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Skelton: Roksana "probably at her best" but Cheltenham Festival target undecided

Sun 24 Jan 2021

Dan Skelton believes Roksana is at her best after the nine-year-old ran out an impressive winner of the Grade Two Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot.

However, the Alcester trainer is no hurry to decide which race will be her target at the Cheltenham Festival.

Roksana could stick to her sex and go for the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle, which she won in 2019 and was fourth in last year, or take on the geldings in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.

She easily brushed aside Magic Of Light on Saturday to run a second successive big race at the Berkshire track, having finished third to Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle last month.

Roksana en route to an impressive victory on Saturday (Focusonracing)
Roksana en route to an impressive victory on Saturday (Focusonracing)

“I was really happy with her. She’s coming of age and is a strong filly and is probably at her best,” said Skelton.

“I’m delighted with how everything has gone with her.

“She’s got two entries at Cheltenham, in the Stayers’ and the Mares’, and we’ll have a bit of a think closer to the time.

“We’ll sit quiet for now. Her next run will be at Cheltenham – 100 per cent.”

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