Victories by Kupatana and Saintemilion over the weekend extended our score to 117 in what is proving to be a tremendously rewarding season for Team Ditcheat.
Kupatana was given a confident, relaxed ride by Sean Bowen from the front at Kelso on Saturday and hardly knew she’d had a race. She is on course for a Mares Novice Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in mid April.
On Sunday I was thrilled to see Harry Cobden reach his century of winners on Saintemilion at Exeter. That is quite an achievement for a highly talented young jockey when you consider he missed several months of the campaign with a broken neck. Harry is getting better and better with experience and continues to reward my faith in appointing him stable jockey at such a young age.
Bryony Frost has been a star for us, too, and my priority when she returns from a broken collar bone is to help provide her with the winner that will take her to fifty for the season. Given that Harry and Bryony have each missed a chunk of the season with injuries they have done incredibly well to ride 149 winners between them. I’m proud of them both.
We will be relatively quiet this week before going flat out again from next Sunday at the start of a massive final month of the campaign. I was amused to see Nicky Henderson suggesting on Saturday that he has given up hope of beating me in our duel for the trainers’ title. I don’t believe a word of it and am taking what he said with a pinch of salt because I know Nicky will be sending a really strong squad of horses to Aintree including Buveur D’Air, Santini and maybe Altior and will also be well represented at Cheltenham, Ayr and Sandown. Of course it is an advantage to be in pole position with a handy lead of over £420,000. But there is a long way to go before we can start celebrating and I am not taking anything for granted. So we will be doing what we’ve done all season, driving on and chipping away, having plenty of runners and hoping to get to 150 winners by the final day April 27.