Skelton considering Kingmaker date for Third Time Lucki

Third Time Lucki is back on track for the Cheltenham Festival after recovering from an injury setback – and could run in the Grade Two Virgin Bet Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick next Saturday.

The exciting two-miler won the Grade Two Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster last weekend, the same race Shishkin won before going on to land the Sporting Life Arkle Chase.

Victory was his third win in four starts over fences and he was immediately cut to 6-1 by Sky Bet for the Arkle.

Third Time Lucki clears the last at Doncaster as For Pleasure and Harry Bannister fall
Image: Third Time Lucki clears the last at Doncaster as For Pleasure and Harry Bannister fall

Yet after the 30-length victory, accentuated by For Pleasure’s fall at the last, his Festival participation was thrown into doubt when trainer Dan Skelton thought the Mike Newbould-owned seven-year-old had suffered an overreach.

Those fears were fortunately unfounded.

„He is absolutely fine,“ said Skelton. „It was a graze. I didn’t know what it was on the day, but thankfully it is just a graze.

„Actually, if the ground remains decent, I’m going to enter him at Warwick next weekend.“

The Arkle is still prominent in the thoughts of the Alcester handler and with barely any rain in the forecast over the next week, Skelton is keen to make the most of the drying ground.

He added: „We are having a look at everything. So we’ll give him an entry at Warwick if the ground sticks around, because he is so good on good ground.

„The weather is mad. We will have to make hay while the sun shines!“

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