Fergal O’Brien: Enjoying a surge of winners *H&H VIP*

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  • Opinion

    We have had a few more winners recently and were especially pleased with Colin’s Sister in the Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby a couple of weeks ago. She beat some really nice horses and was very impressive — she put in a super run and I’m thrilled.

    Cap Soleil also ran a cracker on her hurdle debut at Newbury last week and I was delighted with Master Dee coming second at Aintree over the weekend. He’s now finished within the top three in all his runs.

    Meanwhile, Strong Glance ran really well to win the bumper at Southwell on Monday last week. We had his dam, Strong Westerner, when

    I first started training. But sadly she broke her pelvis and never ran, so it’s really nice to have her son with us now. He’s from a good family, and one that’s close to our hearts, so he’s one to watch.

    We put in a lot of work up until the horses’ first runs and then ease off a bit when they’re properly fit. We don’t really do anything different throughout the season — it’s good to keep them in a routine, especially feeding-wise. We feed them depending on what work they’re doing, and they’re running well.

    Like father, like son

    I know we talked about Aidan O’Brien’s amazing achievements last time, but I have to mention Joseph’s this week. To send out the winning horse of the Melbourne Cup aged just 24 and to beat his dad is some achievement. He became the youngest winning trainer of the race by saddling Rekindling to victory. It’s great for the sport — to have had so much success as a jockey and now as a trainer at such a young age is incredible.

    Positive moves

    Newbury Racecourse has just opened up a new owners’ and trainers’ facility and it’s superb. We all went there last week and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.

    It’s a positive move for racing, and it’s great to see the owners being looked after — without them the sport doesn’t function. It’s important that racecourses look after people in the industry, too, and it was excellent to see Aintree giving out meal vouchers for staff at the weekend.

    Looking ahead

    There has been a lot of talk about Cue Card recently. I’m not qualified to discuss him, but what I would say is that the Tizzards know the horse better than anyone and will always do the best by him. Paddy Brennan losing the ride, well that’s life. But he showed his mettle riding some good winners for us since. It’s a job and you’ve just got to get on with it.

    We’re looking forward to Cheltenham’s November Meeting at the weekend — it’s always a marvellous meeting — in fact, it’s probably my favourite. It’s a lot of fun, there’s always a great buzz and atmosphere. We have a couple of runners we’re hopeful for, including Alvarado, so fingers crossed for a good one.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 16 November 2017