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North Hill Harvey dazzles in Arkle trial

Harry Skelton riding North Hill Harvey clear the last to win The Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase
Image: Harry Skelton riding North Hill Harvey clear the last to win The Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase

North Hill Harvey continued his love affair with Cheltenham after making it two from two over fences in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase.

After winning the Greatwood Hurdle on the card 12 months ago, the Dan Skelton-trained six-year-old followed up his debut chase victory at the track last month to claim the Grade Two prize.

Having sat in behind long-time leader Ozzie The Oscar for much of the two-mile prize, the 6-4 shot readily opened up a clear advantage rounding the home turn before meeting the last two fences on a good stride and bounding away to score by 18 lengths from River Wylde.

Skelton said: "He jumped very well and I don't think I'd say the ground is key, but the softer ground against the top-class performers the better his chances.

"Sandown (Henry VIII) is not off the agenda, but if it comes too soon we will probably run Born Survivor. If I didn't think it comes too soon we could prioritise Harvey.

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"I'm not sure about Kempton (Wayward Lad) for him. I will work backwards from the Arkle."

Slate House continued his progression when making most of the running to take the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle. The five-year-old won a maiden hurdle over the course and distance last month and followed up in some style in the Grade Two contest. Summerville Boy plugged on well for second place but could not quite get to the winner, who was three-quarters of a length to the good and gave trainer Colin Tizzard a double after the victory of Fox Norton in the Shloer Chase. Rider Harry Cobden said of the 5-2 winner: "He's a beautiful horse and has a massive future ahead of him. He's done it well in the end." Tizzard said: "He's by Presenting so we were concerned about the going, but he handled it fine. "It looked like he'd stay further. The favourite (Dame De Compagnie) obviously didn't run its race, but this is a nice, young horse. "He's learning his way and is not a world-beater yet, but he's done nothing wrong. "We now know he's not ground dependent and it looks like he stayed on well, so a fast-run two miles might be ideal. "He's a gorgeous-looking horse and has done nothing wrong. We'll have to mind him." reopens Champion jockey Richard Johnson reached 100 winners for the season when the Philip Hobbs-trained Crooks Peak (4-1) came home in front in the High Sheriff Of Gloucestershire's Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

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