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About Dan:

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: “The step up to 3m is perfect. The ground will be ideal”

Dan Skelton takes us through his Friday Aintree runners and talks getting 100 winners this season

We picked up our 100th winner of the season yesterday with Listen To The Man who it looks like we have been getting it wrong with. She clearly has bundles of speed but we did not know that until we tried her over the shorter distance. It was a real good effort from her to concede so much weight to Innocent Girl and still win.

The ton is really important to us. I think we are around 10 days ahead of when we achieved the milestone last season. Just because we have the 100 though it doesn’t mean we are going to pack up now. Harry needs 12 more to get his century so we will be pushing hard for that. Our horses are running well but it won’t be easy. We need a bit more rain otherwise the ground is going to be too fast to keep running our horses.

I really love this Aintree meeting. Everybody puts a big expectation on Cheltenham and at the end of the day the Irish trainers outshone us this year. There are a lot of trainers over here who will want to do well at Aintree after a disappointing Cheltenham and we are one of them. There is a much different atmosphere here and we love it. We have made Cheltenham into something so huge now in this sport which is great. However, we have had 100 winners this season so just because we did not do well there does not make it into a bad campaign.

We have three runners tomorrow on the card.

1.40 Aintree- North Hill Harvey

North Hill Harvey

North Hill Harvey was just too keen at Cheltenham. We rode him the way he needed to be ridden but there was not much of a gallop. I have always thought that this 2m4f trip should be well in his grips. Tomorrow’s race looks to have cut up a bit in terms of competitiveness. He is top of the handicap so has a big task but He should run well.

2.50 Aintree- Virgilio

This is a massive ask for Virgilio who will be taking on Might Bite and Whisper. In reality if he is third to those top horses, that is probably as much as we can expect given clear rounds all round. Of course he did not run at Cheltenham where the other two horses did. Sometimes you can miss Cheltenham and reap the benefit of it. We will give it a go and hope for the best.

4.40 Aintree- Get On The Yager

This is another very difficult Grade One. Get On The Yager has won three hurdle races this season. He was fourth in a Grade Two contest at Warwick where he beaten by the Neptune winner Willoughby Court. The step up to 3m is perfect. The ground will be ideal. In reality he is rated 135 and there are others in the race which are rated as high as 157. We know it is going to be hard on numbers.

Dan

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