Nube Negra defies the doubters as Dan Skelton-trained horse storms to victory in the Shloer Chase to prove he IS a force to be reckoned with in the two-mile division
- Nube Negra stormed to victory in the Shloer Chase to prove a strong point
- The two-miler showed his previous strong performance was not a fluke
- The Dan Skelton-trained horse shows he has a good chance against the best
Nube Negra showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the two-mile division again with an authoritative six-and-a-half length win in the Shloer Chase here on Sunday.
It was a performance that made it hard to justify a popularly-held theory that his second place behind Put The Kettle On in last season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase had been a fluke. Put The Kettle On was the well-beaten favourite here, finishing third.
The two-mile chase division is stacked with talent, headed by Chacun Pour Soi, Energumene and Shishkin but Nube Negra’s defeat of a solid yardstick in Politologue would suggest he has more than just a puncher’s chance when he is thrown into the ring against them.
Nube Negra defied his doubters to storm to victory in the Shloer Chase on Sunday afternoon
That could come as early as next month’s Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, although trainer Dan Skelton might be unlikely to take that route if the winter weather finally arrives and the ground turns testing. Dan completed a big-race double with his champion jockey brother Harry when West Cork defied a 631-day absence from the track to win the Greatwood Hurdle. He said: ‘Nube Negra is seven years old and still improving. We know it is a strong division but I think he can go on to better things.
‘I thought Politologue ran his heart out. He was in front the whole way going a hard gallop. He has given way to younger legs but he is a previous Champion Chase winner who won a Grade One last year so I think the form is solid.
‘I know there was a lot of chat last year about a slowly run race with a fast horse getting lucky to be second but I don’t think he was that lucky.’
The Dan Skelton-trained horse stormed to victory and defeated favourite Put The Kettle On
Put The Kettle On had won four out of four at Cheltenham but the ground was too fast for her here and she was struggling early before staying on.
Her jockey Aidan Coleman said: ‘They just had too much speed for her.’
The Skelton double catapulted Dan to the lead in the trainers’ title race. He would have already been there had things run more smoothly in the last fortnight.
Shan Blue was assured of victory when falling three out in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and My Drogo looked likely to win here on Friday when dramatically exiting two out on his chasing debut.
Nube Negra sent a strong message to the highly competitive two-mile division on Sunday
Skelton’s Protektorat was also a fast-finishing second behind Midnight Shadow in Saturday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup.
The trainer added: ‘We all have ups and down. When you are in sport you just have to roll with the punches and go again.
‘There is no point getting the hump and stamping your feet. You have to use those situations to your advantage and learn from them and come out a better and stronger person.’
The Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown was won for the second time by Willie Mullins-trained Sharjah, who was ridden by his jockey son Patrick.