Dan Skelton talks Ascot and the Christmas racing schedule
It will be an unusually quiet Saturday for us when we will have only one runner and that is Mohaayed (3.35) in the feature handicap hurdle at Ascot.
He ran okay at Cheltenham the other day but he has a biggish weight again and after all the rain the ground is going to be horrendously wet and heavy. It could even be off, so I am sat on the fence a little bit with him.
We are busy gearing up for Boxing Day and beyond. We will have a very busy Boxing Day and December 27, but it will not be quite so wild after that.
I am going to give the string their flu vaccinations over new year, as after what happened last season I don’t want any mishaps, and then plan for a springtime assault hoping the weather relents at some point.
I am glad the ‘Sandown Seven’ incident has come to a satisfactory conclusion, which means Harry will be available to ride instead of serving a ten day suspension.
The appeal verdict gives you faith in a system of having an independent disciplinary panel. The case was heard on its merits and everyone was listened to.
Obviously the stop-race procedure has to change and will change. I was very strong in the immediate aftermath that that was what had to happen. Regardless of the result of the appeal I still hold that opinion.
The BHA said it would look at this in conjunction with the PJA, which is very important. Hopefully the whole thing has been put to bed and we can all move forward.
If we hadn’t had Harry over the Christmas period it would have been like a football team operating without its main striker. We need him out there. So let’s hope we have a bit of luck over the Christmas period.