Grosvenorsport.com ambassador and Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Harry Skelton reflects on his return to racing following his stag do, and looks ahead to his rides tomorrow at Uttoxeter as well as discussing his early thoughts on next week’s Aintree Grand National meeting.
It was great to have a few days away skiing for my stag do in France. It was brilliant, we all had an awesome time. The snow was good but it got a bit slushy in the afternoons.
There were 16 of us and I don’t think Olly Murphy will ever want to put a pair of skis on again. He enjoyed it but it was a bit of a struggle for him. Some were a bit more experienced than others.
It was nice to come back with a winner at Warwick on Thursday. Diomede Des Mottes deserved to get his head in front, as he had put in a few good performances this season. That will be it for him, we’ll put him away for next season now.
Bourbon Borderline ran well in the bumper but just got a bit tired. He’ll be a stronger horse next year.
Newbury, last Saturday
Humble Hero got the job done well, it was good to get his head in front. He enjoys decent ground, so he’ll be running in the spring and could be one for the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen or something like that.
It was brilliant for Noel [Fehily] to go out on a winner, the perfect way for him to end his riding career. I’d like to wish him all the best for the future.
Supremely Lucky – 2:45
Our horses tend to run well at Uttoxeter and I’m looking forward to riding Supremely Lucky in the novices’ hurdle. There are only five runners and although he has to carry a penalty, on his last run he looks to have a great chance.
Cabaret Queen – 3:20
Cabaret Queen is back from a break and has to shoulder top weight which won’t make it easy for her. She has won at the course before, but she has to put a disappointing run at Doncaster behind her.
Renwick – 3:55
Renwick is definitely better than his last run at Market Rasen in December which was disappointing. He has undergone a wind operation and we’re putting a tongue tie and cheekpieces on him so he’s having the full monty. If he puts that moderate run behind him, he should be running well, but it’s a very big field and looks an open race.
Moonlight Dancer – 4:30
On the face of it, Moonlight Dancer hasn’t really gone on but this is her first run after a wind operation. If you’d said to me after her first couple of runs that she’d be running off 101 now, I wouldn’t have believed you. She’s better than her mark, she has to be and hopefully she can go close.
Zamparelli – 5:05
Zamparelli won nicely last time under Bridget [Andrews] at Market Rasen. He’ll appreciate the ground and he looks to be one of my best chances of the day.
Molly Ollys Wishes – 5:35
We were really pleased with Molly Ollys Wishes on debut at Newbury, it was a really encouraging start. He should run well but this looks quite a competitive bumper. There are some good pedigrees in here and I’m sure there will be some good horses who come out of it.
Bridget has five rides for the yard at Stratford and the majority look fairly exposed to be honest. Set List has got cheekpieces back on which will hopefully help. He’s won over course and distance before and we’re looking for a good run.
Aintree next week
We have a few to go to Aintree next week and it’s a meeting that everyone looks forward to. The atmosphere is fantastic and there’s slightly less pressure than at Cheltenham.
Destrier will go for the Maghull Novices’ Chase on the Saturday. He’s won his last two, including a novice chase at Ayr last time out. We missed Cheltenham with him and are looking forward to running him.
Ch’Tibello will run in the Aintree Hurdle on Thursday. It’s going to be quite difficult in handicaps off his mark and although this obviously a step up in grade, the prize money is fantastic which is why we’re running him in this.
We’re not sure if Spiritofthegames will run yet, we might wait for Ayr with him. We are planning to run both Tommy Rapper and Aux Ptit Soins in the three mile handicap hurdle and they’re both working really well, we’re very happy with them.