Dan Skelton discusses his Saturday runners at Newbury and Taunton
The weather has been dreadful. First things first, I have to credit all the staff.
They have been absolutely magnificent. Two weeks ago we had a heap of snow and everyone grafted like hell to make it happen.
We thought we weren’t going to see more of it for a month or so and then 10 days later we get more snow, abandoned meetings and things like that. It’s not easy for anybody.
We have backed off horses a little bit now though. We never go too mad through January and it will be the same case again this year.
We will start getting them ready for spring time when the coats start turning. It’s a difficult time of year.
There’s a few that go a bit dull in their coats and you’ve got to remember that they’ve already been in for five- and-a-half months.
A little reset now doesn’t do them any harm and you can have a fruitful spring which is what we are concentrating on.
We are going to have horses to run and horses that are fancied and maintain a competitive level but just not at the same pace that we have done up until now.
I start off this Saturday the Present Ranger in the 12.40 at Newbury.
He ran nicely there last time and I expect him to run nicely again.
I’m not going there thinking he will win but he’s a horse for the future. He wants to be a chaser in a couple of years’ time.
I think we will see a bit of improvement and he might be an each-way chance today.
Shelford is going back over hurdles in the 13.50 at Newbury. He’s just not been that committed over fences.
We’ve fancied him a couple of times and perhaps fences are not bringing out the best in him.
He ran a little below expectations so we will try him back over hurdles with the cheek pieces on again.
He’s got top weight on real heavy ground so that’s not a great positive. He should be competitive each-way though.
We go to Taunton with Must Havea Flutter in the 12.50.
He is looking like a chaser all the time and I thought he would be a horse who would hit the mark a lot earlier than this but maybe he’s just a horse that’s taking a bit of time.
In the 14:00 at Taunton I run Bandsman who is coming off the back of a small injury. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran nicely but at the same time he needs to get his confidence back after a little bang last time.
I have Atlantic Storm in the 15.45. He fell last time, having run desperately the time before so I don’t have much confidence here to be honest!