I started my Point- to- Point riding career with a winner on Thisthatandtother at Barbury Castle in January 2009 and I rode a further 55 Point- to- Point winners, 6 Hunter Chase victories and a Hurdle race (Highland Retreat for my grandfather) before deciding to become a Point- to- Point trainer in June 2013.
As an amateur jockey I was fortunate to spend 4 seasons working for Paul Nicholls. This was a wonderful experience and I am grateful to Paul for his support in those early days and for providing me with such a solid grounding for the future.
I spent a further season as a freelance jockey, which gave me great insight as to how other trainers operate. Then in 2013 I started my Point- to- Point training career with 14 horses and secured 14 winners in the 2014 season. We then had 51 winners in both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons – where I had my first Hunter Chase winner Benedictus. I followed this with a further 50 successes in 2016/17 and a second Hunter Chase win with Ask the Weatherman.
Early in my training career I recognized that it is very important not to rush young horses and to get them jumping correctly until the penny has dropped. There are no short cuts to success when it comes to training horses to jump correctly and patience is crucial to get it right. Using both an indoor school and schooling facilities outdoors I expect my horses to be ready for their first public appearance. As a former jockey, I have always tried to use my experience to decide where to enter and run my horses. The inside knowledge to race riding, understanding different courses and what happens in a race is invaluable.
In the short period that I have been training I have experienced the highs and the lows of racing and the two most significant things I have learnt is to expect the unexpected and that you never stop learning about the game.