Building for an even better season- 2017/2018

Prize-money nudging the £200,000 mark and 25 winners meant last term goes down as Jamie Snowden's most successful, but there is no hint of resting on those laurels at Folly House as the ambitious trainer and his wife Lucy embark on a campaign they are determined will be even better.

A few too many seconds - 37 - prevented last season from being an "exceptional one", according to Jamie, so converting those into winners is among the main aims for 2017-18, as is finding a standout horse to make the headlines just like Present View did when winning the novice handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014.

A busy summer wheeling and dealing in the transfer market has resulted in some exciting signings and 45 horses to go war with - up from 35 last year - and containing a handful thought capable of achieving the Cheltenham dream once more.

The chief candidate to fill the vacancy of stable star is the dual bumper winner and Champion Bumper sixth Dans Le Vent, who had previously finished third in a Listed contest at Newbury.

A lovely prospect, he has grown and strengthened over the summer and shows plenty of speed, so there is hope he will develop into a high-class novice hurdler over two miles, while Double Treasure, who runs in the Present View colours, should be a force in handicap chases on a sound surface if benefiting from a pre-season wind operation.

Future Gilded is another handicap chaser Jamie is looking forward to, albeit over staying trips. Fences, three miles and cut in the ground should help Three Ways come into his own as he enters his novice chase season, while that route is also open to Champagne James, a 2016 arrival from Ted Walsh's who went off as the joint-third favourite for the Irish Grand National two years ago.  A pastern injury kept him on the sidelines last term, but this talented type is back and has the rating to make a splash in some Saturday handicaps, despite being a novice.

Fact of the Matter has long been thought of as a Grand National prospect and is building into a type who has a big staying handicap in him, and Adrrastos looks a novice chaser who could go to the top.

The return of Monbeg Theatre, who has some smart novice hurdling form on his CV, is also keenly awaited, which also applies to the luckless Buche De Noel, off since April 2016. She has bags of class and will be aimed at the lucrative mares' chase series.

Among the point-to-point recruits are Kalahari Queen, who is a "smashing mare with size and scope", Grange Ranger and Scorpion Sid, who was quite liked by the shrewd Million in Mind operation before being snapped up by Jamie and respected bloodstock agent Tom Malone - whose purchases include Grand National hero One For Arthur, last year's Hennessy Gold Cup winner Native River and Dodging Bullets, who won the 2015 Champion Chase. Bound for novice hurdling, Scorpion Sid is a proper winter horse with a fine future over fences.

Using the best available jockey was a policy to serve Jamie well last season and the likes of Aidan Coleman, Gavin Sheehan, Sam Twiston-Davies and James Davies will be backed up Will Featherstone and Page Fuller, crowned the leading lady amateur jockey in the spring.

Her success was another proud moment for the yard and has led to the recruitment of a couple of "excellent" young riders eager to emulate her achievements.

The team will once again be led by head girl Kate Robinson, while Ollie Signy assumes outright assistant trainer duties after stable stalwart James Ward left for a City job in London.

It is good luck to him and all of the owners in advance of the forthcoming campaign, which will hopefully be one worth savouring.

Foreword from James Burn of the Racing Post - September 2017

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