Trainer Dan Skelton plans to step Roksana back up in trip for the Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree next month. The Sarah Faulks-owned seven-year-old was last seen winning the two-and-a-half-mile OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this month, but Skelton intends to step her back up to three miles for her next run.
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Roksana last ran over that distance when finishing second to Santini in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree 12 months ago and Skelton feels it is logical to return to the same venue. “Roksana has come out of the Cheltenham race well – and she will now run over three miles at Aintree, as long as all is OK in the immediate future and everything seems fine,” Skelton said.
“She was second to Santini over the trip last year, and we always intimated we would step her back up to that trip.” Skelton also confirmed that he may have to look to a run at Punchestown later in April if Roksana fails to make it to Aintree, but he would prefer to run the mare on English soil.
He added: “If for some reason she wasn’t OK we could consider going for the two-and-a-half-mile Grade One at Punchestown, but I’m an English trainer and I want to win an English Grade One.”