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Dan Skelton: I am super happy with Blaklion

| 08.04.2022

Ladbrokes ambassador Dan Skelton assesses the prospects of his runners at Aintree on Friday and Saturday, including Blaklion in the Grand National.

Friday

Langer Dan – 1.45

He didn’t get any further than the second hurdle at Cheltenham but he looks fantastic, he was bright when he schooled this morning and hopefully he can go and give us a big run.

It wasn’t his fault what happened, he did nothing wrong, so I hope he can make amends for that unlucky scenario.

Lucky Max – 1.45

He is new to us and I don’t know a great deal about him other than that he runs in these good handicaps and from what I have seen at home, he is in good health and he definitely looks like he belongs at this level.

Allmankind – 3.30

He had a great start to the season when he won around here in October. He put a great deal into that day and that’s probably why he hasn’t been the same since, although he jumped fantastically this morning.  He was all lit up and buzzy like he normally is so hopefully the form is coming back.

I know why he has underperformed on his last two outings. It’s not because the form has disappeared and he’s fallen off the edge of a cliff, it is because he put so much in at the start of the year. The further we get away from that the better he will be in my opinion.

Spiritofthegames – 4.05

A little bit like Marracudja, we have not run over these fences before but we are very happy with him. He runs well in these types of races so all is good.

Duke Of Bronte – 4.40

He is in great form. He was always coming here after Doncaster. The step up in trip is a positive and I think he has a good chance.

Faivoir – 5.15

He has top weight and that won’t be easy. Full stop!

Saturday

Flash The Steel – 1.45

I think the time has come to try three miles. The form just hasn’t been there recently but go back to before he had his injury and you can see that he is well handicapped on that.

Elle Est Belle – 2.25

I have kept her specifically for this race. Two-and-a-half around here is perfect. It is a competitive race but she gets the mares’ allowance and you would have to think she will run well.

Third Time Lucki – 3.00

We kept him away from Cheltenham as I just felt that this track would suit him better off a longer break.

He is in good form at home. The pendulum doesn’t swing to our advantage because we have been beaten by Edwardstone twice now.

I feel that because we missed Cheltenham we have a bit more of a chance of beating him. It gives us a little bit of hope.

Molly Ollys Wishes – 3.35

She gets 7lbs for being a mare. She won a Grade 2 at Ascot and I was delighted with her. That was her big day, she hasn’t run quite as well since on terrible ground but I am happy with her at home.

This feels like it is the end of a long season though and I just got to get out there and see how she is. She doesn’t owe anyone anything. She has been absolutely magnificent and she will be magnificent again next season.

Shan Blue – 4.15

He gets to run off his handicap mark here which couldn’t be adjusted when he was going to win the Charlie Hall because of where he fell.

The last run in the Ryanair Chase didn’t happen at all. He travelled and jumped well and faded turning in. I don’t know if that was because of the track or what but it has happened twice around there.

He is a lightly-raced horse this season and I am happy with him at home. I can’t explain Cheltenham fully but in this race off his mark, you have to think he is a big player.

Blaklion – 5.15

He runs in the Grand National at 13 years of age but he has won two races this year. We are delighted to have gotten into the race.

He will wear a tongue strap for the first time, which he has worn a lot at home, just to see if it will help him get a bit more of a trip. He does stay, but just doesn’t quite stay this trip on previous evidence.

Blaklion, Grand National

We are trying to get him from the back of two out, a bit further up the track before he comes under pressure. It is a massive ask for a horse his age but it is the Grand National and every winner has a story. Maybe it will be a teenager this year!

I am super happy with him and he deserves to be there. If he gives us the thrill he gave us last year when it looked like he was going to win for a moment then we will be delighted

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Author

Andrew McDermott