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Horse Racing profile: Dan Skelton

Dan Skelton has established himself amongst Britain's finest National Hunt trainers in the last few years, claiming some notable victories at the biggest meetings across the racing calendar.

The former assistant to Paul Nicholls has formed a strong alliance with his brother Harry - former champion jockey and the man charged with steering the leading hopes of Team Skelton.

The Warwickshire-based trainer has been operating on his own since 2013 and his notable successes during that time include Roksana's victory in the Grade 1 David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019.

Who is Dan Skelton?

Dan Skelton comes from a family with an impressive sporting pedigree, with his father Nick having claimed Olympic gold medals in Equestrian at both the London Games in 2012 and in Rio de Janeiro four years later.

Younger brother Harry is also an accomplished rider, being crowned British Champion Jump Jockey for the 2020/21 season. Harry is married to another National Hunt jockey in Bridget Andrews.

Having previously worked as an assistant to Paul Nicholls, Dan Skelton established his own team in 2013 based across two yards in the Warwickshire countryside at Lodge Hill and Badbury Hill Barn - where he has been able to nurture many successful horses over the past decade.

Dan is married to wife Grace, who helps run the business side of affairs for his equine operations.

Who is Dan Skelton's stable jockey?

Younger brother Harry is the established stable jockey for Team Skelton and was in the saddle when Roksana claimed victory in the Mares' Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

Harry has also ridden Superb Story and Ch'tibello to victory in his brother's colours in the County Handicap at the Prestbury Park showpiece, while in 2023 the brothers teamed up again to land the Coral Cup with Langer Dan.

There is no doubting the star quality Harry possesses as a jockey, as he was British Champion Jump Jockey in 2021 after riding 152 runners that season, many of which were trained by his brother.

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How many winners has Dan Skelton had in the Cheltenham Festival?

Dan Skelton has trained six winners at the Cheltenham Festival over the years, with two of those successes coming in 2023 via Faivoir in the County Handicap Hurdle and Langer Dan in the Coral Cup.

The County Handicap Hurdle has been the most successful race at The Festival for Team Skelton, as they have won the handicap four times, with Faivoir's triumph coming off the back of the victories for Superb Story (2016), Mohaayed (2018) and Ch'tibello (2019).

Bridget Andrews was on board as Faivoir clams the Cotswolds prize in 2023.

Team Skelton's other Cheltenham success came in the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle with Roksana in 2019 when she cashed in after odds-on favourite Benie Des Dieux crashed out at the final flight in the hands of Ruby Walsh when they were leading the race.

Dan Skelton's runners to watch in 2023/24?

Protektorat has finished third and fifth at the last two editions of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and is one of the standout horses from the Skelton yard.

He won the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock last season and could well have that mid-winter target once more come November.

Le Milos won the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury last season and signed off by finishing tenth in the Grand National at Aintree. He's still just eight-years-old and is a 33/1 chance to land the Aintree marathon in 2024.

Promising mare Galia Des Liteaux was fourth in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree won so impressively by Gerri Colombe for Gordon Elliott.

She won twice over fences as a novice in the season just gone and further progress is likely when she returns from her summer recess.

The Mares' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next spring could be a long-term aim for her as the Skelton operation continue to make their mark at the top level of National Hunt racing.

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