Harry Skelton Easter Blog: On Destrier’s best form, he’d go very close

Saturday, Haydock

It’s going to be a pretty quiet Easter weekend for us. We’ve got two runners up at Haydock for the Challenger Series Final where there is some decent prize money on offer.

Whispering Gypsy takes her chance in the Challenger Mares’ Hurdle Series Final (14:09). She ran fairly well at Southwell last time after a break and seems to have come on a bit since then.

These races are all pretty competitive, they’re worth plenty of money, so we’re going to have a go. She’s got an each-way chance.

We run Destrier in the Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final (15:19), a race we won 12 months ago with Vision Du Puy. He fell at Doncaster last time which wasn’t ideal, but he ran quite nicely around here a few runs ago.

He’s dropped down in the handicap and looks to have a little chance, but it looks a competitive enough race. On his best form he’d go very close.

We have a few entered on Monday but I’m not sure at this stage what will run. We’ve then got the final day of the season at Sandown next Saturday, which is always a fun day. We’ll have a few runners there.

Monday, Irish Grand National

Winning the Irish Grand National back in 2009 on Niche Market is still one of my greatest days in the saddle. I was claiming three pounds that day and it meant a huge amount to win it so early in my career.

It’s obviously a very different test to Aintree, but the atmosphere is electric at Fairyhouse, and I was on Cloud Nine coming back into the winners’ enclosure.

We don’t know the final field for Monday’s race but one thing I would say is don’t ignore those towards the bottom of the betting – Freewheelin Dylan was 150/1 last year!

Gordon [Elliott] has plenty entered up and it will be interesting to see which ones he runs. Farclas was fifth in the Aintree Grand National last year and he ran an eye-catching race when second to Run Wild Fred at Punchestown in November. He’s had a decent break and you imagine this will have been the plan for a while.

Screaming Colours was very impressive in the Midlands Grand National and he has won round Fairyhouse before, so he is another to consider. It looks sure to be a typically wide-open race this year.





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