Grosvenor Sport Harry Skelton

Harry Skelton: Hoping Mohaayed can show a bit of form at Ascot

Cheltenham December Meeting

Although we didn’t have a win at Cheltenham’s December meeting, a number of our horses ran really well and we were delighted with Ch’tibello in the International Hurdle. I’m sure that if we’d jumped the last a bit better, we would have been a lot closer.

Don’t forget he had a 4lb penalty to carry, so we might look at the Relkeel Hurdle or the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock next time. He’s come out of the race really well and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season with him.

We have plenty of options for the spring. He ran an excellent race in the Aintree Hurdle last year, so we could go back there, but we’ll make plans further down the line.

Langer Dan has been really good for us. He was Ocovango’s [sire] first runner and as you saw on Saturday, he’s got a great attitude. He’s not overly big and had a penalty to carry, so the run was definitely a step up on his Wetherby Listed win. I’d have thought the Fred Winter will be his target.

Beakstown travelled and jumped well before getting tired on the ground. His best form is on better ground, so you won’t see him until we get some spring ground. We’re happy to sit tight and wait for that.

He’s a big horse and we’ve always said he might take some time to develop. He’s been running well and I’m sure you’ll see a better horse on a sounder surface.

It was absolutely heartbreaking for all of us that Spiritofthegames got chinned right on the line in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. You hit the front close to the line and you just hope the job is done, but it’s a long run in on heavy ground and Warthog has just dug in very deep and come back. On that ground, those last 100 yards can seem a lot further.

It was a much better run from him, though, and hopefully, he’ll get his day in the sun soon. He’s been placed in some big races – second in the Lanzarote, third in the Betfair Hurdle and third in the Festival Plate. He’s been knocking on the door and really deserves to win one.

My ride Not That Fuisse was always struggling in the ground a little bit – he just couldn’t pick up out of it. He’s always been better on better ground, but we had to take our chance in a big race with a lot of prize money on offer.

We’ll wait now for some good ground and he’s one to keep on the right side of in the spring.

Ascot, Saturday

It’s a quiet weekend for the yard, but we might have a couple of runners at Ascot.

Bennys King – 3:00

We’re not sure yet if he’ll definitely run, we’ll make a decision on Friday morning. It will depend on how the race is shaping up, but we’ve been very happy with him since his impressive win at Newbury.

He’s a progressive horse and both trip and ground will be fine if he runs. The race is worth plenty of money so we’ll take a close look at it. He’s also in the Welsh National next week.

Mohaayed – 3:35

Bridget rides Mohaayed and he’s down to the same mark he won this race off last year. He’s been out of form, though, so we want to see him run well and show a bit of form.

All the enthusiasm is there at home and he stayed on alright in the Greatwood last time. The ground is going to be very testing but that shouldn’t be a negative for him. It will just be a case of who handles it best.

Long Walk Hurdle

This looks a penalty kick for Paisley Park really, he’s the horse they’ve all got to beat. There’s no such thing as a certainty in racing, but he’s as close as you’ll get.

Christmas plans

It’s always nice to have a few days off over the Christmas period to recharge the batteries. I’m going shooting with Jack Andrews, Bridget’s brother, on Monday which will be fun.

We’ve got Christmas in our new house this year and Bridget will be doing the cooking. I don’t have any lightweights on Boxing Day, so I should be able to get stuck in and enjoy the turkey!

I’ll update you all on my Boxing Day rides on Christmas Eve.

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