Skelton in no rush to commit to Scilly Isles date for Dawning

Dan Skelton is willing to bide his time before deciding whether Warwick winner Grey Dawning heads to the Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Chase next or goes straight to the Cheltenham Festival.

A drop back in trip for the Sandown Grade One had been mentioned as a potential next stepping stone for the versatile Hampton Novices’ Chase victor, but his handler would like to wait a little longer before deciding if that would be the right thing to do by his likeable charge.

The Grade Two scorer could instead head straight to Prestbury Park where the three-mile Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase has been nominated as the likely port of call at the Festival in March.

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“I’m going to have a think about Grey Dawning,” said Skelton.

“Immediately after the race I thought we would go to Sandown. Whether that is clever or not, I will give it a week to think about.

“I think we would just go for the three-mile race at Cheltenham if we didn’t (go to Sandown), but that’s not me looking to not run.

“I want to run him because he’s a horse who loves racing, but I would only run him if I was really, really certain it was the right thing to do.”

Galia Des Liteaux is being aimed at the Grand National
Galia Des Liteaux is being aimed at the Grand National (Mike Egerton/PA)

Stablemate Galia Des Liteaux was also in action at Warwich, where she was stayed on strongly in vain when second in the Classic Chase.

The classy eight-year-old will now be pointed towards the Randox Grand National, with Skelton following the same route he took to Aintree with Le Milos 12 months ago by stopping off at Kelso’s bet365 Premier Chase in March first.

“Galia Des Liteaux will go for the Listed chase up at Kelso on March 2 before going for the Grand National,” continued Skelton.

“We tried it with Le Milos last year and it didn’t quite come off, but it doesn’t mean we won’t try it again.”

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