FEARS are growing in the Dan Skelton stable that the top trainer could be stripped of his licence.

The four-time Cheltenham Festival winner is facing a High Court battle after a claim was made against him by former owners.

PADan Skelton is facing legal action from some former owners[/caption]

It’s believed the BHA – who told the owners last year they would take disciplinary action against Skelton – are considering temporarily withdrawing his licence while legal proceedings are ongoing.

And sources close to the yard say Skelton, 36, is preparing for the worst.

There have even been strong rumours his assistant Tom Messenger has completed training modules in case he needs to run the yard in Skelton’s absence — although these have been denied.

The trainer is being taken to court by a syndicate of six owners, who first made a complaint to the BHA back in 2018.

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Their claim surrounds the sale of the horse George Gently, who they bought for £130,000 in 2016 after he had finished second on debut for Skelton.

But he picked up a tendon injury soon after and struggled for form when returning to the track in 2018, with the horse eventually sold on for just £1,800.

The syndicate claim George Gently’s ex-owner David Futter later told them Skelton had a one-third share in the horse and received £42,033 from the original sale.

Skelton denies the allegation and says a £42,033 invoice he sent to Futter was in lieu of unpaid training fees for other horses.


The syndicate lodged a complaint with the BHA and were told racing chiefs intended to charge Skelton with a breach of the trainers’ code of conduct.

But nothing has happened, so the syndicate decided to take legal action.

Skelton told Sun Racing that due to the legal action he was unable to comment.

A BHA spokesperson said: “We do not comment on speculation surrounding investigations or potential investigations.”

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