I’ve had no end of calls since Capitaine became my 3000th winner as a trainer in a handicap hurdle at Taunton on Tuesday.
That was a figure beyond my wildest dreams when I started training with eight horses at Ditcheat in the late autumn of 1991.
And I couldn’t have done it without the brilliant team who make up Team Ditcheat. Every one of them has played their part down the years from my brilliant head lad Clifford Baker to the lads and lasses who turn out for work in all weathers and the jockeys who have played a key role.
Together we have scaled heights I scarcely believed was possible with ten championships, four Gold Cups, ten King Georges, ten Tingle Creeks, a Grand National winner and 43 victories at the Cheltenham Festival.
It is quite a landmark to reach 3000 winners. 2960 have been over jumps in Britain, 25 in Eire and four in France plus eleven on the flat.
It all started when Paul Barber gave me the chance to rent his yard at Ditcheat. He quickly became a friend and has backed me all the way ever since and I am thrilled that he was at Taunton to join in the celebrations. Capitaine has not been easy to train. He needed surgery for kissing spines and also had a breathing operation. But he has always had plenty of ability and our perseverance was rewarded on Tuesday.
My daughter Megan played a big part with Capitaine lately, riding him out every day and I was so proud she led him up before the race.
Now, much like a cricketer who has reached a century, I will be taking a fresh guard and kicking on in pursuit of more success with Cheltenham around the corner.