Fergal O'Brien has had a sterling season in his first year at his new yard and no one knows what he could of achieved if the national hunt season had not had been cut short due to the Coronavirus but the trainer is still over the moon after enjoying a record-breaking term.
Like the majority of jumps trainers, jockeys and owners during this difficult time, they will be thinking what could have been for the back end of their seasons but O'Brien is a handler who is looking forward and not backward.
The Irishman gained three more winners than his previous best season with 63 overall for the year and next season he is looking to go better than that.
O’Brien said: “It is a great achievement considering we have moved yards this season from Naunton to Ravenswell Farm. It was lovely to end the season with a couple of winners, at Kelso with Proper Ticket and with Global Fame at Wetherby, before the season was stopped.
“I’m very much a glass half full man and I would have been devastated if we had got to 60, which was our previous best, then the season had stopped.
“Who knows what we would have got to, but we got to 63 and that was better than our previous best total, while there was a lot more consistency this year.”
The likeable trainer is not really known for having a stand out horse within his yard but like many handlers has plenty of exceptional talents that will only maker him stronger next season but as for the one just gone he has a stand out moment.
He said: “The highlight was having the treble at Cheltenham in October. We had such a hard few months leading up to that, with trying to move the horses and putting the new gallop down.
“To turn up and have three winners on the first day back at Cheltenham was unreal.
“There may have been no one particular standout horse and no Cheltenham Festival winner, but that day was pretty special.”
O'Brien puts much of his success down to him up-routing and moving to a larger yard this season rom Naunton to Ravenswell Farm.
He added:"I’m delighted with what we have at Ravenswell Farm and if you were a trainer looking for somewhere to go, this would be it.
“We have a four-furlong uphill gallop and a furlong-and-a-half schooling strip and we plan to add a three-furlong round gallop in the spring which is another good thing to have on side.
“The staff have been so much on board with the transition and it has helped revive some of the horses like Perfect Candidate and Gino Trail, who has recently come to us.”