Grosvenorsport.com ambassador and leading National Hunt jockey Harry Skelton looks back at a fantastic season, and previews his final rides of the season at Sandown.
It really is a remarkable achievement by Dan to get to 200 winners, I’m very proud of him. It was especially nice to do it with six winners on the day, we didn’t think that would happen. Everyone has played a massive part to get there, we’re a big team and you have to put a lot of effort in.
It’s been a fantastic season, all the festivals were very good to us and we had our first Grade One winner with Roksana in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. The horses have held their form all season which has been important. From a personal perspective it’s been my best season yet and we’ve got some exciting horses to look forward to. We’ve had some good novices and we’ve got quite a few four-year-olds that haven’t run yet.
I have nothing but admiration for Dickie [Johnson], he has been at the highest level for a long time. He is a pleasure to be around and the perfect role model for any young jockey coming through. That said, I hope I can keep pushing him and one day become champion jockey. That’s my dream and we’ll keep working hard towards it.
Sandown Park, Saturday
1:50 – Humble Hero/Flash The Steel
I ride Humble Hero and Bridget is on Flash The Steel. There isn’t much between them and it was a hard decision. I think the race will suit both of them as they like to come off a strong pace and will enjoy the decent ground. They both have decent chances and there’s only 3lbs between them on ratings.
2:25 – Cobra De Mai
Cobra De Mai has done unbelievably well for his owners this season. We stepped him up in trip at Cheltenham last time and he got the job done really well. He can be a little bit of a monkey but he’s had a great campaign and we’re hoping he can run well again.
No ride for me in the Celebration Chase but Altior will surely take all the beating if he takes his chance. It’s always nice to see great horses like him on the racetrack.
3:35 – Captain Chaos
I am due to ride Captain Chaos in the big one, although if they don’t get any rain we will have a decision to make. He’s got a nice light weight and he ran well in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham. He put in a couple of good runs behind Lake View Lad earlier in the season but he really does need some rain.
4:40 – Bandsman
We’re putting some cheekpieces on Bandsman and he’s had wind surgery so we’re hoping he’ll bounce back to form. To be fair he ran well last time at Warwick and both the ground and trip should be fine. He should run well but needs to step up in what looks a competitive race.
5:15 – Wynford
Wynford is my final ride of the season. He ran alright at Market Rasen and the blinkers are back on. There should be a good fast pace around here and hopefully the race will suit. He definitely has the talent to run a big race.
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