Snowden yard travelling on an upward trajectory - 2018/2019

The season just gone was the best yet for Jamie Snowden and the team at Folly House. There is absolutely no reason to believe the season just started will not be better again.

Before we look forward, let us look back, and with good reason, for the 2017-18 campaign was one that highlighted the upward trajectory on which the Snowden yard is travelling.

When stumps were pulled in April 2017 Jamie had notched a far from shoddy 25 winners. Fast forward 12 months and the total had increased to 35. Over the same space of time total prize-money rose from £188,782 to £311,854, while a 21 per cent win strike rate was bettered by only five of Britain's top 40 trainers. Even punters had good reason to thank Jamie, given £1 invested on every runner would have yielded a £25.50 profit. For the Snowdenistas this was an extremely enjoyable season.

Yet as one season stops the next one starts. That next one has started well. Winners are already on the board for an operation that now features a brand new barn and equally new staff accommodation.

Every winner is important, not least to the successful owners, but one could forgive Jamie if the victory of Carntop at Worcester on July's final day gave him particular pleasure, given the former Lingfield Derby Trial second was a Royal winner. Stable jockey Gavin Sheehan was riding that day for not only Sir Chips Keswick but also Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. Given Jamie himself enjoyed a hat-trick of wins as a jockey for Her Majesty The Queen aboard First Love, the sight of Carntop capturing a novice hurdle in such prestigious silks can only have been huge thrill.

Carntop is one of many four-legged reasons to be excited as we approach the core part of the campaign.

This time last year Double Treasure was on his way towards winning a novice chase at Cheltenham's October meeting. Following back-to-back victories in June he could now be on his way towards a winning a novice hurdle at the very same fixture. With such versatility, many future options will be open to him.

There is Monbeg Theatre, whose stellar spring yielded valuable handicap hurdles at Cheltenham and Haydock. There is triple novice chase winner Hogan's Height, dual bumper winner Thebannerkingrebel, who should benefit from the wind operation he received after running in the Champion Bumper, and Kalahari Queen, such an excellent Grade 2 second in the mares' novice hurdle series final at Newbury.

There are so many others who could equally be named, including the stable's biggest money earner last term, the white-faced warrior Naranja, who fought gamely to land a handsome pot at Ayr's Scottish Grand National meeting. As Richard Hoiles noted in his commentary, Sean Bowen "squeezed every inch" out of her.

They are all back for more, joined by some exciting young recruits. There is also a prominent new owner in the form of Max McNeill, plus a new pupil assistant trainer, Pippa Glanville, who supports long-term head girl Kate Robinson and Jamie's second in command Ollie Signy. On top all of those there is a new conditional jockey attached to the yard - although in the familiar form of Folly House favourite Page Fuller, last season crowned champion lady amateur for the second year running.

For Fuller a page has turned. So it has for all who love jumps racing. One season has given way to another and new hopes are upon us. Based on what happened last season, the Snowden team can justifiably have high hopes indeed.

Foreword by Lee Mottershead of the Racing Post - September 2018

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