Skelton has excessive hopes for Protektorat

Protektorat ridden by Bridget Andrews winning at Aintree

Dan Skelton is assured Protektorat is within the form of his life as he prepares to tackle the formidable Irish aspect at this yr’s Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The seven-year-old, who’s partly owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, has not been seen in competitors since he was answerable for the now retired 2018 Gold Cup champion Native River at Aintree’s Many Clouds Chase in December.

Skelton resisted the temptation to present his cost again through the intervening interval, as an alternative opting to maintain his powder dry for crucial day.

Protektorat is the one British-trained horse in single quantity odds for a blue rib and Skelton could not be happier with the way in which his preparations have been going with lower than three weeks in the past.

“He appears nice and I am very pleased with him,” the coach stated on the morning of a reporter in his yard on Monday.

“Curiously, out of the 4 pageant winners, just one took half in the identical calendar yr and that was Roxana, who desperately wanted a run to prepare for the maras.

“I do not know the way it compares to the highest tier stalkers as a result of we’ve not encountered them. All you are able to do is what I noticed in Aintree and I do not assume it was only a coincidence.”

The Protektorat will go into unknown territory over three and 1 / 4 miles within the Cotswolds, however Skelton is optimistic his endurance will stand the check.

He added: “I’ve no private doubts in regards to the Gold Cup journey, however you may’t be 100 per cent positive till you’ve got been there and achieved it – One Man and Florida Pearl will let you know.

“I had the pleasure of taking him to Warwick that day, simply to take slightly of him.

“He likes to run, he likes to leap and I hope he stays all day and offers us a good shot at a Gold Cup – I do not see any downsides.”

Having spent a number of years as assistant coach to multi-champion Paul Nichols earlier than going it alone, Skelton is in a greater place than most to determine what is required to realize glory within the Gold Cup.

Throughout his time at Ditcheat, the 36-year-old noticed his boss win three consecutive renewals between 2007 and 2009, with the Kauto Star profitable twice on either side of Denman popping out on high.

“While you labored with Paul, you had two various kinds of Gold Cup winners,” Skelton stated.

“You had the Kauto Star who was peppy and would look nice on the dash each day, and you then had the Denman who was a very totally different kind of horse as a result of he did not have the identical pure tempo.

“Protektorat is the proprietor of the offense. He places his head down, his knees go up and places all the pieces in it, which supplies me optimistic ideas for a golden cup.

“He would not thoughts it getting soiled. If I was a kind of daring golden cups, I would not be afraid to convey him there.”