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    Skelton boosts championship prize money haul with Cheltenham winner
Skelton boosts championship prize money haul with Cheltenham winner
Skelton boosts championship prize money haul with Cheltenham winner. Source: attheraces.com

Skelton boosts championship prize money haul with Cheltenham winner

The race for the jump trainers' championship appears to be going all the way to the last day of competition as Dan Skelton pulled further ahead of Paul Nicholls in pursuit of Willie Mullins.

Doyen Quest won the Kingston Stud Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, and Nicholls' Rare Middleton finished close to home in the final Cheltenham Pony Racing Authority Graduates Handicap Hurdle, giving Skelton his 113th victory of the season.

With that victory, Skelton took home a winning sum of £13,007.50, and Nicholls now trails his former assistant by less than £80,000.

Mullins leads the race by about £50,000, and the outcome of the championship will be determined by this weekend's Scottish Grand National meeting in Ayr and the season-ending Sandown match.

When Doyen Quest cleared the last hurdle, he moved inside, but he was two lengths down on the stand-side rail.

Following up his win at Newbury last month, Harry Skelton kicked for home on the six-year-old and stood up to win the race by half a length from Whatsupwithyou at 4-1.

Throughout, Nicholls' Lallygag was noticeable, but after overcoming the last obstacle, she became weaker and finished 12th out of 15 competitors.

With a 3-1 victory, Excelsis Deo proved his preference, winning the Matt Hampson Foundation Silver Trophy Handicap Chase for Harry Fry and Jonathan Burke.

Harry Cobden pulled up the Nicholls-trained Il Ridoto, and Skelton's Sail Away and Our Jet finished well down the field.

In the card's last race, Nicholls recovered some prize money, defeating 13-8 favourite Rare Middleton who was prominent throughout. Our Champion led the run-in, but Tintintin, the quick-witted 11-1 winner, quickly reached the rail and grabbed his throat.

Together with Nicholls' other runner, Wild Max, Skelton's duo A Law Of Her Own and In This World finished out of the money.

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