Harry Skelton double sparks huge celebrations from brother at Cheltenham

Dan Skelton jumped for joy as a 38-1 double sparked wild celebrations for his team at Cheltenham races.

The Warwickshire trainer cheered his brother Harry all the way up the hill as West Cork won the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.

It was a piece of planning perfection from the jockey, who put the 11-1 shot forward to the race just three weeks ago.

Instead of going chasing, the champion rider suggested the big handicap for the seven-year-old, who had not run for 631 days.

Fitness was not an issue as the son of Midnight Legend scooped the £56,270 pot by three quarters of a length from Adagio.

Watching the race in front of the stands, the trainer and his assistant Tom Messenger were visibly thrilled by the result.

The stable had earlier won the Grade 2 Shloer Chase with Nube Negra.

Their dream day came just 48 hours after they suffered disappointment when top chasing prospect My Drogo fell with a two-runner race at his mercy.

“This game is definitely not easy, but it’s currently fun!" Dan Skelton said.

"It’s amazing really and professionally I think that’s about as much fun in the last hour that I’ve ever had on a racecourse. It’s been brilliant to have everyone here, the horses have just been magnificent.

“Three weeks ago I decided we’ve got to run Nube Negra here because of the ground and I said to Harry that I couldn’t find one for the Greatwood and he said ‘run West Cork, he wants two miles’.

“We just doubled down on his work over the last three weeks, he worked with Protektorat last week and with Nube Negra this week and I suppose that was a bit of a hint for him running in a handicap after being in with those two.

"It’s just magic, what a day.”

Nube Negra had earlier handsomely overturned Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase form with Put The Kettle On.

The winner is 10-1 (from 20-1) with the sponsors for next year's renewal, after his cosy six-length success.

Harry Skelton said: "We are very lucky we have got a good horse that was bang on for the day.

"It was a bit difficult as he travelled around easily but at the same time I knew Put The Kettle On was not travelling as well as she could but I knew she was a good stayer and I was a bit reluctant to go by but I didn’t want to give Politologue too much rope.

“He travelled very well throughout the race and has seen it out well today. Fair play to Dan and Terry (Spraggett, owner) as they have minded him and looked after him and we have now got a really good horse on our hands."

My Drogo was given a clean bill of health by Dan Skelton after his mishap at the second last in Friday's SSS Super Alloys Novices’ Chase.

“Friday is Friday and today is today. We all have upsets in sport and you’ve just got to roll with the punches," the trainer added.

Trainer Paul Nicholls ended a 12-month wait for a winner at the track – and added two more on the afternoon.

Threeunderthrufive kickstarted the 59-1 treble, which featured Bryony Frost's front running display on Yala Enki and Timeforatune's battling bumper triumph.

Source: Read Full Article