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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: “He will run well and I do think he’s decent”

I was very happy with Baradari last week at Haydock. We’d planned out that race and are just delighted it paid off. You have to plan those races out you can’t just fall upon them. I’ve entered him in the Grade 1 three mile race over Christmas at Leopardstown. At the moment the two mile hurdlers are probably better in Ireland than in England, the three mile chasers there isn’t that much between them, and the two mile chasers are probably better in England with the big exception of Un De Sceaux.

I just feel on balance the three mile hurdlers in England are better than their counterparts in Ireland so it’s worth having a go. There isn’t a Grade 2 three mile race in England coming up, and so the only other option is the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle. He could run an improved race in the Long Walk and still just finish third, so I think we’ll end up heading to Ireland. The staying division is very open this year.

Horse Racing - The Showcase - Day One - Cheltenham Racecourse

I was very pleased with Mister Miyagi’s win on Thursday. We’d missed a race at Cheltenham because of the soft ground, but good to soft is fine for him. He won’t now be seen out until the spring. I will probably run him in something like The Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton, before looking at the Cheltenham Festival. He will get the entry in The Supreme Novices Hurdle. I wouldn’t bother with any other race there.

Value At Risk was a disaster. He’s done loads of schooling at home. We were very happy with him. He jumped the first like he was invincible and that was probably the worst thing he could do as he went down to the second thinking this is easy. He nudged the second and just tipped over. He’s a little bit sore as you’d expect when a big horse hits the floor. So it will take a couple of days to be properly right and then we’ll pick back up and crack on again.

12.50 Doncaster – Stage One
He was a point to point winner but we’re starting at this trip because he’s shown a bit of pace. He’s by a nice sire and got a high rating for his point to point form. This will tell us where we’re going. He jumps very well. The horse of Kim Bailey’s, Ascotdeux Nellerie, looks a decent horse, so I’ve got respect for him.

1.20 Doncaster – Adrakhan
He ran well at Cheltenham. He just got a bit left on the bend but to be fair he did then stay on up the hill. This race popped up on his radar a little bit late but it’s cut up a little bit. It’s a competitive looking race without looking particularly tough. I think this flatter track will help him and he should run well.

Dan Skelton Stable Tour

3.05 Doncaster – The Last Bar
She’s new to us. She jumps really well. She really is an exceptional jumper and to be fair that’s not my doing, the guys who bred her and own her did a lot of jumping with her. I don’t know how good she is, or what to expect. She was third in a bumper but it was bad ground that day. I will be a lot wiser tomorrow. She’s fit and she jumps, but apart from that I don’t know what’s coming. But she’s ready to debut.

3.40 Doncaster – Kafella
He’s a lovely great big grey horse by Kayf Tara. He’s a jumper for the future. He will run well and I do think he’s decent, but he’s not one of these flat horses that often run in these bumpers that are revved up to the minute. He has taken a different route from most as he was in a pre-training yard as a two year old, and because he’s so forward we thought there was little point in backing off him and restarting in the spring, as that wouldn’t be fair on him. We missed a race last week because of the bad ground at Haydock but there is lovely ground at Doncaster. He will run well but I don’t expect him to beat some of the more revved up horses in the race.

1.00 Leicester – Knockgraffon
He’s a nice horse and the form of his race at Liverpool is working out well. I have a lot of respect for Onefitzall however who loves soft ground and looks like a very good horse.

1.30 Leicester – Calculated Risk
CALCULATED RISK at Haydock 22-11-14.

He drops into a seller. It’s his second run for us but he’s struggling with the handicapper quite seriously so hence we’ve entered him in this race.

I’ll be watching the Hennessy from Doncaster and I do think Saphir De Rheu is the potential Gold Cup winner in the field if there is one. Having said that Bob’s Worth is a previous winner of a Gold Cup but with the greatest respect to him his best days are behind him. That doesn’t mean he can’t win off his current mark because he’s been let in off a nice weight. I do think Saphir Du Rheu will win but have a lot of respect for a couple of the others. I think The Druid’s Nephew will run well for example.

All the best
Dan