Team Skelton Celebrate Double Cheltenham Success

Last week’s Cheltenham Festival will live long in the memory for Team Skelton, as not only were the team celebrating two winners during the week but also a first success at Grade 1 level courtesy of Roksana.

Roksana on her way to Grade 1 success at the Cheltenham Festival

Going in the the Festival Team Skelton looked to have assembled a competitive team with some good chances for the week, and it was to great excitement that the team got off the mark on the opening day as Roksana scooted to victory following the unfortunate final-flight exit of Benie Des Dieux in the Grade 1 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. This was a maiden Grade 1 victory for the Dan, Harry and owners Mr & Mrs Faulks alike, with Roksana further enhancing her future broodmare credentials and adding to last season’s success at Grade 2 level.

Ch’tibello returns after winning the County Hurdle on Friday

There were some good performances from the likes of Spiritofthegames, King D’Argent, Captain Chaos & Mohaayed in the ensuing days, however there were euphoric scenes in the winners’ enclosure on Friday as Ch’tibello scored a third win in the County Hurdle in four years for Team Skelton. Following on from the success of Superb Story (2016) & Mohaayed (2018) the former Scottish Champion Hurdle winner skipped clear after the last to score a two length victory over We Have A Dream and secure a dream victory for owners the Can’t Say No Partnership.

There was little time to rest on laurels however with a team of five heading to Uttoxeter for the Midlands Grand National meeting on Saturday, and Dick & Mandy Higgins’ Get On They Yager showed up well to finish third in the four and a quarter mile Listed race. The final runner of the day was Tigeralley, who Harry rode to an eight-length victory in the colours of the Rio Gold Racing Club and in doing so scoring his 150th winners of the campaign.

Savello, seen here winning at Kelso, retires from racing with victory at Southwell

Monday saw the end of an era for Lodge Hill stalwart Savello, who after winning at Southwell was immediately retired from racing. The 13yo has been a great servant to connections during his racing career, not only for current owners Shirley Smith & Sandra Campion for whom he won the Liz Adam Memorial Chase at Kelso & was placed in the Gr2 Schloer Chase as well as the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, but also for former trainer Tony Martin having won the 2014 Grand Annual in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud. Savello will now get a well-deserved retirement from racing, a job which he has always  gone about with the greatest enthusiasm. Thanks for the memories old boy!

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