Dan Skelton defends brother Harry after dramatic fall on Shan Blue

Dan Skelton has blasted as “ridiculous” criticism of his champion jockey brother Harry in the wake of Shan Blue’s dramatic fall at Wetherby on Saturday.

Having swept to the front on the home turn, the seven-year-old held a 20-length lead when taking a heavy fall at the third-last fence of the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase won by Fusil Raffles.

Some observers felt his rider’s tactics had played a part in Shan Blue’s departure, but the son of Shantou's trainer said: “Harry got some stick for that move from people who don't know. It’s ridiculous.

“I've watched it back again and again and again and, ultimately, we know plenty about jumping – showjumping, racing – we've done it all our lives.

"The move was in the plan. That’s what we were going to do – we were going to turn into the straight, just like we did in the novice chase last year.

"He was going as quick four out as he was at three out, and four out was no problem.

"Harry was waiting for the next stride, which I thought was the correct thing to do, and Shan Blue just came out of his hands. What happened happened.

"It's just one of those things and you've got to move on.”

The mishap took place too far out for the handicapper to put Shan Blue up in the weights, so connections will give “maximum consideration” to a tilt at the three-and-a-quarter-mile Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury – for which the bay is now the 8-1 favourite – on November 27.

“Yesterday, I was hoping to do what he did – stand up – win the race and go for the King George,” added the Alcester trainer.

“So you have got to re-assess – sometimes you are presented with situations where you have got a big decision to make and we're giving the ‘Ladbroke’ maximum consideration.”

“He's a seven-year-old – next year he's eight and he isn’t going to be any less of a horse next year.”

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