My Drogo delivers for Dan Skelton in Newbury opener

Newbury

Favourite Flinteur Sacre only fourth on hurdles bow.

My Drogo appears to have a bright future after securing a surprise success in the Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle at Newbury.

All eyes were on Flinteur Sacre, a brother of multiple Grade One winner Sprinter Sacre, but it was the Dan Skelton-trained My Drogo who opened his account over hurdles at the first time of asking.

Despite being novicey at a number of his hurdles, the 100-30 shot found plenty up the run in after forging clear late on to defeat Saggazza by a length and a quarter, with Flinteur Sacre finishing a disappointing fourth.

Skelton said: “I was expecting plenty, especially after his good run at Cheltenham (second last month). I know he went off 50-1 in a bumper there, but that didn’t reflect what we thought. At home he has always been very precious.

“He had been so good jumping at home, I was a bit surprised he went out there and was very novicey at the second and splattered the fourth. The third last was brilliant and the last wasn’t great either. I think it showed what a big engine he has to overcome all that.”

The Alcester handler will continue to take small steps with My Drogo, who was introduced at 33-1 for the Supreme and 25-1 for the Ballymore by Ladbrokes, before taking aim at bigger targets.

He added: “We will perhaps go one more low key before going fancy – I just don’t think he is ready for those types of day yet. As we get through the season into the spring, I think he will be a two-and-a-half-mile horse.”

Elusive Belle appeared to appreciate a return to better ground when scoring over fences at the second time of asking in the Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Chase.

Having found testing conditions against her in a Listed contest on her chasing debut at Bangor, the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old looked much happier on a sounder surface, running out a four-length winner.

Henderson said of the 13-2 winner: “It was bottomless, heavy ground at Bangor that was almost unraceable. She got quite tired in that ground and I think anybody would have. She was much happier on that ground. Sam (Waley-Cohen) gave her a really good ride.

“Two miles is her trip and they went a right good gallop as she can go some. She won’t be one for the mares’ chase at Cheltenham as she won’t get the trip, she could be one for a Grand Annual later on.”

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