Although Harry Whittington has been training horses for the past ten seasons it wasn’t until 2015-6 that he passed double figures for any single campaign. He made the jump from eight to 21, then promptly dropped back down to 13. But it has definitely been a case of ever upward since, maintaining scores into the twenties before a best-yet 30 in the recently cut-short season. He also almost doubled prizemoney to beyond £450,000 a figure that could have been greatly exceeded with just a little luck.
One of the stars of his Sparsholt operation over the past three campaigns has been Saint Calvados, and had it not been for two narrow reverses in his two runs at Cheltenham in the early part of this year, Whittington would easily have broken the half-million mark. The gelding threw away his chance after the last fence at the January meeting by hanging left and failing by a nose to catch Oldgrangewood to whom he was conceding 15lb.
Then in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival he was penned in near the rail after the last fence, getting out just too late to catch Min. He has been followed on the upward trail by Simply The Betts, one of the more impressive handicap winners at the meeting, while another good prospect, Rouge Vif, finished third there. Whittington does especially well developing chasers but his four-timer with the previously very moderate handicap hurdler Sirobbie shows he is a man to be reckoned with at all times.