The 2019-20 season might have seemed almost a routine further step up the ladder for the Fergal O’Brien stable, but in fact it was considerably more than that. Having been closely allied, first as assistant trainer for many years, and then as tenant to trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies in his Upper Yard at Naunton, Gloucestershire for another decent period, Fergal chose the middle of the latest season to move to a custom-built new location tucked away in hilly countryside a few miles closer to Cheltenham.
The horses, already in form, came over in small groups and at the start they had to fulfil their work routines while skirting all the evidence of major new construction. Despite all the inconvenience, Fergal and his team contrived to improve his already impressive strike-rate, giving credit for the health of his team to the new location and gallops.
As yet the overall progression has not been accompanied by victories at the highest level, but few trainers enjoyed a higher profile or more universal public acclaim in the latest season. This inevitably has led to major owners being attracted, so that elusive big-race success cannot be long delayed. What has become obvious, and happily for the subscribers to this service, is that when Fergal gives one of his horses a winning chance, it invariably goes close!