Skelm chasing back-to-back Flemington wins

Trainer Terry Kelly wishes he had a stable full of horses like Skelm who will chase a maiden stakes race victory at Flemington on Saturday.

Skelm runs in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) and will be racing to replicate his last start victory over 2600m at Flemington on December 18.

On that occasion Skelm was able to dictate from the front, against his usual pattern, a fact that is not lost on Kelly who concedes Saturday’s race is much tougher with a rise in weight and better-quality opposition.

After sacking a couple of young horses recently following poor trials, Skelm is the only horse Kelly has in training on his property that now runs mainly sheep and cattle.

“We’ve scaled right down. There are a few horses agisting, but we’ll keep pottering around hoping for another one like Skelm,” Kelly said.

“He’s been a beauty. A great horse. I wish I had half-a-dozen like him.”

A Godolphin cast-off before he had raced, Skelm has won six of his 39 starts and just over $450,000 in prize money.

Kelly does not see the 2800m of Saturday’s race posing a problem.

He did run fourth in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance in 2020.

Kelly see’s the tempo and whether Skelm can get a break at the right time as being crucial.

“Last start was out of the ordinary for him, but that was how the race panned out and the young fella (Michael Poy) made a good decision in going forward,” Kelly said.

“He didn’t run any different sectionals to what he normally runs, it’s just the others didn’t come to play.

“He didn’t do anything different than what he normally does, except no-one else wanted to lead. He ended up there and dominated the race.

“The horse is in good order, the best he has ever pulled-up, I would say.

“He’s in good form and if he races up to that form on Saturday, he’ll be in the mix.”

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