Dan Skelton Bidding for Maiden Trainers’ Championship - The Solihull Observer

Dan Skelton Bidding for Maiden Trainers’ Championship

Solihull Editorial 28th Mar, 2024   0

Local trainer Dan Skelton has put himself in contention for the 2023/24 British Trainers’ Championship following an excellent Cheltenham Festival. The prize money accumulated at that four-day meeting helped him jump to the top of the standings.

 


Skelton has yet to win a Trainers’ Championship since picking up his licence in 2011 but with over £2.5 million in prize money already this season, he will surely be dreaming of lifting the trophy at the end of April.

Big Winners at Cheltenham Festival

The Midlands-based trainer had four winners at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, his best tally at the leading National Hunt meeting of the season. He saddled Langer Dan, Unexpected Party, Protektorat and Grey Dawning to victory at Prestbury Park.

Some of those Cheltenham winners will feature again before the season is over, including at Aintree in April. Protektorat, who is 12/1 for those placing horse bets online on him to defend his crown in the Ryanair Chase in 2025, is likely to line up in the Grade One Aintree Bowl. That is one of the most lucrative races across the three days in Liverpool.

 

Grey Dawning proved in the Turners’ Novices’ Chase that he is one of the most exciting horses in Skelton’s yard. His trainer is already considered next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup for his talented novice.

Langer Dan and Unexpected Party both won competitive handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival and showed how well Skelton’s stable is running in the final stages of the season.

Grand National

With £500,000 in prize money to the winner, the Grand National can often determine which way the Trainers’ Championship goes in a season. Skelton has two runners entered in the marathon contest and both horses are likely to be leading contenders should they line up at the Merseyside racecourse.

Latenightpass is guaranteed a run at Aintree as she is inside the top 34 horses in the weights. The 11-year-old is one of the few runners in the entries that has had success over the Grand National fences. She won the Foxhunters’ Chase in 2022. The mare has also featured three times around the course.

Skelton will be hoping Galia Des Liteaux can also make it into the final field of 34 runners on the day of the race. She has been victorious at Market Rasen this season and finished a close second in the Wigley Group Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick. The eight-year-old will have one of the lowest weight allocations if declared.

Paul Nicholls Unlikely to Give Up Title Without a Fight

As a 14-time winner of the Trainers’ Championship, Paul Nicholls has dominated British Jumps racing for the past couple of decades. The defending champion has a strong stable once again this year, so he will be doing all he can to jump above Skelton in the final weeks of the campaign.

Nicholls has entered Threeunderthrufive in the Grand National, and he is likely to have lots of runners over three days at Aintree, including in the Grade One races. The Ditcheat trainer has a larger stable than Skelton and it would be no surprise to see him call upon many of his top stars to help him to a 15th title.

The 2023/24 British Trainers’ Championship ends on Saturday, 27th April on what is the final National Hunt meeting of the season.

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