What’s on ‘Horizon?’ why it’s the ‘good ship Skelton!’

Horizon D’Ainay rates a nap for the Maiden Hurdle over two miles of ‘good to soft’ Southwell this afternoon; nothing succeeds more than success and I’m happy to go along for an exciting ride on the ‘Good Ship Skelton’ which is ripping through waters as Harry continues his relentless pursuit of Barry Hughes in the NH Jockeys’ Championship.

Hughes was forced to surrender his proud status last season, in the face of a blitz from Skelton, currently a long way behind his rival but accelerating at a rate of knots now his brother Dan continues to supply winners here, there and everywhere; to think there famous father Nick made his money out of being a fantastic competitor in the show-jumping rings before investing in his ‘workaholic’ sons.

Nick must be very proud!

Dan let it be known his horses weren’t quite ready a few weeks ago when Horizon D’Ainay finished a creditable second to Peejaybee in a similar race at Market Rasen, staying on strongly in the closing stages without troubling the useful winner. If I recall this signalled the Skelton revival in my book and I’ve been proved right because the ‘winning machine’ is now in top gear and punters are benefitting.

On the time-handicap Horizon D’Ainay has no serious rival judged on only his second career outing and the mini-fences in use at the Nottinghamshire venue should suit the Network gelding ideally. Long term is usually steeplechasing for this particular quality operation.

Harry is vastly superior on the computer jockeys list, as I mentioned at the start of last season, and watching him Sam Twiston-Davies, Bryony Frost and Daryl Jacob ply their trades is a joy to behold.

Earlier Callisto’s King represents the racing family Skelton in the NH Flat Race and though forecast Ferzgal O’Brien-trained favourite Royal Mogul is superior on my unique ‘bumper’ ratings I’ll side, each-way with the progressive Imperial Monarch gelding, an encouraging ‘quiet’ fourth at Ffos Las during the aforementioned fallow period eight weeks ago.

Finally yet another stable companion, Kayf Hernando, should not be opposed without good reason in the concluding NH Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles; get in there Harry!  

Selections, Southwell, 1.20 Callisto’s King (e.w); 1.55 Horizon D’Ainay; 2.55 Kayf Hernando (e.w). 

 Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019