdon on Friday week.
The extended two-mile-three-furlong Listed contest will represent the furthest she has raced over so far and is a possible stepping stone to an Arkle Chase bid at the Cheltenham Festival.
The eight year-old has completed a hat-trick of wins with victories at Stratford, Warwick and Doncaster over fences so far.
Skelton told Press Association: “I was very happy with the performance of Maire Banrigh at Doncaster and hopefully she will now go to the Lady Protectress at Huntingdon on January 24.th
“It is worth a lot of money and though it is over two-miles-three, which is a bit further than she has gone, I don’t see it being a struggle on that track.
“She will have an entry in the Arkle, where she will get a 7lb mares’ allowance, and we will see what that looks like.”
Meanwhile, Skelton is eyeing up the Grade Two Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle, at Doncaster, on January 25th, with the promising Boss Man Fred, who won there last time out.
He said: “I was really happy with him at Doncaster and he will be entered in the River Don back there, but we will also keep an eye on handicaps as well.
“We will just see what the race looks like on numbers and if he can be competitive off his rating. If he is, we will go there and if not, we will go for a handicap.”