Arkle Trophy winner Edwardstone is “extremely doubtful” to line up in Sunday’s Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, according to trainer Alan King.
The eight-year-old needs slower ground to show his best, but with dry and sunny conditions at the track on Saturday, the going remained good.
Not seen out since chasing home Gentleman De Mee in the Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April, King is keen to take the wraps off his Arkle winner, although admits he is thus far fighting a losing battle.
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“He is extremely doubtful to run,” said King. “He’s in great form and I might bring him and parade him tomorrow, just to get the adrenaline out, but I just don’t think I can risk him on this (good ground).
“It is a long season and it is no-one’s fault. I’m not jumping up and down at anyone at all. I just think it is on the tight side and he is a big, heavy horse.
“I don’t know when I will take him out – it might be in the morning. But he is extremely doubtful.”
The Shloer had promised a mouthwatering clash between Edwardstone and Nube Negra, with Dan Skelton relishing the prospect of getting his two-mile standard-bearer back out on track with.
In contrast to Edwardstone, conditions are very much in his favour. “It’s a dry forecast which very much suits him,” said Skelton.
“He 100 per cent has to be fresh, and he is in great form at home. We have done plenty of work with him and we’re really looking forward to getting out there with him to be honest.”
Nube Negra possesses a fine course record and in his other chasing appearance at Prestbury Park he finished second in the 2021 Champion Chase, while he was also placed at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival when third in the Fred Winter.