Fergal O’Brien already has his mind set on a second century of winners next season, after reaching the three-figure landmark for the first time in the final week of the jumps campaign.
Fittingly, it was Oscar Rose who gave O’Brien that all-important 100th winner at Kempton on Monday evening, as the mare had opened O’Brien’s account from his new base at Ravenswell Farm, near Cheltenham, at Southwell in October 2019.
“One hundred winners in any season is pretty phenomenal, so the fact we lost two months (due to Covid-19 pandeminc) early doors as well makes it all the more special,” he said.
“It’s a great achievement by everyone in the yard. You need everyone to be pulling in the right direction and the last year and a half since we’ve been at Ravenswell we’ve had great people there.
“I put it all down to Ravenswell because it’s a fantastic place to train and we were very lucky to find it.
“It was a big gamble by my landlords Rupert and Nicki Lowe. They invested a lot of money in the facilities, but it’s paid dividends. It’s working very well. It’s a fantastic place to train and everyone likes being here.”
O’Brien recalled the day he bought Oscar Rose for £14,000 as a four-year-old at Doncaster in May 2015.
“We bought her as a store horse,” he went on.
“She was our very first runner out of Ravenswell Farm and our first winner from there. We followed the builders in. There were 10 stables up and she went there at the end of that August from a pre-training yard and then she ran at Southwell. Brief Ambition won the same day and he was our second runner.
“We hit the ground running and, touch wood, we’ve kept going forward ever since.
“We’ve just got to keep going on and reproduce next year. We have to do it the same again. We’re looking forward to that challenge.
“We’ve got to go back to the sales and buy some new horses and replace some of the ones that have done their job and need to move on to new homes. You can’t stand still in this job.
“We’re very privileged to be able to do what we do and I feel so lucky to be involved in jump racing.”