Allmankind survived a scare at the penultimate obstacle to remain unbeaten over fences in the Agetur UK Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick.
Dan Skelton’s five-year-old adopted his usual front-running tactics, but Harry Skelton did not seem to be going out of his comfort zone in front.
A feature of his first two victories this season, including at Grade One level last time out, has been his accurate jumping but this time around there were a couple of scruffy leaps.
In testing ground, he was perhaps not quite as exuberant at his fences, but was still able to get away from the obstacles quicker than his rivals.
Cheddleton soon dropped away, but Sky Pirate was still in contention heading to the last fence in the back straight.
Allmankind (4-7 favourite) met that fence spot on and then got away quickly, but he still had to survive a blunder at the second last before victory was sealed.
Sky Pirate stuck to his task, but Allmankind galloped all the way to the line, coming home 17 lengths clear.
Dan Skelton said: “I was happy with the result, but all the way round it was a little concerning. The ground is testing here and he got stuck in the jumps a little.
“You can’t be asking for too many big jumps on this ground and that’s why he couldn’t get into a rhythm as he sometimes does.
“He showed a great attitude to get stuck in, he put his head down for the line. He won quite authoritatively in the end.
“He showed today he can get himself into some unusual positions at the fences and knows how to get out of he them and survive them. That is vital. That is something else he has learned today.
“I’ve no concerns about his durability or suitability, but we’re taking on two monsters (Shishkin and Energumene) in a month’s time (in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival).”
Harry Skelton said: “(I’m) delighted, job done. The ground is really hard work. We got stuck in it a bit, but he’s pulled right away going to the line.
“He’s a remarkable horse really. He just doesn’t know when to give in. He’s done brilliantly.
“At the second last, he was probably getting stuck in the ground. When you have frost covers down, that is what it does to it. It’s the toughest ground he’s run on, but he went away well at the line.
“To come off the Flat and achieve what he’s done is brilliant. Delighted for the owners. They will be happy.”