High-class hurdler Allmankind kicks off his career over fences in the Stan Mellor Memorial Novices’ Chase at Warwick on Friday.
Formerly trained on the Flat by Michael Bell, the son of Sea The Moon was thoroughly impressive in winning on his debut over obstacles at this venue 12 months ago – before going on to Grade Two and Grade One success at Cheltenham and Chepstow respectively.
He finished only a fortunate third in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham in March, however – and after he was beaten as a short-priced favourite on his return to action at Prestbury Park last month, connections have decided to go down a different route.
Trainer Dan Skelton said: “We’ve done plenty of jumping at home over fences with him, and he is good. Those erratic horses like him are the ones that do jump, because their brains are thinking.
“He is a Grade One winner, and I don’t want to spend all year getting beaten with him over hurdles – it’s not good for the owners or the whole team, seeing him getting beaten a load of times.
“He was so mature and active as a three and four-year-old and one of the best of his age. The others have caught up a bit, and by going chasing we are hopefully finding some races he can win.
“I had my mind made up to go over fences halfway up the run-in when he ran at Cheltenham the other day, and Tim Gredley (part-owner) said during the first lockdown that he couldn’t wait to go chasing.
“It took a while to persuade the jockey (Harry Skelton), but we are all on the same page now.”
Allmankind is due to face five rivals in the two-mile contest, including Nicky Henderson’s Fred and the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Stolen Silver.