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Dan Skelton: why is favourite Solo 9lb higher than our Triumph hope Allmankind?

Solo: Britain's highest-rated novice after winning the Adonis Hurdle
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Dan Skelton has questioned the lofty rating awarded to JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Solo in the build-up to the hotly anticipated juvenile contest at Cheltenham on Friday week.

Solo became Britain's highest-rated novice after earning a mark of 157 for his 13-length victory in the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle on his debut for Paul Nicholls.

But Skelton, who harbours strong Triumph hopes of his own with Grade 1 winner Allmankind, struggles to understand the ratings disparity between the two horses.

"Nothing has got close to either our horse, or Goshen, and Solo was ultra-impressive, but I'm not really sure why Solo deserves a 9lb higher rating [than Allmankind]," he said.

"The court of public opinion clearly doesn't agree with it because if they did Solo would be even-money."

Allmankind: won the Grade 1 Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in December

Solo usurped Allmankind and the Gary Moore-trained Goshen, both free-going sorts who have done all their winning from the front this season, at the head of the Triumph Hurdle betting, but at 3-1 he is only a point shorter than that pair with some firms.

Next best in the market at 6-1 is Irish contender Aspire Tower, who goes into the race after a fall at Leopardstown last month. 

"I think it's an open race and the British hold the upper hand," said Skelton. "I think there are three very strong representatives for Britain and the Irish had a hard race against each other at Leopardstown."

Allmankind, who is owned by Bill Gredley and his son Tim, will arrive at Cheltenham a fresh horse having not run since winning the Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow over Christmas.  

Skelton added: "I'm very happy with him. He's been working well and has won round Cheltenham."

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The court of public opinion clearly doesn't agree with it because if they did Solo would be even-money
E.W. Terms