We ended another very rewarding but somewhat frustrating season at Sandown on Saturday with the fantastic sight of our brilliant stable jockey Harry Cobden deservedly being crowned champion jockey for the first time.

Harry is a big team player, a good man, and has never stopped improving ever since he started riding out for us at the age of fourteen. He gained his first winner for us on Ulck Du Lin at Wincanton in April 2015, when he was sixteen, has kept progressing year after year and has been riding at the peak of his powers all season.
Some of our horses were a bit over the top by the final week of the season and rain on watered ground didn’t help a few of them on Saturday and lots will be finished now and turned out if it ever stops raining or warms up.
Blueking d’Oroux ran a blinder in the Select Hurdle and might just have an entry in France before going out to grass. He is an exciting one for the future and is likely to stay over hurdles next season.
It was good to see Pic D’Orhy parading with all the other stars at Sandown. He had another cracking season, won a Grade 1 and will be back for more in the autumn. The same applies to Ginny’s Destiny. We also have some smart types to look forward to including Caldwell Potter, Kalif du Berlais, Kabral du Mathan and Regents Stroll and many more talented youngsters
Although I missed out on the trainers’ title this time I’m pleased that we had such a good season with 132 winners, more than any other yard in this country. Our strike rate was consistently high at 23% and our horses earned almost £3 million in prize money for their owners.
The persistently wet weather month after month put a dampener on our chances because a lot of our horses like better ground than they encountered this season.
But we have still had a great campaign with a top team of enthusiastic staff, loyal owners and nice horses who will be ready to go again after a summer break. If you look at the statistics over half the horses we had in training won races. How can we be disappointed with those kind of results?
The same team can’t win the Premiership every year and that applies equally to racing. Now it is a case of re-grouping, just like a Premier League club, by having a little bit of a clear out, bringing in some fresh legs to try to bolster the squad and running a handful in the summer before we go again when we get busy in October.
The loss of Paul Barber and the tragedy of Keagan Kirkby made for a difficult time for everyone associated with the yard and I can only praise and thank my team for their thorough professionalism through it all. I also want to thank all our owners for their support this season.