I won’t ever forget where I was when the telephone rang to tell me that Prince Khalid Abdullah was sending us yearlings.
It was December 2015 and I was on the London train on the way to a lunch, talking to a good friend, who happened to be sitting in the same carriage. Despite it being the most momentous news of my career, I couldn’t tell her, because it wasn’t yet public knowledge. I celebrated hard that lunchtime.
Winning the 2019 Britannia Handicap for him was an equally wonderful moment. Royal Ascot means much to every owner, especially the owner breeder, and a thirty runner handicap would not be my first pick to try it either.
His contribution to the sport will last for decades yet, and as somebody put it – if you were asked for his top five horses it is certain that you would rather come up with ten because, it would mean you didn’t have to leave anything out.
Our one hundredth winner of 2020 was Prince Khalid’s Surefire. I couldn’t have trained that total of winners last year, without his backing over the last five years.
We had an extraordinary autumn, and plenty seemed to go right in November and December too.
Two year olds such as Pomelo, Lord Protector, Serena’s Queen, Aleas and Surefire all showed significant promise for next year. Kinross showed why we rated him so highly, in the Listed Hyde Stakes https://www.racingpost.com/results/1079/kempton-aw/2020-11-18/769570 and travels to Dubai this week to run on the 21st in a Group 2. Rock Eagle won well too, and is on target for the All-Weather Marathon final at Easter. Fox Duty Free racked up the hat trick, with an authoritative performance on New Years Eve at Lingfield. He too will go to the All-Weather finals day to run in the mile.