Exciting Future Ahead for Dan Skelton’s Chaser Grey Dawning - The Evesham Observer

Exciting Future Ahead for Dan Skelton’s Chaser Grey Dawning

The Cheltenham Festival is the next stop for exciting novice chaser Grey Dawning following an excellent opening campaign over fences so far. Trained in Alcester by Dan Skelton, the seven-year-old is set to line up in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase in the biggest meeting of the season.

Grey Dawning was last seen at Warwick Racecourse back in January when he won the Grade Two Hampton Novices’ Chase. He was successful in that race by 14 lengths, justifying why there was so much confidence in him ahead of that 3m contest.

Warwick Winner Represents Skelton’s Best Chance of Festival Winner

Skelton goes into the Cheltenham Festival this year with his strongest team of horses yet for the meeting. Grey Dawning represents his best chance of a winner across the four days at the Gloucestershire racecourse.

After being handed an official rating of 153 following his Warwick success, Grey Dawning is now 7/1 in the betting for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase. Those backing him can pick up one of the leading Cheltenham free bets ahead of the race, such as the “bet £10 and get £40 in free bets” for new customers with SpreadEx and Betfred. Skelton’s novice chaser also has an entry in the Turners’ Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival this year, but the leading trainer is favouring the race over the shorter distance for his horse. Grey Dawning did not lack any pace when he prevailed over 2m5f at Haydock earlier in the season, while he also finished a close second at Cheltenham over 2m4f at the November Meeting.

Fact To File the Leading Challenger to Grey Dawning

Irish Champion Trainer Willie Mullins is expected to have a strong hand at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, including in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase where he will saddle Fact To File.

The Irish horse enhanced his reputation during the Dublin Racing Festival when he landed a Grade One contest, beating stablemate Gaelic Warrior. Last season’s Champion Bumper runner-up was fast-tracked over fences, and he is considered one of the best novice chasers in Ireland.

Possible Gold Cup Contender in the Future

Although the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase will be the primary focus for Skelton with Grey Dawning, he is likely to have the Cheltenham Gold Cup in mind for his horse in the future. Depending on how results go this season, his chaser could be campaigned for the Blue Riband event in 2025.

Skelton has gone close in the Gold Cup before with Grade One winner Protektorat. His horse finished third in the race in 2022, while in 2023, he came home a respectable fifth place. As Grey Dawning is improving with every run, he would be forgiven for dreaming about a maiden triumph in the Cheltenham Festival feature next year.

With the Trainers’ Championship in the UK still up for grabs this season, Skelton will be hoping to add to his prize money tally during the four days of the Cheltenham Festival to close the gap on leader Paul Nicholls.


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