Fergal O’Brien stable tour for the new National Hunt season

Fergal O'Brien has had more winners than any other trainer in the UK this season.

The Gloucestershire trainer led the championship throughout September until last weekend, when Paul Nicholls' success at Chepstow helped him take the number one spot.

O'Brien has 39 victories on the board for 2020/21 – and his yard at Ravenswell Farm near Cheltenham has blossomed from its new beginnings.

"It is tough times and for us to have had 38 winners at this time of the year having missed two months of the season – we can’t really believe it ourselves," he said.

Unibet ambassador O'Brien talks through some of his team for the weeks and months ahead :

Hurricane Harvey

We went to Uttoxeter at the beginning of this month thinking if we can get round in the first three or four, I'd be absolutely delighted. Conor (Brace) gave him a fantastic ride. I couldn't have been happier the way the horse travelled and jumped. He may go to Cheltenham for the three miler at the end of October.

Champagne Well

He was running a really good race at Cheltenham last year in the Coral Cup, Brian Hughes gave him a lovely ride. He missed the third last and that put the end to his race. Whether he was getting tired towards home, I don't know. He is really exciting and we are looking forward to him going over fences. He has always looked like he would make a better chaser then a hurdler.

Petite Power

Petite Power has been a fantastic horse for us. He gave Liam Harrison his first Cheltenham winner last year after being off for two years. He is up a bit in the weights now, I think we have got the Durham National pencilled in for him.

Jarveys Plate

Jarveys Plate was very disappointing at Perth on his seasonal reappearance. We went to Perth thinking we'd be very competitive, and we were beaten a long way out. He's back in one piece and we'll find something else for him again soon.

Imperial Alcazar

He's a beautiful horse, so laid back, so straightforward, he is very easy to train. He has got a great syndicate of owners, Imperial Racing, who have been a fantastic supporter of mine. I hope he turns out to be as good as we all hope he is. He has done everything we wanted him to do – he won at Aintree last year and then won a nice race beating a horse of the Noel Fehily Partnership, Muckamore, at Leicester, who came out and won afterwards.

He will go novice chasing. I'm not really sure where we will go yet but he will be one to look forward to. We deliberately avoided Cheltenham because we thought we would go to Aintree, a flat track. He'd already won around there and we thought we'd go there nice and fresh, but it wasn't to be. That's life and we're delighted to have him back, he looks so well. Kevin Ross has done a good job pre-training.

Totterdown

He has been great this year, he has settled into Ravenswell Farm and he will start off either at Market Rasen or Exeter. He is very exciting. He is late to the chasing game, but Paddy [Brennan] thinks it'll be a great help to him. He didn't do anything wrong for us last year, he won first time out and then he was a very good third at Sandown. He’s a nice horse to go novice chasing with.

Benny's Bridge

Benny's Bridge won the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle race at Cheltenham’s October meeting last year. He was the third leg of our treble that day and he looked very impressive. He was then favourite for the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at the following meeting at Cheltenham in November.

He made an awkward jump at the second and he pulled some muscles in his back. He did something and he was never right after that. His owners, Biddestone Racing, are good supporters of mine and he went away to a local girl called Claire Hart who did a great job on getting him back together. He came back here looking a million dollars. The plan would hopefully be to go back to Cheltenham. Paddy is really keen to get him over fences and we have schooled him. He will be another nice two miler chaser in time.

Enable retired by Juddmonte after final run in Arc de Triomphe under Frankie Dettori

Castel Gandolfo

He is a lovely horse. He was put to me from Jessica Harrington's because we trained his full brother Teqany, who's been fantastic for us. He has had three runs on the Flat and is rated 76 in Ireland. He has really taken to jumping and I am looking forward to him. We hope he could be very smart juvenile.

Ask A Honey Bee

Ask A Honey Bee couldn’t have done any more last year, he won his three bumpers and then pitched up at Cheltenham in the Champion Bumper and finished 13th. He’s a lovely horse and we will start off in a two-and-a-half-mile novice hurdle somewhere.

Hunny Moon

We have had her since she was a three-year-old and everything that could have gone wrong with her, has gone wrong. I took her to Stratford on the Monday before the Cheltenham Festival last season and to her credit and she ran an absolute blinder. I was always hopeful she would run OK in a bumper, but I didn’t think she would win a Stratford bumper. She came right the way around the outside and she did it really well, I was blown away by her. She will have another go in a bumper and will probably go to Aintree.

Ocean Cove

Ocean Cove is a second season novice chaser. He is very straightforward and he will make up into a lovely chaser one day. We have a few options for him but no solid plans yet.

Silver Hallmark

He’s a very exciting and a beautiful horse that the Ruckers bought us last year. He did very well in his first bumper around Newbury, the form is rock solid.

He then came out and won first time over hurdles at Chepstow beating McFabulous. We went from Chepstow to Sandown, to a Grade 1 (Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle) and he just didn’t fire at all that day. It was horrible ground, but we couldn’t find much wrong with him when he came back. The owners are extremely patient people, thankfully. Adam Wedge has already schooled him over fences and I am really looking forward to him going chasing. No real plans yet, but he will start off over two and a half miles. He is a lovely horse.

Perfect Candidate

He is nearly as old as me! He’s been fantastic. He has won out of every yard that we have been in and this is now our third yard. He did the business again last year – he was placed at Exeter and won at Haydock.

He then went back to Haydock and was placed in a good race. He looks as good as ever. This year he is 13, he has done a bit of team chasing and a bit of autumn hunting. He looks in great form and I think we will go down the same route and go back to Exeter and Haydock.

Gino Trail

Gino Trail came to us from Kerry Lee after Cheltenham’s October meeting last year.

It took us a bit of time to get to know him and for him to get to know us, he was set in his own ways, but he has been great and very enthusiastic.

He did us proud at Doncaster last year, Paddy gave him a fantastic ride.

Paddy got injured during the Cheltenham Festival and so Jamie Moore rode him in the Grand Annual.

Jamie said he gave him a lovely feel, but the ground was too quick and he just couldn’t get the speed.

He looks a million dollars for an old boy and we’re looking forward to getting him out, either at Sandown or Ascot at the end of the month, which will hopefully suit him.

Liosduin Bhearna

Liosduin Bhearna did nothing wrong for us last year.We ran him in the £100,000 stayers' handicap hurdle at Haydock and he fell. He bounced back from that. He has been a wonderful servant. I am really looking forward to him going over fences. He is very straightforward and easy to train.

Brief Ambition

I really like him, he ran at Uttoxeter earlier this month and got beaten by a very good horse of Nigel Twiston-Davies (One True King) which finished tenth in the festival bumper. We were ten lengths behind him there and only got beaten by four lengths last time. It was a great start and we will step him up in trip.

Don’t Hesitate

She came from Willie Mullins, one of Jared Sullivan's horses. She has schooled well and we are looking forward to her.

Lies About Milan

He did well in novice hurdles for us last year. He reminds me of a lovely old horse called Bradley we had and I am looking forward to him going over some fences as well.

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