Dan Skelton is excited about what the future holds for Nube Negra after he made a winning debut over fences in the Charlie Poste Beginners’ Chase at Warwick on Thursday.
Last sighted finishing down the field in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr in April, the five-year-old gelding made an instant impact over fences when flooring odds-on favourite Ballymoy by three lengths in the two-mile prize.
Skelton said: “It is great to see him go and do that. It was hard last year and he was the only four-year-old to run in the Greatwood when we fancied him and he didn’t win.
“The summer out has done him fantastically well and he looked great and jumped great.
“I will go somewhere sensible under a penalty and hold his hand a bit, then step up in grade.
“We’ve been to Cheltenham twice and he has not stayed up the hil, but he is an older horse and we will end up having a pop at something like that (Arkle Trial).
“This horse has got a chance in the spring of being competitive in some very good races. At the two-mile division, I’d be surprised if I have any better.”
Tea Clipper survived a blunder at the last to make a winning debut under rules by three-quarters of a length in the Bet A racingtv.com “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle, initiating a double for Richard Johnson.
Trainer Tom Lacey said of the 11-8 winner: “It was probably a false-run race as they went no pace early. Richard won the race down the back. He missed the last and that probably cost him a bit of ground.
“I knew he would stay on though, as he is gutsy. We will feel our way with him and not over race him this season.”
For Good Measure has a way to go to reach the heights of his brother Balthazar King, but he went one better than his previous start at the track to complete Johnson’s double in the Colliers International Business Rates Services Handicap Chase.
Sarah Hobbs, wife of winning trainer Philip, said of the 2-1 shot: “I’m delighted with that as it is about time he put his head in front. He is a full-brother to Balthazar King and that’s why JP (McManus) bought him. He jumped really well today.”
Nick Williams was all smiles after Aimee De Sivola provided him with his first winner of the season after holding off Torn And Frayed by a neck in the Agetur Maiden Hurdle.
Williams said: “All these smiles from me is because this is my first winner of the season. It is good to get off the mark and get that monkey off my back.
“She wasn’t so good on her last run of the season as it was on quick ground and it was not far enough for her. That win was very pleasing and she carried on finding, although we only just got away with the ground.”
Soaring Glory looked a potentially smart recruit for Jonjo O’Neill after getting up to deny Truckers Pass by half a length to make a winning debut in the racingtv.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
O’Neill said of the 7-2 winner: “We’ve always liked him a lot and he has a great attitude. The two of them pulled away nicely from the rest of them. We will stay in bumpers for now as he is only four. “