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Dan has worked with horses for his whole life and spent nine years as Assistant Trainer to Champion National Hunt Trainer Paul Nicholls. With that invaluable experience under his belt, he has embarked on his own training career and now has almost 200 winners under his belt, including Willow’s Saviour’s memorable victory in the 2013 Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot. Dan will be providing a unique insight into his horses and their chances exclusively for Coral.

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StableTalk: “I think he can win. He’s in very good form and is a high class horse”

Coral horse racing ambassador Dan Skelton spoke elusively to us regarding his weekend runners at Market Rasen, Ffos Las and Kempton…

“Blue Heron is superior on the ratings”

Bubba N Squeak runs in the 1.05 at Market Rasen. He let himself down the other day. He didn’t try particularly hard at Warwick which is uncharacteristic, so he’s bidding to get back on track here. There is a point-to-point winner and horses in this race that have got flashier form than him so in all reality I just want to get back on track with him. I’m not expecting him to win but there should be a significant improvement from last time as we’ve revved him up a bit at home and got him focused. I hope he runs well, that’s what we are looking for.

L’Aigle Royal runs in the 3.20 and is new to us, as Terry Warner sent him to us earlier this year. He looks a very genuine horse, I really like his attitude, and he jumps nicely. I don’t know how well handicapped he is but he goes there with a chance. He’s on good form at home, he’s fit and he looks great.

Blue Heron is one of Coral ambassador Dan Skelton's Market Rasen rides this Saturday.

Blue Heron is one of Coral ambassador Dan Skelton’s Market Rasen rides this Saturday.

In the 3.55 we have Blue Heron. He’s had a year off and now goes chasing. I have done plenty with him at home, both jumping and exercise, but he’s not one you can go and blast at home so I do think there’s significant improvement in him. You saw that with Value At Risk; I said there would be a lot of improvement in him and there is and this horse I feel is the same. Viens Chercher was second to Welsh Shadow in a Listed race last year so is a very decent opponent for Blue Heron given he’s had a year off. Even though Blue Heron is superior on the ratings you have to be very respectful of Viens Chercher.

Bandsman runs for us in the 4.30. He was second last time and I think he bumped into a nice horse that day, as the winner won a maiden hurdle yesterday very easily. It’s handy that the race has divided as you don’t want too many horses around them, or it literally is like “bumper cars”. If the ground is too soft I won’t run him.

“Two miles around Ffos Las won’t be a problem for Welsh Shadow”

Welsh Shadow is one of Dan's Ffos Las runners on Saturday.

Welsh Shadow is one of Dan’s Ffos Las runners on Saturday.

Over at Ffos Las we run Welsh Shadow in the Welsh Champion Hurdle. I hope he wins; I think he can. He’s in very good form. Two miles around Ffos Las won’t be a problem but obviously he stays very well. I’m glad to see a little rain arriving overnight and into the morning. He’s a high class horse, who won two nice novice hurdles last season before running well at the Cheltenham Festival. This will be his last run before we go chasing.

Sierra Oscar runs in the bumper at 5.20. He was second on his debut for us at Market Rasen. I think he’s a stronger horse now but I don’t think it’s a bad bumper. He’ll have this run and he’ll then go novice hurdling.

“Mister Miyagi wants decent ground”

Mister Miyagi is Dan's main Kempton contender on Sunday.

Mister Miyagi is Dan’s main Kempton contender on Sunday.

On Sunday I run Mister Miyagi at Kempton in the 4.10. I suspect everyone has declared with the expectation that the rain is going to come. If they get a lot of rain and it goes really Good, then all the horses will run. It will be interesting to see if they only get some of the rain forecast how many hold their nerve and run. If it was just good but all over good I would run as Mister Miyagi wants decent ground. I took him out at Kelso because it was good to firm and I didn’t want to run him on that, but I think proper good ground is what he wants. Looking further ahead I’d like to take this horse up in trip. I might run him in this race and then the Yorkshire Hurdle. I know it’s a big step up from two miles to three miles but he ran well over two and a half miles last year. This run may just blow the cobwebs off and away we go. Why not try him a race like that? If he doesn’t stay then we’ll come back in trip, if he does stay then bingo!
Dan

Related

The StableTalk archive has all of Skelton’s exclusive thoughts from past National Hunt meetings.

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