Pointing will always lose horses and jockeys to National Hunt racing — it’s the nature of the sport — but it doesn’t mean things are going badly. We need to move forwards with a positive attitude.
I have 23 horses in training at Woodway Farm, Oxon, this season, including budding and established talent.
Media attention always helps and there has been plenty since we took Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton under our wing. She is a hard-working and enthusiastic team member with two of Barry Orr’s (Betfair) horses to ride.
There have been some jockey changes at my yard, most notably James Tudor retiring. I inherited James as my stable jockey in 2005; in those 10 years he rode 98 winners for me. My son Joe is now first jockey.
It’s never a struggle finding high-calibre jockeys and I’m always willing to give novice jockeys a chance.
A trainer’s primary aim is to keep horses fit, eating and looking well, running to the line and staying sound. My yard uses comment sheets, which the staff fill in with details of the horse they have ridden, including what work they’ve done and remarks, such as “worked brilliantly” or “dull and hung left”. Then we can act upon them as required.
The second aim is to produce winners. Every win should be celebrated, however big or small — you never know when the next will be.
Ref: Horse & Hound; 17 December 2015