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Allmankind “should be right up there” in Fitzdares Peterborough Chase

Article 4th December 2021 Huntingdon

By Graham Clark

Connections of Allmankind insist victory in the Fitzdares Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon tomorrow (Sunday 5th December) would sit “right up there” alongside his two Grade One triumphs.  

The five year old will bid to secure the fifth Grade Two success of his career, which would also be trainer Dan Skelton and jockey Harry Skelton’s first win in the two and a half mile feature race of the season at the Cambridgeshire track. 

Finishing third on his comeback appearance over hurdles at Chepstow in October, the son of Sea The Moon showed the benefit of that outing when defying top-weight in the Grade Two Jewson Monet’s Garden Old Roan Limited Handicap Chase at Aintree later in the same month.

Having provided connections with a special day this weekend 12 months ago with a spectacular round of jumping to land the Grade One Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park, hopes are high he can put in another bold effort.

Allmankind is owned by the Gredley Family and was homebred by their Stetchworth and Middle Park Studs just outside Newmarket.

Tim Gredley, joint-owner, said: “I’ll be completely honest, the Skelton boys did a brilliant job with him to get him to win off top-weight at Aintree. 

“He surprised me, I have to be honest, as there was a lot going against him there but I think he reminded everybody how tough he was. 

“The second horse, Itchy Feet, has run well since, while both Midnight Shadow (third) and Faninon D’Estruval (fourth) have both won since. I’m very excited. 

“Two and a half miles is his gig. I think he jumps better at a slightly slower tempo as it gives him a bit more time at his fences, whereas against those two-mile horses that have a bit more scope it puts his jumping under a bit more pressure. 

“I think with Master Tommytucker in there I’m not sure we will get much rope out in front as he will take us on, so we might have to take a lead, but I will leave up that up to Harry (Skelton).

“He has definitely grown up and although he is a bit keen he still seems more settled and jumps better and is much more rideable.

“It will be nice to go and watch him at one of our local tracks on Sunday. He has won a Grade One at Chepstow over hurdles but winning at Sandown last year was very special. This will be up there with those victories here if he wins this.

“They said a couple of days after Aintree he was fresh and well so he should be right up there on Sunday.”

Allmankind, who also scored at Grade One level in the 2019 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow, has started to establish himself as a force over fences but his switch to jumping was in some ways a last roll of the dice according to Gredley. 

He added: “Everybody knew we were taking a punt going over jumps as he was bred to be a stayer on the Flat. 

“When he was at Michael Bell’s we knew he had a lot of ability. He always did great bits of work but let himself down at the races.

“I remember when he won at Chelmsford he bolted to the start under Silvestre (de Sousa).

“I said to dad just before he ran in a handicap at the July Course, ‘let’s see how he gets on as he’s too good to sell but why don’t we give him a try hurdling?’ and that gave us something to think about. It was an experiment but luckily it has all worked out.”

Looking beyond this weekend it could be that all roads lead back to Aintree for Allmankind with the Grade One Melling Chase earmarked as a potential long term target opposed to tackling the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Gredley added: “There is a feeling that he is better on a flat track and Aintree is more likely to be his end of season target rather than Cheltenham.

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