The stylish victory of Sully D’Oc AA at Punchestown on Thursday completed another rewarding season for the yard. We have had a few horses run well at the meeting over the years but he was my first winner in Ireland and I’d like to think there is more to come from him.
We experienced a bit of a roller coaster campaign like so many yards and there was a spell in mid winter when the team were a little out of sorts.
But there were plenty of positives, too, as we made a cracking start with a high profile treble at Ascot on October 31 and ended on a high note with Bob Backus providing our 300th winner in April.
Ascot was one of those days that you dream about. Sully D’Oc AA and Kid Commando were both at their impressive best while Regal Encore once again rolled back the years at the age of twelve with a spirited victory in the £80,000 Sodexo Gold Cup.
He has been a marvellous flagship for the yard and was in the money twice more at Ascot in December and February.
Midnight Tune was another to shine for Potwell Farm. She was a classy mare with conditions in her favour and looked as good as ever in winning a Class 2 Mares’ Chase at Uttoxeter on her final start before heading off to stud.
We recorded two trebles and three doubles in a season that yielded 27 winners, plus one in Ireland, at a strike rate of 20% and I’m sure there would have been several more but for dry weather in the final six weeks that led to unseasonably fast ground.
As I’m not a fan of summer jumping most of our team are already out to grass on holiday.
We have an exciting group of horses for the new season but as usual I will not be in a rush to run them and will wait for decent ground towards the end of October.
It is a bonus that we can call on two hard working young jockeys attached to the yard who continue to improve. Rex Dingle progressed to the point that he rode out his claim while Ben Godfrey made the most of his opportunities, rode 13 winners which included a treble at Fontwell, and is excellent value for his 5lbs claim.
Rachael and I are always trying to improve the facilities at Potwell Farm and looking to the future we have submitted plans to the local council for a new 20 box barn including an office and owners’ room.
This season has been unique due to the impact of the pandemic and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our owners for their patience and support in these exceptional circumstances. I fully understand their frustration at the lack of engagement and I hope that next season we will be back to normal and able to meet up more, both at the stables and on the race course.
Our team here at Potwell have risen to the challenge and proved to be highly adaptable this year – it has not been easy working in the Covid environment both at home and at the racecourse and I would like to thank them for their continual support. We are all looking forward to a return to business as usual and more winners in the season ahead.