Welcome To The 200 Club!
Team Skelton celebrated an incredible day on Easter Sunday, not only notching up an incredible across the card six-timer, but also reaching the magic 200 winners for the 2018-19 season.
After a frustratingly blank day at Newton Abbot on Saturday with some placings and drying ground thrwarting the challenge, there was cause for mass celebrations at Market Rasen on Sunday with Montego Grey’s win in the bumper securing a magnificent 200th victory of the season. Winners in the colours of Dick & Mandy Higgins’ bookended the day, with Present Ranger kicking off proceedings in fine style when breaking his duck over hurdles. Shortly afterwards Will Marshall rode the first leg of his double on the day at Plumpton as the Rio Gold Racing Club’s Istimraar returned from a long layoff to take the novices’ handicap chase and maintain momentum.
Back at Market Rasen Mabela ran another nice race to finish second, and Holryale was unlucky when unseating Harry at the 7th fence. Both Terry Warner’s Gortroe Joe & Sue Welch’s Zamparelli were impressive winners of their respective races, and with two left to run and a tally of 198 the atmosphere at the racecourse was electric.
With the Plumpton handicap hurdle due to go off just 5mins before the concluding bumper at Market Rasen, Will Marshall’s second win in the colours of Stirrups Racing aboard Kereman was viewed on the big screen by an enthralled crowd at the Lincolnshire venue. It was then down to Montego Grey to seal the deal and make Dan & Team Skelton the only the second trainer after Martin Pipe to have had 200 winners in a NH season. Making every yard of the running ‘Monty’ made very light work of winning on his third racecourse appearance and looks a very useful sort for the future.
Looking back to April 2013 when Dan & Grace made the move to Warwickshire with just seven horses, it is hard to believe what has been achieved in such a short space of time. None of this would have been possible without the support of jockeys, staff, owners, sponsors, suppliers, farriers, vets, physiotherapists, dentists, family, friends and numerous helpers, not to mention the horses. Thank you to each & every one who has been involved over the last six years, and for all of the kind messages since Sunday…here’s to reaching the next milestone!