Back
  • Biography

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.

More postsBack

StableTalk: “He should take plenty of beating, it’s as simple as that”

Saturday

2.20 Stratford – Red Tornado
I didn’t want to run him until the start of March as I wanted to be a novice until at least November. The race has cut up and Warren Greatrex’s runner, For Goodness Sake, is the one to beat, with a rating of 112 and his jockey taking some weight off. Other than that it doesn’t look a deep form race.. Red Torn Ado was a high 80 rated Flat horse who went well with cut in the ground, and he’s been jumping well at home. He should go well, there’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t. Form in the book is worth something though and we are starting out, so you’re taking him on flat form only, but he’s obviously a decent horse given his that form.

4.05 Stratford – Kentucky Star
This horse has obviously had some sort of problem as the only time he ever ran well was when he won. I didn’t know whether to start over two miles or three miles. I didn’t know whether to go straight over fences. Really I’m just on a fact finding mission with him, and to be honest I don’t really know what to expect. We’ll learn a lot from today. He’s running off a high mark of 115 based on one win and the rest of his runs are moderate, so we’ll have to see how he gets on.

4.40 Stratford – Thinger Licht
He won nicely last Sunday. He’s a good old boy, and Bridget gets on well with him and takes 5lbs off his back. He should take plenty of beating, it’s as simple as that. He takes his racing well, so running back within six days isn’t a problem. He did it twice in the spring, and won twice.

5.15 Stratford – Mister Kalanisi
Dan Skelton

This maiden hurdle has cut up a bit. Our horse is getting better. His jumping is only okay. He jumps great at home, but just jumps a bit moderately at the track. In this race he’s got a chance as it has cut right up. Take away One Style’s last run then he’d look a good thing but his run last time was way below his par. We definitely have some sort of chance in this.

2.00 Doncaster – Ulis De Vassey
This race has cut up, and like most of the field we didn’t really want lots of rain, but he has won on heavy in the past. He ran really well last year on soft too when second to Champion Court. A small field will suit him. It’s quite a competitive little race. There aren’t many of them but they all have a chance. I think he’ll run well. I’m not saying he’ll win but I’m sure he’ll run well.

3.10 Doncaster – Yes I Did
She’s in the form of her life and won really well last time at Catterick when giving lumps of weight away. She’s very versatile tactics-wise. You can hold her up, make the running and she jumps well. She’s better left handed than right handed. She’s at the top of the ratings and it looks a great opportunity to line-up and have a crack at a listed race. There are no secrets as the ratings tell the story; they’ve all had a few runs each and everyone can see the form. I think she has a decent chance.

3.15 Kelso – Meet The Legend
Meet_The_Legend

This is about as good a novice hurdle as you will get outside of the festivals. We really like our horse. I know Paul thinks a good bit about his horse Le Prezien and we have a form line with him through Its‘afreebee. If you ignore the last run of Charmix, then he looks a decent horse. The one that could make us all go is Lake View Lad. I was amazed by him last time at Wetherby as I couldn’t believe he beat Walking In The Air; Walking In The Air is a good horse. We went a right good gallop that day and we were both a street clear of the third, and Lake View Lad carried a penalty that day. He could be the one to beat. Having talked about everyone else’s horses, our horse is in good form, we’ve always thought a lot of him. Two miles two furlongs will be right up his street, and he’s won around the track. I wouldn’t be sending him up there if I didn’t think he could win. He travelled well at Newbury, almost too well in the ground and still won.

Sunday

2.00 Huntingdon – Levelling
She ran well at Doncaster. The better ground will help her this time as she got stuck in the tacky ground at Warwick last week but needs to improve to figure. It’s early days for her though

4.30 Huntingdon – Late Night Lily
Lily is a nice horse. She’s very tough, very genuine. She probably contested a hot novice hurdle around Fakenham last time. This trip will be more to her liking and she jumps very well. It’s better ground, she was second over course and distance at Christmas, and I think she has an excellent chance of getting off the mark over hurdles.

5.00 Huntingdon – Kafella
I really like this horse, he’s one you’ll be hearing plenty of in the future. He wouldn’t be the type you’d call a bumper horse but having said that the John Ferguson horse has to give us a stone. That’s a fair ask for any horse. It would be no surprise to see us go well.

Victoria Pendleton

Victoria Pendleton was brilliant at Wincanton absolutely brilliant. What happened at Fakenham was just one of those things. She got bumped. There was video evidence to suggest she got knocked about in the saddle a bit. Victoria Pendleton was brilliant at Wincanton. What happened at Fakenham was just one of those things; she got bumped and there was video evidence to suggest she got knocked about in the saddle a bit.

It was probably one of those things where a lot of riders would come off and would come back and say sorry I shouldn’t have fallen off, but I did. I thought it was completely forgivable especially given her experience. She understands the sport now. She said the other day that it’s full of thrills and spills, and she’s a part of that.

Wincanton

There are a lot of people ready to knock her, and I don’t really understand why. It’s a shame. There are some people saying she’s been gifted this position and maybe she has, but they should remember she’s worked her conkers off in the Velodrome for years and won Gold medals for her country, and has now been offered a sponsorship off the back of that hard work. She was offered the opportunity, she didn’t ask for it, and now that she’s taken on the challenge she’s really enjoying it.

I think everyone should embrace it, and get behind her. After all she’s a celebrated Olympian and in years to come after this challenge, she’ll be interviewed many times and she’ll be asked about her experiences in horse racing. Surely when that inevitably happens we want her to be speaking positively about the support she received and the people in racing, and not negatively about it?

She’s going to go to Cheltenham now I would have thought. Everyone should want her to do well and I really hope she does. She has a chance too and she’s on a very good horse. Remember It is not 100/1 that Pacha Du Polder finishes in the first three or four.

Dan