DAN Skelton hopes he has found the right horse in Bennys King to secure his first win in the William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup and deny his former boss Paul Nicholls a 10th success in the race at Newbury on Saturday.

Bennys King, owned by the Mezzone family, won the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Chase over the same course in November and was beaten a neck at Ascot on his latest start last month.

He features among 24 entries for the £50,000 Grade Three handicap chase, in which champion jumps trainer Nicholls has included last year’s winner San Benedeto alongside Secret Investor and Mont Des Avaloirs.

The 2m4f contest is the last Class One chase before the Cheltenham Festival and an ideal prize for horses not expected to line-up at the meeting.

Skelton said: “Bennys King definitely runs there. He won at the Ladbrokes Winter Festival, then he ran well at Ascot. I think this track is perfect and a bit of soft ground over the trip won’t be a problem.

“He is quite high in the weights, but that’s because he has gone up, but I would have to give him a chance because we have trained him specifically for it.”

Skelton spent nine years as assistant to Nicholls where he gained first-hand knowledge of the type of horse required, before he branched out on his own in 2013.

“Paul used to win the race every year and if he didn’t win it he would win it the year after,” said Skelton.

“The William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup is a good race for horses which aren’t going to Cheltenham and we never really were going to Cheltenham with Bennys King. It fits in well, it’s graded and is worth a few quid so we will crack on and give it a go.”