Coral Gold Cup: Le Milos delivers more big-race glory for Skeltons

Sun 27 Nov 2022

Le Milos came out on top for Dan and Harry Skelton in the 2022 Coral Gold Cup at Newbury.

The seven-year-old was making his second start for the stable and was kept handy throughout, jumping well having started as the 9-2 favourite.

Ahead of the second-last he was able to take up the running as his rivals had fallen away, eventually prevailing from a tough battle to the line with the runner-up, David Pipe’s Remastered.

Pipe also saddled third-placed Gericault Roque, with Corach Rambler staying on for fourth.

Le Milos justified the very strong faith of trainer Dan Skelton at Newbury

“We just really fancied him for it, he’d stepped forward so much since Bangor,” Skelton said, referencing the horse’s victory on his stable debut.

“There was definitely some apprehension over the ground, obviously Bangor was very soft but I felt that he’d really stepped forward and I’m glad they put the water on last night.

“There was never any doubt that we were going to run but it just probably helped us a bit.

“From the back of the last I thought Remastered had got us – I’m actually surprised he didn’t as we’d been out there to be gunned down for a while.

“He was so brave for Harry at the last, another stride and we’d have been beaten. If he’d have put one more in then that would have been it, you’d have a different winner.

“It was just a fabulous race, after last weekend I can’t really believe our lucky stars at the moment!

“He was full of himself, his skin was wriggling he felt that well. He was in magical shape and I just thought this could happen.

“The lack of rain was concerning but he is clearly a progressive horse.”

"Just magic" - Harry Skelton on big-race glory at Newbury

Harry Skelton said of the success: “Half way down the back I was squeezing him, just the whole way to keep the bit in his mouth a bit.

“I knew he’d keep finding and galloping, but at the same time I didn’t want to let him off the bridle early. His jumping was brilliant and that’s probably what saved me today.

“He really found for me at the last, only a brave horse would do that. The loose horse (Threeunderthrufive) helped me a bit, when the other horse came to me he stuck his head down a bit further.

“He wasn’t getting by. It’s just magic. Myself and Dan were spoilt being at Paul’s (Nicholls) watching these brilliant races and now we’re winning them.”

There was a sting in the tail for Skelton though, as the rider was given a seven-day suspension and fined £2,900 for using his whip above the permitted level from the second last fence to the line.

Pipe said of his second and third-placed runners: “They both ran career bests, the wind op has obviously done a great job with Remastered and Gericault Roque is only six.

The Grand National could be on the agenda in the future for Gericault Roque, David Pipe tells Lydia Hislop

“They’ve run well on what was probably not their ideal ground. Gericault Roque is in the Welsh National, Remastered will go for all the long distance races now.

“I was not 100 per cent he got that trip but with his wind done, he does get that trip.

“They’ve gone a good gallop, no prisoners taken. Gericault Roque is half-owned by Caroline Tisdale and there’s one race that she’s interested in and that’s the Grand National, so I expect he’ll end up there at some point.”

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