Horse racing is by its nature a game of highs and lows. Right now, as with most of society, we are experiencing quite a serious low due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and Racing in Britain has been drawn to a halt. If we go back only a few weeks, BetVictor Brand Ambassador Jamie Snowden was certainly on a high. Prior to the Cheltenham Festival, Folly House had smashed all previous records for the full season by knocking in 46 winners with 8 weeks of the jumps campaign still to go. Jamie reflects on what a great season it has been, as well as – despite the obvious challenges ahead – looking forward with optimism on what’s to come, exclusively for our BetVictor Blog.
It does seem very strange that last week we were racing at the Cheltenham Festival, but events have moved so fast that on Tuesday we were racing ‘behind closed doors’ and by Wednesday every race meeting in Britain was suspended until the end of April owing to the coronavirus.
It’s been a rapidly changing landscape, almost happening overnight, and it’s taken a bit of time for our owners and staff to take it all in.
Racing is a tight knit community. It’s a traditional sport and by nature we are made of tough stuff. We just have to pull together, take on board the advice from the Government & BHA and work accordingly.
Jamie Snowden On The Season So Far
I am thrilled that once again we have bettered our previous best season to end on 46 winners (from our 50-horse yard) with a total of just shy of £380,000. That came at a strike rate of 22%, and there were only two trainers inside the top 25 with a better strike rate. Our winner to runner ratio was an impressive 36%.
Seasons stats: 46 winners (from 50 horse yard); total of just shy of £380k; Strike rate of 22% (only 2 trainers in top 25 with a better strike rate) Winner:Runner ratio an impressive 36%; all with 6 weeks of season cut short #coronavirus stay healthy #healthiswealth @BetVictor pic.twitter.com/DuarXlQoeE
— Jamie Snowden (@jamiesnowden) March 20, 2020
Listed wins supplied by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s Pacify and Thebannerkingrebel and a victory over the Grand National fences at Aintree courtesy of Hogan’s Height were some of the many highlights. However, it was a shame the season was cut short so we missed out on the opportunity to see Hogan’s Height in the Grand National, Adrrastos in the Topham, and Thebannerkingrebel seeking a Grade 1 victory at Aintree. We now have to battle through this period of uncertainty, and hopefully come out fighting stronger than ever. It’ll be a tough and strange couple of months, but we have a wonderful team of owners, horses, staff and jockeys so I feel positive that we can move into next season in a strong position from which to build on what has been an incredible season.
Having had a few trials and tribulations with some of the team heading into the Cheltenham Festival, we decided to wait with some of them to go to Aintree instead, which we thought was sensible but in hindsight the coronavirus put a stop to that! So, we only took three to Cheltenham last week although that soon became two as we pulled Fact of the Matter out of the cross-country race when we saw how deep the ground was there. Thomas Macdonagh won three hurdle races prior to Christmas and he ran well to be mid division in the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle, and will be a smashing novice chaser next season. Whilst, Kiltealy Briggs was in the process of running a huge race in the Albert Bartlett until he made a terrible blunder at the 2nd last flight and that knocked him out of the race. Poor chap ended up in hospital all week afterwards having come down with colic. He’ll have a long holiday now and again he’ll make up into a cracking novice chaser next season.
BetVictor would like to send our very best wishes to all of our customers during this tough time not only for sports, but for society as a whole.