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A handful of winners for Ravenswell

27-July-2022
27-July-2022 11:35
in General
by Peter McNeile

Yesterday turned into a great day at the office for Fergal O'Brien's team, forging ahead in the Trainers' Championship, some £63,000 ahead of his nearest rival, David Pipe. A haul of 5 winners across the two Jumps fixtures at Worcester and Perth reinforced his supremacy at this time of year, and made this week's tally of winners 7 in just 3 days. 

 Scenic Worcester provided a four-timer for Fergal O'Brien

In a golden 100 minutes starting with Worcester's second race at 6pm, the tiny Winner's Enclosure never saw another trainer and rider than the self-effacing O'Brien and his jockey, Paddy Brennan, now one of the senior men in the Weighing Room. And punters were quick to latch on; all bar the last of the four were made favourite.

Bathiva was first up in the Pershore Plum Festival Land O'Plums Handicap Chase, never headed and winning handsomely by 7 1/2l. Another French-bred, Intrepide Sud, followed up in the bumper after dropping out and running on through her field, 8 year old hurdler Accidental Rebel made good in the 2m 4f Handicap Hurdle, whilst Call Me Tara, a five year old daughter of OVerbury Stud's Kayf Tara, notched a virgin triumph in the Maiden Hurdle.

All this, following a satisfactory afternoon at Perth, when Connor Brace and Byzantine Empire made the long journey worthwhile by winning the 2m novices handicap chase. 

Kayf Tara's progeny are widespread in Jump racing, but Overbury Stud was able to announce a replacement for the now-retired standard-bearer for the stud yesterday. Golden Horn, winner of a Derby, Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Arc in 2015, has joined the stud from Dalham Hall to enhance his growing reputation for National Hunt stock alongside Flat breds, with 21 from 22 runners over obstacles winners to date. 

The O'Brien team has made it a mission to build up a healthy lead during the summer months. Since the pandemic, the stable has shot in winners like a scalded cat in the early months of the season. 2021 notched 37 in the first 3 months, whilst 2022 has already notched 43 across both codes. And whilst Paul Nicholls languishes in third place in the Trainers' Championship with a little over £200,000 in prize money, the Ravenswell plan is to hold on to that lead for a little while longer each year. Last year, it was November before he was passed. 

This is all grist to the mill for Jumps fans in the Cotswolds. We are surrounded by successful stables and Gloucestershire has grounds to steal the mantle of the most successful county for the sport from Somerset. 

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