Dan Skelton discusses his 17 runners this weekend

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It is quite a busy weekend with 17 runners on Saturday and Sunday. Starting off at Ascot, we run Northofthewall (12.25).

Willie Marshall rides him here and got on well with him when he rode him on his last start at Fakenham. I think we have an each-way chance here.

We have won this race twice before including with Willow’s Saviour and although I don’t think he’s in the same league as Willow’s Saviour yet, I am hopeful he can go well.

In the 2.10, we run Hatcher and Yorkist. Hatcher did remarkably well for us last year, winning seven races in total but I think the handicapper has him a little high. He goes well fresh though and he will love jumping from fence to fence around here.

Yorkist didn’t run very well at Wetherby the other day. We are on a bit of a recovery mission but he has been a grand horse for us and we just want to try and relight the fire.

We had Denmead (2.45) targeted for this race for a while but it is very competitive. I am drawing a line through his run in Ireland last season as he was over the top I think.

Cobra De Mai (3.20) runs against Black Corton which is good to see as it keeps the weight down a little bit. Nonetheless we are still running off 153 which is such a high mark. He is very well and this was on our radar for him but it’s again a very competitive race.

Third Time Lucki (3.55) is a nice horse and a proper jumper for the future. It’s a strong bumper but I like him at home and I am sure he will acquit himself well. 

Harry Skelton will be at Wetherby for us, where we start with Renwick (12.50). I’m not sure why he didn’t run very well last time; we were disappointed.

We have taken all the headgear off and we will get out there and see if there is an improvement for the run.

West To The Bridge (1.20) ran nicely at Carlisle three weeks ago. I think the step up in trip will help him. He always gets hot beforehand, but he jumped nicely and stayed on well. I would like to think he has an each-way chance in this.

In the 1.55 we run Vision Du Puy and Aweeminit in a very good race that has the likes of Lady Buttons among them.

The former is two from two, winning in France before joining us. We are taking on a totally different scenario here but she has done enough to get started and will like the ground and track.

Aweeminit has been in fabulous form. She picked up some black type a fortnight ago and we will try and do the same here. Although we might have had our summer with her, she doesn’t owe us anything. She won last week and I should imagine after this she will be off to go in foal after.

Proschema (2.30) ran a good race the other day at Chepstow and I think he will step forward from that. I don’t want to see too much rain and although this is a strong race, I think he can be competitive here and going forward as well.

Two Taffs (3.05) makes his reappearance here. We took him out of Cheltenham last week because it got really heavy. I think good to soft will be fine for him.

We have got to start somewhere with him and we know he’s got numbers to find in this field but it’s a smaller field. I think he will improve significantly for the run after being off for so long.

Molly The Dolly runs in the Charlie Hall Chase (3.40) and this has been her target since she came back in. It is super competitive though and as strong as this race can get really. My horse is very fit and goes well fresh. Let’s just hope there’s not too much rain.

Gortroe Joe runs in the last at Wetherby (4.10). He hasn’t been finding his form recently. We have dropped him back over hurdles which I think he is happy with but I’d have preferred to have seen a bit more from him last time.

Sunday

We have three runners at Huntingdon on Sunday, starting with Dog Of War (1.10).

He is a nice horse who jumps well. I think he is more of a stayer and probably a chaser in time. His bumper runs were encouraging last year, without winning one.

We couldn’t win a hurdle with Global Ruler (2.55), so I think it is time to chasing with him. He’s a big horse and has done plenty.

Finally we run Mr Love (3.30), who ran ok the other day at Worcester. He faded out a bit late and he has got to improve here.

We have put some cheekpieces on him and hope we get more help off him. He will pick up something one day I am sure but it hasn’t been the easiest road with him.

Dan.

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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.