Dan Skelton discusses his runners at Ascot and Haydock
We have three runners at Ascot on Saturday, plus a runner in the 13:30 at Haydock Park too. We assess their chances and reflect on last weekend’s action.
We are hoping for a much better weekend after what was probably our worst day in the game last Saturday when we lost both Mohaayed and Ardlethen.
They were not only talented but also lovely horses and losing any horse is the hardest part of our job by some distance.
Gemma looked after Mohaayed more or less the whole time he has been with us and him not being around has left a massive hole in her life. It’s been the same for Alex with Adlethen. All we can do for each other is hold hands in the expectation that things will be okay in time.
These horses were looked after beautifully and were loved by everyone. They didn’t just exist, they achieved something that gave them a purpose in life. It’s so hard to explain how it feels.
Tim and June Watts and Mike and Eileen Newbould who owned them understand racing and know it can be particularly hard when things like this happen. There is no guidebook on how you cope with it, all we can do is support each other. Hopefully there will be much brighter days to come.
We are involved in two meetings on Saturday, although Haydock will have to pass an inspection.
Ascot is where the main action is taking place and there we have Stepney Causeway (12.40). He was a decent enough horse on the Flat and we have given him plenty of time and done loads of schooling with him.
I don’t know how he will handle the ground until he runs on it but he is a very genuine horse who loves his jumping and is ready to go. I would have to give him a squeak.
Roksana (13.15) runs in the Mares’ Hurdle where she meets a couple of nice ones like Eglantine Du Seuil, who we have to give weight to, and Magic Of Light.
So it’s not an easy mares’ race but we have been very happy with her since her run in the Long Walk. That was a very good run and I would like to think she will take a bit of beating in this.
Bennys King (15.00) runs later on the card over 2m5f which I think is a great trip for him, especially at Ascot. He was second in the race last year and will love the ground. He won last time out so there are plenty of positives and I do think he will go well.
Our only runner at Haydock is Faivoir (13.30) in the Rossington Main. He is a horse that goes through heavy ground, and has done so on a couple of occasions, so I am not worried about that.
I think the track will suit him. He has a bit to find with a couple but his effectiveness in the ground will give him a chance of doing so.