‘That was special’: Skelton brothers celebrate 1,000 winners together

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  • The Skelton brothers, trainer Dan Skelton and jockey Harry Skelton, are no strangers to multiple winners, having achieved many outstanding successes together in recent years. But their winning double at Haydock Park on Saturday, 25 November, was a particularly memorable one because it was a landmark 1,000th winner for the pair.

    Ten years after Harry rode his first winner for his older brother on Mister Grez at Ffos Las in 2013, the brothers united to record this milestone in the Betfair Exchange Graduation Chase, in which Dan sent out the very exciting Grey Dawning, in only his second start over fences, with Harry in the saddle. They posted a very impressive and special winning performance, coming home well clear of the Willie Mullins-trained Cheltenham Festival winner and Grand National third Gaillard Du Mesnil, ridden by Patrick Mullins.

    “To do that together was special – a red letter day,” Harry told H&H. “It’s a great number but you’re on to the next one, too.

    “Grey Dawning is a horse we’ve always really liked, so it’s nice to see him progressing now and there’s plenty to look forward to with him,” he said of the Flemensfirth six-year-old, owned by Robert Kirkland and bred by Grange Stud.

    Harry Skelton gives Grey Dawning some well deserved pats after winning at Haydock Park

    Harry Skelton gives Grey Dawning some well deserved pats after their landmark success at Haydock Park.

    Dan revealed he had known about the approaching milestone 1,000 winners, but had kept it to himself so as not to put any pressure on his brother – it came down to Dan’s daughter Florence to announce the achievement to her Uncle Harry in the Haydock winner’s enclosure.

    Harry Skelton: “A nice winner for a massive supporter”

    Earlier in the afternoon, the Skelton brothers’ 999th success together had come with Real Stone, a strapping eight-year-old chaser owned and bred by Sue Welch, who with her husband Fred was a great supporter of their father Nick Skelton and bred his Olympic mare Showtime, and many other top-class showjumpers.

    “She’s been a massive supporter of our family for a long time. She’s very much part of the family, so it’s great to get a nice winner for Sue,” said Harry.

    Dan Skelton set up his impressive Warwickshire training establishment in 2013 and has since established himself as one of the country’s leading trainers, sending out six Cheltenham Festival winners. He racked up his 1,000th winner as a trainer back in November 2021, just a month after younger brother Harry, who carries the mantle of stable jockey, had ridden his 1,000th winner in an equally glittering career. Harry was crowned champion jockey in 2021 and has ridden 24 winners already this season after missing the early part of the season with a shoulder injury.

    We’re looking forward to the next 1,000!

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