Dan Skelton: Our racing ambassador continues his stable tour

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In Part Two of Dan Skelton’s Stable Tour, the Warwickshire-based trainer discusses the summer gone by. Plus he profiles his autumn bumper horses, along with the lowdown on his stable stars. 

The summer horses have been magnificent and we are really happy with how it’s gone.

The Rio horses have been outstanding, while the Carbon Racing horses have also been a big help, as have the likes of Too Many Diamonds and Shrubland.

We have 15 for next year for the Rio Club already. We probably won’t be able to match what we’ve done this summer but it’s our intention to at least give it another good go next summer.

We’ve got a nice bunch of autumn bumper horses now. We’ve got Coromondell, Finlay’s Eyes, Jane Lamb, No Getaway, Rebel Royal, What’s The Scoop, and West Of The Bridge and others.

They all look like big, strong types of horses with a real future.

We then have some nice unraced three-year-olds who will probably start in juveniles or juvenile bumpers.

We have Falcons Sun who starts on Thursday in a juvenile hurdle at Uttoxeter, while Lady Maleficent runs in a juvenile bumper on Saturday.

Examine Du Cochet and Significant Other are both ready for juvenile bumpers as well. So there is plenty to go at.

ITS’AFREEBEE

7yo br g Danroad – Aphra Benn

He lost his way a bit in the spring and he still doesn’t look like he’s fully back yet. He’s a previous Grade 2 winner and a dual winner over fences.

When he gets his confidence back, I’m sure he can resume winning ways because he’s not an old horse. For those eighteen months that we had him, he had a very hard milk round.

He was third in the Neptune and I think that took quite a lot out of him. We’re now on a rebuild with him. He has been a fabulous horse for us and I’m not worried long-term.

RETURN FLIGHT

6yo b g Kayf Tara – Molly Flight

He had a decent enough year last year. He won over hurdles and fences. He’ll start off again over fences and he doesn’t want the ground too soft.

I think he’s got a future. He’s very genuine and jumps very well. He took a fall at Kempton which was uncharacteristic. He should be out within the next ten days.

NO HASSLE HOFF

5 b g Craigsteel – Endless Patience 

Last year he kept some good company. He only won one race which we were a bit frustrated with on reflection.

He starts this year off a nice mark and he’ll probably start at Uttoxeter on Wednesday and then we’ll go up in grade. He’s a horse that I’d like to go down the Pertemps route with.

RED TORNADO

5yo ch g Dr Fong – Encircle

He’s been a great horse over and the handicapper has got him exactly where he wants. He ran great in the Summer Hurdle and not so well in the Prelude Handicap Hurdle in September.

The handicapper just needs to give him his chance. I know he’ll say he gave him his chance when he was second in July but being second isn’t the same as winning.

The handicapper needs to relax basically and he’ll be there. He’s been a great horse for us, winning five on the bounce. We won’t forget that.

APPLESANDPIERRES

9yo Pierre – Cluain Chaoin

He had a good year last year. I think he won two. He didn’t really go well when he went jumping fences but this horse has plenty of ability.

We will probably go and have a try over fences again at some point.

SPIRITOFTHEGAMES

5yo b g Darsi – Lucy Walters

He won’t be seen until a bit later in the year. We’ve got our mind on the Lanzarote.

He ran very well at Kempton at Christmas last year so we want to go back to the same track for a bit more prize money. He’ll probably have this year hurdling and then go chasing. He’s a nice horse.

LATE NIGHT LILY

6yo b m Midnight Legend – Ready To Crown

She’s been a very good mare and she took an uncharacteristic fall at Market Rasen the other day in a listed race. She has been fine schooling at home since.

Owners are keen to go to Wetherby on the 4th, but we’ll have to have a look at that. If it’s not the right thing for her, we’ll go for a smaller affair and build up to those types of races.

There is plenty more racing to be won with her.

AWAY FOR SLATES

He’s new to us. He had to miss last year but I think he won two before he joined us. He’s off a nice mark and he can go chasing at any point.

We will start him mid-November. There’s races to be won for sure.

EXCELLENT TEAM

5yo b g Teofilo – Seradim

He is really a summer horse but the handicapper gave him his chance the other day at Ludlow and he won.

Bridget Andrews gave him a good ride. We will try and keep him on the go as along as we can.

WORK IN PROGRESS

7yo b g Westerner – Parsons Terms

He had a great summer, winning three on the bounce before a fall. We will get him back on track and give him a run in the autumn.

He will then have the winter off before returning in the spring for the better two-and-a-half-mile handicaps. He likes a flat track.

I think when he gets everything in his favour again; he’ll be able to hold his own.

SAM RED

6yo b g Denham Red – Call Me Nana

It took us a long time to win with him but he won a decent novice chase at Stratford the other day. I’ve got him in at Fakenham at the weekend; I just have to speak with the owners.

The plan was to go straight to the Rising Stars but he’s so well at home so we might just go for Friday as well. There is nearly three weeks in between them so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

I am glad he’s got it all together over fences now and if we keep him on the right ground, he could be a horse that does well.

Dan Skelton odds

COBRA DE MAI

5yo b g Great Pretender – Miria Galanda

Cobra has done especially well over fences. He has won three now. He won a race at Sedgefield the other day that on numbers it didn’t look like he couldn’t.

He showed a great attitude, he’s growing up, getting stronger and he’s improving. He’ll go to Ascot on the 4th for a valuable handicap chase and then we will go from there.

If he runs wells at Ascot, then we will probably stick to handicaps.

RENE’S GIRL

7yo b m Presenting – Brogella

She was fantastic the other day over two-and-a-half miles. We’re going to drop back in trip for a listed mares chase at Bangor on November 15th and go from there.

Middle distances are probably more her cup of tea but she jumps so well so two miles won’t hold any fears.

SHELFORD

8yo b g Galileo – Lyrical

He has been a great horse for us over the years. He’s won at home and in France. We are getting him ready for the Badger Chase Day on November 11th.

That’s his early season big target. He’s a horse who runs his best and holds his own. He gets zero penalties in France in the spring again so we might look at going back there.

THEATREBAR

 9yo b g King’s Theatre – Ardenbar

He did well for us last year. He won two. He goes novice chasing this year. I’ve got him entered Friday but I think that comes too soon.

I might slip into a race a Sedgefield the following week. What he did over hurdles can be bettered over fences.

ASHOKA

5yo gr g Azamour – Jinskys Gift

He won three hurdles for us and a chase. He ran well the other day at Fontwell.

There are more races to be won with him. I am particularly impressed with his consistency now because in the winter, it didn’t look like we were going anywhere.

There has been a lot better from him recently.

CKALCO DES LOGES

5yo b g Balko – Olla Des Loges

He’s won a few novice hurdles and starts over fences on October 17th at Huntingdon.

He’s not going to be one that turns up at Cheltenham but we can definitely be winning races with this horse over fences. He’s a much better jumper over fences than hurdles.

LOVERBOY

6yo b g Winged Love – Tartan Belle

He had a good start for us at Fontwell and probably just needed the run.

We will go chasing with him now and there are definitely races to be won with him.

THISONETIME

6yo b g Kalanisi – Dizzy’s Whisper

He is very good at getting placed and it’s getting frustrating that we can’t win with him over hurdles. We are now going to go over fences with him.

We’ll take him to Chepstow on November 8th for a novices’ handicap chase and hopefully fences can slow the opposition down a little bit and he can get a day in the sun.

He’s not going to be one of our leading lights but at the same time he’s been placed so many times that you wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up winning a few if fences did the trick.

FOCACCIA

6yo b g Milan – Dantes Term

Again, he keeps getting placed. He has nearly been placed every time he’s run.

He will go chasing now. He’s bred to chase so hopefully that can bring out improvement.

PRETTY RECKLESS

4yo b f Scorpion – Deep Supreme

She won a two-and-a-half mile handicap chase at Warwick.

With an attitude like that, I think more races can be won with her, especially over fences. She’s only four, and it’s easy to forget that.

We’ll keep ploughing on and get more wins with her hopefully.

OR DE VASSY

5yo b g Assessor – Mona Vassy

He got placed in four bumpers and a hurdle before he won.

He won quite nicely at Sedgefield and I think he can start putting some more ones next to his name.

I think he’s very consistent and tries very hard. As long as the ground is decent and he’s in a race that he can win, he won’t let you down.

SANTO DE LUNE

7yo gr g Saint Ds Saints – Tikidoun

He’s a talented horse, blighted by injury. He wants nice soft ground. He ran really nicely behind a horse of Harry Fry’s at Bangor last year.

He won’t be seen a lot but if we can keep the wheels on when he is seen he will be dangerous.

HESTINA

4yo b f Soldier OF Fortune – Diagora

She had a great summer for us. She has won four hurdles.

We tried her back on the flat but that didn’t happen. She’s got plenty of speed.

I think if we can maintain a bit more good ground in the autumn we could find handicap for her. She has been a good mare and will make a fine brood mare as well.

EARLSHILL

6yo b g Milan – Mrs Marple

He placed in two novice hurdles last year. He wants a bit of cut in the ground without it being heavy, he wants to go left-handed, and he will go chasing at some point.

I’d like to think he can win a maiden hurdle before he does.

RIGHT OF REPLY

6yo b g Presenting – Baliya

A new horse to us. He’s a big, fine, chasing type horse by Presenting.

I hope I can win another hurdle with him before he goes chasing. He’d be four weeks off from starting, a bit behind the others. He’s a real nice horse.

ATLANTIC STORM

5yo b g September Storm – Double Dream

He won his first start in a handicap at Bangor last season. He is very much a chaser but I think we can try another hurdle first.

ONE FOF BILLY

5yo b g Midnight Legend – Saxona

He won a maiden hurdle at Hexham in May. He was over the top when he ran at Uttoxeter. He’s another one that really wants a fence.

I have him entered into a race at Fakenham on Friday. Then we will go chasing.

THE LAST BAR

7yo  b m Kayf Tara – Arsenbar

She hasn’t been seen for a while. Last year I wasn’t really happy with her without her having a serious injury.

She took a bad fall at Warwick one day and maybe that knocked her a little.

She’s a maiden under rules and I’d like to think off her mark she can do well in mares’ handicap hurdles and then she will be a mares’ chaser as well.

CLASSICO DAIS

5yo br g Al Namix – Fabema

He gave a young lad in the yard, Will Marshall, his first ride at Stratford the other day. They got on real well, finishing second.

I think there’s improvement from the jockey and the horse. He will be ready to go in two or three weeks. We will want to go chasing at some point but he looks like he could win a hurdle first.

SAUVIGNON

6yo b m Yeats – Dalriath

She’s a big mare by Yeats who will go chasing one day.

She ran really well over hurdles last season and she will go to Bangor in two weeks.

I’d like to think she can go well over a big trip. She looks to me like a mare who is improving.

BIENTO MADAME

She is new to us. She was placed in a bumper. She needs to go hurdling.

She’s a great big mare from a very good family. I’m sure she can do better over hurdles and if we go as far as chasing she could be even better over fences.

BUCKYBY BOY

4yo br g Shirocco – Fair View

He ran nicely in a bumper in the spring and I can only presume I didn’t have him as ready as I thought I did at Market Rasen two weeks ago.

He ran disappointingly but the race wasn’t run to suit him as well. We will draw a line through that now and go hurdling.

I’m sure he’s a horse who can notch up over hurdles. He’s a nice horse. He will just need a bit of time.

FRANKIE RAPPER

5yo b g Milan – Parkdota

He had a run over hurdles the other day. He’s a lovely horse, but he’s not the most intelligent. He will take a few runs to get the hang of it all.

He ran nicely in bumpers and we know that there is plenty of ability in there.

He just finds the jumping to be a bit of a task for him. Once he gets a bit of experience, he will find it a lot easier.

Dan Skelton odds

George Gently 

4yo b g Gentlewave – Sindibad

He was second in a juvenile for us when we took him to France a year ago. He got a little injury afterwards in training unfortunately but he is one we like.

I think he’s doing really well now in training and he will look attractive in a novice hurdle when we get to that point. I’d say he’s still a month off.

HOLRYALE

5yo b g Trans Island – Lady Ramona

He won a bumper in the summer and then ran nicely over hurdles the other day. I’ll probably run him on Friday at Fakenham.

He’s not going to be turning up at the Cheltenham Festival but he’s a decent enough horse and I’d like to think that there is plenty of racing to be won with him.

HORSESHOE BAY

5yo b g Arch – Sweepstake

He was very good in his first start for us but not so good in his second start and he didn’t run as well as I hoped.

If we can get him back to original form or even his flat form, he is a very good horse.

NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

Won an English point before we bought him and he showed a great attitude that day. We ran him in a bumper but he’s not really a bumper horse.

If I had my time again I wouldn’t have run him. He will get a chance to redeem himself over hurdles and I’m sure hurdling and chasing will bring out a very different animal.

KNIGHT IN DUBAI

4yo b g Dubai Destination – Bobbies Storm

He ran a bit below expectations up at Sedgefield in a bumper. A bumper isn’t probably his type of scene. He’s a decent horse and I do think there is a big future with him.

He’s a big horse, he’s only four, he’s going to improve and he wants to go jumping, and then eventually chasing. I’m not at all worried; I think we will be alright here.

MAHLER’S FIRST

5yo b g Mahler – Fridays Folly

Marley is a horse who won a point-to-point before we bought him. I’d say he will want a bit of soft ground.

He shows a very willing attitude at home.  He jumps nicely. We just need the soft ground now to run him.

After a year off you can’t say well yes he definitely will win first time, but he doesn’t look short of ability.

MUST HAVEA FLUTTER

5yo b g Mustameet – Secret Flutter

He’s an ex point-to-pointer from Ireland. He shows plenty of pace.

I probably won’t mess around in bumpers; I’ll just go straight to hurdling with him. He is a little bit behind and won’t be out until at least November.

He’s from our new Winter Club and I think they can get plenty of fun out of this horse.

NEW QUAY

4yo b g Mahler – Beg La Eile

He is a lovely, big, strong, horse by Mahler. He will probably start in a maiden hurdle at Aintree next weekend over two-and-a-half. I do really like him.

It will be a hard race and if he can win, we will go high. If he doesn’t, then we will enter him into another little race and make his career as progressive as possible.

PARTHENIUS

4yo b g Soldier Hollow – Princess Li

He is an ex-German Group 3 winner. A big jumper at home, with plenty of speed, and wants decent ground. Hopefully we will go to the first Taunton meeting with him.

It’s been a while since he showed that Group form but he certainly looks like he has ability on the gallops. I am not at all subdued about his chances of making a jumper.

QAVIY CASH

3yo b g Oasis Dream – Neartica

He is a highly-rated flat horse. He’s got ability and he jumps nicely.

I don’t think he will be out for a while because he’s never had a break in his life and we’ve gelded him. He’d be better off with better ground in the spring.

We will get him started as soon as it’s appropriate. There is a fair engine in there.

RESILIENCY

6yo ch g Mastercraftsman – Euroceleb

We had a disaster at Uttoxeter. He didn’t go at all and got spooked.

We need to go and show something before we start thinking about future plans. We will give him another run in the next fortnight and go from there.

ROYAL BEEKEEPER

4yo ch g Champs Elysees – Lasso

He ran quite nicely on his first start. I think he can be competitive throughout the season.

We will try and win what we can and see what spring brings. We might even go chasing.

SHANNON BRIDGE

4yo ch g Flemensfirth – Bridgequarter Lady 

He is another ex-point-to-pointer. He looks to me like he wants soft ground.

He will probably start at Stratford on November 2nd. He is a chaser really.

We will try and win a hurdle or two before we do that. He looks to me like a longer-term horse.

SOLOMON GREY

5yo gr g Sulamani – Sardagna

I think I got him placed four out of four in bumpers which is an incredible achievement because he should have probably won two of them!

He jumps very well and I will be disappointed if I can’t make him register a couple of times over hurdles this season.

STARCROSSED 

5yo b g Cape Cross – Gretna

He stays very well on the flat and is a big strong horse.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he was running around on slightly softer conditions in the winter and then gets better in the spring when the ground dries up because he is ex-flat.

He’s had time enough off and needs to crack on.

GOFORTHECRAIC

4yo b g Arcadio – Valin Thyne

He ran in a bumper on Sunday at Chepstow. He ran below expectations and was ridden a bit too forward; he was a bit gassy.

I told the owners to draw a line through that, it wasn’t a true reflection of his ability.

He won an English point-to-point by half the track back in the spring so there is plenty of ability. It’s back to the drawing board a little bit but it will come.

ASHKOUL

4yo b g Tamayuz – Asharna

A Flat winner in france who has just had a little break. He has plenty of speed and he jumps well. Flat tracks and a bit of nice ground should suit him well.

GOLDEN VISION

5yo bl m Vision d’erat – My Gold Du Fanil

A hurdle winner in France and for us last season who is destined to go chasing. We might not see her untill the Spring though and decent ground will suit her.

POKORA DU LYS

6yo b g Saint Des Saints – Shailann

A talented horse who takes plenty of getting fit! All he needs now is some soft ground and he’ll be about ready. I’d like to think he can win a hurdle before going chasing.

FREE RANGE

2010 b g Subtle Power – Tullyspark Rose

A lovely novice hurdler for this season with plenty of pointing experience. He reminds me of his owners’ Master Jake and The Bay Oak who we did well with in the past.

Juveniles

EMBOLE

He had one run in France in a bumper. They ran him on too quick ground in my opinion but he jumps very well and I think he can do well as a juvenile hurdler.

I wouldn’t know how far he can go but we will start him off somewhere sensible in three weeks’ time and go from there

NUBE NEGRA

He is a nice ex-Spanish horse, who has won on the flat in Spain. He showed plenty of pace and jumps very well. I hope he can do well in juvenile hurdles too.

TOBY LERONE

10yo Old Vic – Dawn’s Double

He will be back for hunter chasing. He won two last year and I hope he can do the same again this year.

He’s such a lovely horse and it’s great to have him around.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dan Skelton

Since starting out on his own, Warwickshire trainer Dan Skelton has assembled one of the most exciting stables in National Hunt racing. Having enjoyed their first Cheltenham Festival success with Superb Story in 2016, Skelton and the team are hungry for more. Get the latest from the Lodge Hill maestro exclusively at Ladbrokes News.