Harry Skelton: Sandown Jump Finale

Saturday, Sandown

It’s the final day of the season and I have four nice rides to look forward to. First up is Doctor Parnassus in the opening handicap hurdle (13:50). He ran quite a nice race in the Triumph at Cheltenham, but he took a bit of a knock there which meant he missed Aintree. That’s all healed up, so we’ve decided to come here. I think he can be very competitive and hopefully he has enough improvement in him to go very close.

Boombawn has won two novice hurdles the last twice and Jack Andrews stays on board, taking five pounds off his back, which will help him. He’s obviously now in deeper waters going into a handicap, but he’s in good form and deserves to take his chance. With a bit of improvement again, he can be competitive too.

We’re looking forward to running Nube Negra in the Grade One Celebration Chase (15:00). He missed Cheltenham after all the rain that fell on the Wednesday. He’ll love the good ground at Sandown and seems fresh and well in himself. He should hold a great chance.

Greaneteen won the race last year and is the one we all have to beat, but if Nube Negra’s on the top of his game he will take some stopping.

Flegmatik runs in the bet365 Gold Cup (15:32). We’ve had this race in mind for him since he won at Kempton. The trip is a bit of an unknown, but he’s an improving horse and it’s worth him taking his chance. Hopefully the ground will be okay, we wouldn’t want it rattling fast for him, but we’ll get there and see what it’s like. He’s still on an upward curve so hopefully that can continue.

Beakstown takes his place in the two-and-a-half mile novices handicap chase (16:40). He was a good winner at Ayr last time and deserved that win after bumping into some smart rivals previously this season. He’s a big horse and is another who wouldn’t want the ground too quick, so we’ll have a look when we get to the course. He’s always threatened to be a nice horse and he seems to be getting the hang of things now. He’s still in good form and there’s no reason to suggest he can’t go well again.

12 months ago

It was very exciting on this day last year going down to Sandown knowing I’d be picking up the Champion Jockey’s trophy. Becoming Champion Jockey was something that I had always wanted to achieve, and it was a dream come true to manage it. I had all my family there with me and it was a major moment for them all too.

I’d like to be back in that position again sometime. Obviously, I’m very dependent on Dan and the number of runners and winners we have, and hopefully we can be a position to challenge for the championship again one day.

Brian Hughes

Brian has had an unbelievable year. To reach 200 winners at Perth on Wednesday and become only the fourth jumps jockey to do so was a fantastic achievement.

Him and his family are going to have a very special day when he receives the trophy at Sandown on Saturday. Many congratulations to him.

Highlights of the season

It’s hard to pick out just one winner.

I think it’s testament to our team that the horses have been in such good form all season. They work endless hours, and it really is credit to them. I’m thankful to all the staff and everyone who has worked so hard this season.

We’ve had some good Graded winners including Nube Negra, Allmankind, Protektorat, West Cork, Molly Ollys Wishes, Third Time Lucki and Langer Dan, which are always very hard to come by and have some nice novices coming through, so that’s really exciting for next season.








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