Skelton talks up Roksana challenge

Dan Skelton feels Roksana will face stern opposition when she looks to defend her Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle title at next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Both Irish Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle and the Willie Mullins-trained Benie Des Dieux are set to compete in the Grade One race as they look to claim Cheltenham glory for themselves.

Skelton, who is a big admirer of Honeysuckle and Benie Des Dieux, feels the eight-year-old Roksana will have her work cut out for her in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle next month.

“Roksana will go straight to the mares’ race at Cheltenham,” Skelton said. “Make no mistake about it, Kenny Alexander’s mare (Honeysuckle) and Benie Des Dieux turning up has caused a significant problem for us, but you can’t pick your opposition.

“She will go there with a chance, as she will be ready for it.

“If I had either of the other two mares, I would be doing the same and going for the mares’ race.”


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