HORSE RACING - Skelton brothers celebrate 1,000th winner - The Stratford Observer

HORSE RACING - Skelton brothers celebrate 1,000th winner

Stratford Editorial 28th Nov, 2023 Updated: 30th Nov, 2023   0

BROTHERS Dan Skelton and Harry Skelton have become the first siblings to secure 1,000 winners in British horse racing following victory for Grey Dawning in the Betfair Exchange Graduation Chase at Haydock Park.

The Grade Two-winning hurdler opened his account over fences when going two places better than on his chasing debut at Exeter to complete a double on the day for the Shelfield Green based brothers.

From five fences out, the 2-1 chance galloped on relentlessly to the line to defeat Gaillard Du Mesnil, winner of last season’s WellChild National Hunt Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham by nine-and-a-half lengths.

Dan said: “I’ve been keeping an eye on it. I’ve actually been going racing for the last five days hoping it would happen, but I hadn’t told Harry because I didn’t want to put more pressure on it.

“It definitely hasn’t been done with brothers before.

“I’ve actually had a look back through and Philip Hobbs and Dicky Johnson are the highest ever in the UK (most wins for a trainer/jockey partnership) and we’ve got more than 250 to go to match them!”

As for Grey Dawning, a first start at Cheltenham beckons next ahead of a return to Grade Two level, and a step back up to three miles, in the Hampton Novices’ Chase at Warwick in January.

Dan added: “He’s a horse we had high aspirations for last year as a novice hurdler and he tripped up at Aintree and it wasn’t meant to be in a Grade One so here we are going chasing, which is his real job, and he’s going the right way.

“He will probably go to the Christmas Meeting at Cheltenham next for an extended two and a half mile novices’ chase before going to Warwick on January 13th for the Hampton Novices’ Chase.”

The Grade One winning trainer intends to work back from the Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree in the spring with Real Stone, who initiated the brothers brace when cruising to glory by 20 lengths in the Handicap Chase.

Dan said of the successful 15-8 favourite: “The race fell apart dramatically with the two that dropped out being pretty good horses on their day.

“He is a horse that is probably going to have a few good days in the sun as he has not had a lot of racing as a youngster and hopefully he can be productive in the latter part of his career.

“He needs to go left-handed and we’ll keep an eye on the Red Rum at Aintree in the spring.”

There was to be no back-to-back victories for stablemate Protektorat in the feature Betfair Chase after the eight-year-old finished last of the four runners in the Grade One event.


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