OWNER Tim Gredley is savouring the prospect of Allmankind’s bid for Cheltenham glory in the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy.
The five-year-old is unbeaten over fences from three runs, including a triumph in the Grade One Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown and a wide-margin win in the Kingmaker at Warwick.
His next assignment will be on the opening day of the Festival, and will see him clash with Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin, also a Grade One winner and unbeaten over hurdles.
The Willie Mullins-trained Energumene was also set to be in opposition, but has been ruled out.
However the yellow colours will be familiar to Yorkshire racegoers; they were carried by George Duffield when User Friendly won the 1992 Oaks and St Leger.
Gredley, who is himself an amateur jockey and former international showjumper, said: “The whole reason we like to own racehorses is to be in these kind of races.”
He co-owns Allmankind with his father Bill and said: “The great thing about jumps racing is that you can throw the same bunch of horses in the same race on a different day and you get a different result every time. It’s not always the case that the same horse wins.
“If you get beaten one day, don’t be too disappointed because there’s every chance you can go again and beat them.”
Third in the Triumph Hurdle 12 months ago, Allmankind was a 14-length winner when last seen in the Kingmaker, but arguably did not jump with his usual fluency.
Trainer Dan Skelton attributed this to the testing going, a conclusion echoed by Gredley.
“I do genuinely think that the ground was really desperate that day,” he said.
Long-time favourite Thyme Hill will miss the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle after suffering a minor muscle injury, says trainer Philip Hobbs.
Sue Smith’s Vintage Clouds is likely to run in the Ultima Handicap Chase on Tuesday – he was second in 2019 – with Midnight Shadow contesting the Paddy Power Plate on Thursday.
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