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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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