Fergal O'Brien targets success with summer team

Fergal O'Brien has set his sights on more winners with his 30-strong summer National Hunt team of equine stars, at some of his favourite courses.

Course & Distance stable tours will run throughout the summer months on selected Fridays to combine the thrill of watching the horses gallop and enjoying the fantastic facilities at the state-of-the-art Ravenswell Farm.

Perth, Newton Abbot and Market Rasen are three of 14 tracks in the UK where O'Brien has at least a 20 per cent strike rate.

"I love summer jumping," he told www.cdhorseracingtours.com.

"It's a huge part of our season. The weather is better so it's easier to train horses.

"Gone are the days when there were two runner races, it's highly competitive now.

"Stratford is one of my favourite courses, they are always doing their best for our owners who often like to enjoy a picnic as part of their day out.

"Uttoxeter is very good, while we have been very lucky at places like Market Rasen and Perth."

A hurdler part-owned by footballing legend Harry Redknapp, Brief Ambition, spearheads the summer squad.

The seven-year-old ran in the Champion Bumper at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival – and opened his account over hurdles in a novice event on May 27.

"He has a lovely handicap mark of 117," said the trainer.

"He desperately wants decent ground and it has been too soft for him on occasions.

"Teqany has been a great horse for us. He'll be going handicap chasing this time. He's very genuine.

"We thought Templepark was going to be our 100th winner and unfortunately he didn't quite get there, he finished second at Kempton.

"He won three races last season for the Kendrick family and we hope the target for him will be the Summer Plate at Market Rasen.

"The regime here really suits him, he doesn't do lots of work and we can see when he's happy in himself.

"Ballyhome may join him in that race and he has done really well. He's at the top of his handicap mark, after a few runs he goes and wins again. He gives his all every time," O'Brien concluded.

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