Leading National Hunt jockey Harry Skelton has signed up for another year with Grosvenorsport.com and over the course of the season, he will be sharing his thoughts on all his rides and the hot topics in racing.
In his opening blog, he looks back at last season’s achievements, his busy summer and the horses he’s most excited about ahead of the new campaign.
Looking back at last season with a smile
The 2018/19 season was a very special one for us, both personally and as a yard.
Obviously winning a first Grade One with Roksana was the highlight and to do it at the Cheltenham Festival was just amazing
We ended up winning two races at the Cheltenham Festival and another at the Aintree Grand National Festival so that was a great return for us.
Numbers wise, the whole team put in a hell of a shift last season and became just the second National Hunt yard to register 200 wins in a single British season.
To be honest, we won’t be able to beat that season as we haven’t had the same number of horses in action this summer.
It was a great training performance from Dan [Skelton] but we have to be professional and know there will be times when we struggle. It’s about getting through them.
I now pronounce you man and wife
After such a big season, it seemed only right to enjoy a big moment in my life when marrying Bridget [Andrews] in the summer.
Bridget and I have been together a long time and there’s nobody I would rather spend my life with.
It was a really great day and the memories will live long.
Targets for the new season
I don’t really like setting goals or targets as I prefer to take every day as it comes.
In racing you can be in the form of your life going into a race meeting and then break your collarbone and be out for a period of time after the opener.
I’d obviously love to ride 100 winners and multiple Grade Ones, but it’s easy for things to go wrong as a jockey and I prefer to just focus on what’s in front of me.
It’s a bit easier for a trainer as they can plan where they want their horses to be a bit more. It’s just important to work hard day-to-day and enjoy the wins when they come up.
Horses to look forward to
It’s a very exciting time to be around the yard as there’s lots of work and schooling being done ahead of the new season.
Generation Text is a Highclere horse and travelled well in a point-to-point for us before finishing second and looks an exciting prospect.
Shan Blue, who finished third in a bumper at Warwick behind a well-regarded Nicky Henderson horse, should also prove to be a nice horse.
The next few weeks will be busy but it’s nice to see the horses we are already sending out doing so well on the track.
Nube Negra got the better of five others at Warwick on Thursday which is great, while the yard have also sent out winners at Huntingdon and Southwell this month.