Harry Skelton: Delighted to ride Politologue to Champion Chase victory – you couldn’t have scripted it!

Wow, what a feeling! For any jockey winning a race like the Cheltenham Champion Chase is a dream and to do it on Politologue for the Hales Family, who have been such big supporters of ours, made it even more special.

We’ve known them for a very long time and I’m so grateful to them for giving me the chance to ride him.

I’m also hugely grateful to Paul [Nicholls] who is a master trainer and has done so much for me and Dan throughout our careers.

Politologue jumped brilliantly and absolutely winged the third last. I didn’t know how far I was in front, I didn’t want to look back! He was really tough up the straight on such testing ground.

You couldn’t script it. On my way down to the start I saw two magpies and thought, perhaps this is it! Racing is a hard game but it all worked out perfectly and it’s a day I will never forget.

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Marsh Chase 1.30 –

I don’t have a ride in this but I like the look of Itchy Feet. He has good form and I think the track will suit him.

This new course is a more galloping track, he was good at Sandown and both stays and jumps so he has a cracking chance.

Pertemps 2.10 –

Anytime Will Do was a reserve in the Pertemps and sadly didn’t get in. I think last year’s winner Sire Du Berlais could go well again.

He was fourth the last day at Warwick. He is 7lbs higher than last year but I think he is a class horse and he will be there at the finish. Stoney Mountain could run well too and he will definitely see the trip out.

Ryanair Chase 2.50 –

A Plus Tard absolutely bolted up last year, although I know that was a handicap. His form has been pretty good this year and he’s now another year older and stronger and I think he’s the one they all have to beat.

It’s probably the right trip for Min and you have to respect him. It’s probably between the two.

Shattered Love could prove to be a massive price each-way. She was well fancied for last year’s Gold Cup and is a past JLT winner, and she could just pull a bit of a surprise at a price.

Stayers’ Hurdle 3.30 –

There’s no such thing as a steering job, but Paisley Park is about as close as you’re going to get.

Aidan Coleman will be full of confidence following his winner on the first day. He looks rock solid to me and hopefully goes out there and wins for connections.

Old Grangewood 4.10 –

I’m on Oldgrangewood in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, while we also run Spiritofthegames as well.

There’s nothing between them and both have got a good chance with Bridget [Andrews] having ridden Spirit a number of times.

Both horses look a million dollars, are in good form and the drying ground will certainly play to their strengths. Hopefully it will be the two of us battling it out at the end – that would make me very happy!

Emmas Joy 4.50 –

She has done nothing wrong and I think this is her trip. She got chinned at Warwick over 2m5f in December and that’s just a bit too far.

She has been great for her connections and they are obviously really excited to see her in action here. She was a Grade Two winner the last time and hopefully she can give a good account of herself. If she finishes in the money, we will all be delighted.

Ardlethen 5.30 –

Gina Andrews takes the ride in the finale. He is a horse with plenty of ability but I think he is probably correctly priced.

He has an each-way chance, but Champagne Platinum catches the eye for me. I think he could be quite well treated.




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