Sunday, 19 November 2017

November Meeting: River Wylde 'will be a top novice' ahead of Arkle trial bid

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Nicky Henderson's believes there is 'plenty going' for exciting chaser River Wylde, as he takes on just two rivals in the Racing Post Arke Trophy Trial Novices' Chase (1:50).

The six-year-old won three races from five starts as a novice hurdler last season, including a Grade Two at Kempton.

He finished third behind Irish duo Labaik and Melon in the Supreme, before a below-par fifth at Aintree.

After jumping well and travelling strong, he enjoyed an encouraging three lengths success on his chasing debut, and remains a smart novice prospect for the champion trainer.

"I thought he was very good at Uttoxeter where he jumped and quickened really well," Henderson told his Unibet blog.

"This is obviously a different test but he’s a horse who we’ve always said that chasing is his game and he’d be in the top division of our Novices this season.

"He would have learnt a lot from that first run and has come on physically too so there are plenty of things going for him.

"He likes good ground so I’m ever so slightly concerned about the rain but if handling it, I think he has a very good chance indeed in a race that has cut up."

North Hill Harvey won the Greatwood Hurdle on this card a year ago, but failed to build on that victory when unplaced on his next two starts.

Now switched to chasing, Dan Skelton's six-year-old battled hard to deny Sceau Royal by a neck on his first run over fences.

"He’s got to take on River Wylde, a good horse with good form from last year and Capitaine, who looked good in his two chases so far," Skelton told his Ladbrokes blog.

"We’ve won around the track, we won the Greatwood and have to give away three pounds.

"I think it’s a real tight race but he’s in good form."

Recent Warwick winner Ozzie The Oscar completes the quartet for Phillip Hobbs, as Paul Nicholls' Capitaine was withdrawn.

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