Grosvenor Sport Harry Skelton

Harry Skelton | Saturday at Sandown

It’s always nice to ride winners at any time of the year, but we were particularly pleased to have such a memorable November. Barring last May, it’s the most winners we’ve ever had in a month.

We’d had a couple of near-misses earlier in the year so it’s great for the stable to be firing at the moment. We have had some nice winners already in December and long may that form continue.

Last weekend’s action

It was a case of ‘that’ll do’ when Oldgrangewood got up late to get the better of Kalashnikov at Newbury. He needed a bit of patience but stayed the trip well and eventually got up close home.

Bennys King had it a little more comfortable in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase. He forged clear really well at the end and continued to show his improvement on the track.

I don’t think he has finished progressing just yet and there should be more to come. Shan Blue, unfortunately, took a fall when going really well but thankfully came out of that okay.

Two Taffs failed to land a blow in the handicap chase and to be honest, I think he almost travelled too well. He certainly didn’t get the trip but there is no doubting the ability he still retains.

He is certainly one to keep onside because things will drop into place for him this season. The 2m4f trip is probably ideal for him going forward and he will be winning again this season.

Great start to December

It won’t be easy topping November for victories, but it has been nice to ride some great winners in the first few days of December, with a few others going close.

Mr Love was a brilliant winner at Southwell in a handicap hurdle on Tuesday. That was three wins in about a month for him and he will now be given a little break before coming out again.

There was an equally good performance from Boss Man Fred on the same card in the novices’ hurdle and to be honest, anything he does over hurdles is a bonus.

He looks every inch a chaser and his trade looking ahead will be three miles over fences. Third Time Lucki also won on Thursday and holds a lot of ability. He’s still young so won’t be pushed hard yet.

Sandown, Saturday

Nube Negra – 1.50

I’m really looking forward to riding this one as it has been the target since winning at Fakenham back in October. He has been schooling really well and should be bang there.

Robbie Power also rides Beakstown for Dan in the race. We aren’t sure whether stepping back in trip will be the answer but it will provide some great experience. He looks like a spring horse.

Protektorat – 2.25

He put in a really nice performance after 260 days off the track to finish second at Sandown last time out. Running in a handicap will help and we expect a big effort. He is probably our best chance of a winner this weekend.

Dolos – 3.00

It’s always a pleasure to pick up a spare ride, especially when it comes from Paul Nicholls. I won a Grade 2 winner for him last year and have ridden out at the yard a few times already this season.

He has said himself that his horses are coming on for the run this season and hopefully that will be the case here. The track and trip look fine and it’s nice to ride for an owner I have won for before.

Get On The Yager – 3.35

It always takes these three milers a little longer to get fully wound up. This is obviously a marathon trip and we hope he sees it out as he travels as though he will. He carries very little weight and could run well at a nice price.

Huntingdon, Sunday

Ferrobin – 1.30

The handicapper has certainly got a grip on him and we aren’t expecting too much off this mark. He is carrying a lot of weight and would just be nice to see him out.

Born Survivor – 2.00

He’s on a very stiff mark and it’s not easy trying to find opportunities for him. There’s some good money available and hopefully he will perform well, but he’s probably one for the spring.

West Cork – 2.30

He ran really well last time out at Warwick but didn’t quite get home. He’s dropping back in trip and we have applied a tongue tie, so hopefully that will do the trick and he should take all the beating.

Soyouthinksoagain also represents the stable and Bridget takes the ride. He definitely has the ability and should run well but he is still a little babyish and mentally he needs to become stronger.

Global Harmony – 3.00

The aim is to try and get some black type into her here and she is not without a chance. She ran really nicely at Lingfield last time out and will go onto hurdling later in the season.

Bridget rides Marada in the same race and again, it would be great to get some black type prize money. She was a little disappointing at Market Rasen but is a good traveller and should go well.

Other stable runners

Amoola Gold Saturday, Aintree 12.30

Bridget heads up to Liverpool on Saturday and should have a big race onboard Amoola Gold. I rode him when third after a long break at Newbury so hopefully he can go a couple of places better.

Accordingtogino Saturday, Chepstow 1.25

He’s another who has knocked on the door of late without winning. He finished second here last time out and also placed back in October. Conor Shoemark rides and he has a chance.

Shannon Bridge, Saturday Chepstow 2.30

Conor also gets the nod on Shannon Bridge and the horse has certainly come on since finishing third at Aintree last time out. It will be interesting to see his progression against some of these.

Cook The Books, Saturday Chepstow 3.05

He certainly ran better than his price suggested last time out when finishing fourth on stable debut at 20/1. He boasts winning point-to-point form and once again Conor takes the ride.

A Large One Please, Saturday Chepstow 3.40

The yard and Conor’s final ride of the day comes for Paul and Clare Rooney in the bumper. They are great owners to work with and it will be interesting to see how he performs on debut.

Looking ahead to the Tingle Creek

It’s a very competitive race as you would expect and on ratings it’s tight. Defi Du Seuil was very good the last day and despite being a few year youngers than the others he looks the one to beat.

Previous winner Politologue slightly edges it on the weights but I don’t think it will be enough to see him win.

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