Champion jockey Harry Skelton reflects on an up and down week and looks ahead to a big day at Aintree
PEOPLE talk about the highs and lows in racing . . . well we had our fair share of both last weekend!
Molly Ollys Wishes was brilliant in the Listed mares’ hurdle at Wetherby and Proschema ran a right cracker in the Grade 2 staying hurdle.
Then it was the big one, the Charlie Hall, where Shan Blue was running a mighty race and would have won if we hadn’t fallen three out.
He gave me an unbelievable feel. He’s such a good jumper, but that’s sport — it happens.
When I injected some pace into the race he took off, but the margins are so fine and unfortunately we got it wrong.
I thought he’d take another stride but he came up out of my hands and that was it. He did something similar over hurdles once.
He was a bit sore in his neck afterwards, so we’ve backed off him and the most important thing is we live to fight another day.
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Races like the Ryanair and the Bowl at Aintree will be on the list.
Huntingdon last Sunday was a really difficult day where we lost both Cadzand and Crooks Peak.
It’s very hard to take and you feel deeply sorry for the owners and the staff who look after them.
They are the ones who suffer the most, they deal with them and care for them day-in, day-out, and it really is heartbreaking when something like that happens.
Racing’s wheel of fortune keeps on turning though and we introduced a nice horse yesterday when In The Light was an easy winner at Warwick.
Allmankind won the same race two years ago and we know how good he is. The Triumph will be on In The Light’s agenda.
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I’ve got a busy afternoon at Aintree today with six rides and the main one has to be WILDE ABOUT OSCAR (3.20) in the Betway Hurdle.
This is going to tell us a lot more about where we go. He’s won here before and will love the ground.
We couldn’t be happier with him, he’s as fit as we can have him first time out and if it all goes to plan there won’t be many excuses.
He made a mistake in the Challow at Newbury which stopped him but then came out and won twice.
This looks a lovely race to start him in, and when everything goes right he’s a very, very good horse.
My first ride of the day is OUR JET (12.33) in the 2m4f novice hurdle. He was third in a point-to-point. and we like what we see at home. He’s a chaser in the making and we won’t see the best of him until he’s older and stronger.
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AQUILA SKY (1.08) runs in the Pertemps qualifier and it’s nice to pick up a ride for Sam Allwood who does so well with his horses.
This one improved towards the backend of last season, winning at Ayr. He ran over fences last time but is back over hurdles here.
He likes to be ridden with plenty of patience and hopefully he’ll come home well.
It’s great to get BEAKSTOWN (1.40) back on the track in the novices’ handicap chase, he’s been off an awful long time.
We’ve done as much work as we can with him at home and win, lose or draw he will definitely improve. He’s a very classy horse.
I hope ANTUNES (2.50) can go well in the two-mile handicap chase.
He’s done loads of work — and both the track and the ground will suit him well. It’s all good.
My final ride is SAVEASEA (3.55) in the three-year-old bumper.
He’s shown some nice ability at home but you won’t see the best of him until he starts over hurdles.
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