Dan Skelton hopes to deny his former boss Paul Nicholls a 10th win in Newbury’s William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase when he runs Bennys King.
The nine-year-old landed a nice pot at the Berkshire track during the Ladbrokes Trophy meeting but will return 15lb higher in the weights on Saturday after another good run at Ascot last time out.
Nicholls has so often dominated the race – and he has last year’s winner San Benedeto, Secret Investor and Mont Des Avaloirs among the 24-strong entry this time.
Skelton said: “Bennys King definitely runs there.
“He won at the Ladbrokes Winter Festival – then he ran well at Ascot. I think this track is perfect, and a bit of soft ground over the trip won’t be a problem.
“He is quite high in the weights, but I would have to give him a chance because we have trained him specifically for it.”
Skelton was Nicholls’ assistant for nine years, so he knows what is required to win the race.
“Paul used to win the race every year – and if he didn’t win it he would win it the year after,” he said.
“The Greatwood Gold Cup is a good race for horses that aren’t going to Cheltenham, and we never really were going to Cheltenham with Bennys King.
“It fits in well – it’s graded and is worth a few quid, so we will crack on and give it a go.”