We ended a memorable season with an impromptu party at the Manor Inn on Saturday to celebrate my eleventh trainers’ championship. As the evening wore on we had several lively renditions of Sweet Caroline and We Are The Champions.
There wasn’t much chance of a lie in on Sunday as Matt Chapman turned up early with cameras from Sky TV before we entertained around four hundred members of the Owners Group who were still on a high after the jaunty success of Getaway Trump and Harry Cobden on the final day of the season at Sandown on Saturday.
Results at Sandown mirrored a stunningly successful campaign for Team Ditcheat with Black Corton completing a double for yard in the Oaksey Chase. He was given a great ride by Bryony Frost on her comeback from a nasty collar bone injury.
Harry and Bryony have played a big part in our success. Both missed several months last summer through injury and have been making up for lost time ever since with Harry passing 100 winners for the season and Bryony crowned Champion Conditional.
It’s fair to say I didn’t give myself any chance of regaining the title and after a quiet summer we had only eight winners by the start of October. But the winners then began to flow, several of our best prospects took a significant step forward and suddenly we were in with a chance of topping the table.
Clan Des Obeaux, Cyrname, Topofthegame and Frodon led the way with a host of younger chasers and hurdlers progressing significantly together with a really exciting bunch of smart bumper horses.
A memorable season included eight winners in a day in February, a visit to the yard by the Queen after Cheltenham and recently reaching the landmark total of 3000 winners.
Our final tally for the season of 135 winners and over £3.3 million prize money is probably the finest achievement by Team Ditcheat given that we have been short of Grade 1 horses for the past three years while steadily rebuilding. So many people have contributed in one way or another to our success and I can’t thank them enough.
Most of our jumpers will be heading out to grass for a well earned holiday in the next week or two once the weather warms up. A handful will be going to the sales as we continue our policy of trying to upgrade the squad by recruiting for the future.
Things will soon be a little quiet for the next couple of months while we improve the facilities before we begin all over again once the horses come back into training early in July in readiness for what I think is the start of the proper jumps season in mid October at Chepstow.