Champion jump jockey Harry Skelton denied dream end to the season at Sandown

Champion jump jockey Harry Skelton denied dream end to the season after Enrilo demoted from first to third place in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown

  • Skelton experienced mixed fortunes on jump racing’s season-finale at Sandown
  • The 31-year-old was presented with the champion jockey’s trophy for first time
  • But he lost his win on Enrilo after being demoted to third place for interference 

Harry Skelton was crowned champion jump jockey for the first time but endured a bitter-sweet final day of the season at Sandown when losing his win in the bet365 Gold Cup in the stewards’ room.

Officials demoted 7-2 favourite Enrilo, trained by Paul Nicholls, to third place after he suddenly veered left on the run-in and hampered fast-finishing Kitty’s Light, who had no time to recover before passing the finishing line in third place.

The stewards’ decision meant Alan King-trained 12-1 shot Potterman, who was not involved in the interference as he passed the post second, was promoted to first. There seemed little Skelton could do — he had his whip in his left hand — but he was given a four-day careless riding ban. He declined to comment on the incident ahead of discussions with Nicholls about a potential appeal about the stewards’ decision.

Nicholls said: ‘Harry’s done everything right but he did cause interference I suppose. Let’s regroup tomorrow and get an expert to have a little look at it.

‘If there’s grounds for appeal we might, but I want to see it all first. Enrilo is only seven and he’s a proper horse. He’s just green in front. He wasn’t tired as he’s picked up and galloped on again.’

Nicholls still had three winners on the day with Frodon, Greaneteen and Scaramanga. He ended the season with a personal best of 176 wins and a 12th champion trainers’ title.

Skelton has his sights set on defending his title. ‘Being champion jockey is something I’ve always wanted to achieve,’ he said. ‘Not many people get to live out their childhood dream and I’m very lucky I’ve had the chance.’

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