Oliver has been a constant around Lambourn for many years, initially as assistant trainer to Fred Winter when he was also a highly-accomplished amateur rider, but for the past 30 years as trainer at Rhonehurst stables.
Consistency has been the watchword for winners each season as well as the ability to bring horses through the path from bumper or inexperienced point-to-pointer, to hurdler (briefly usually) and on to chasing. As well as the legendary Winter, he also spent three years with Arthur Moore (son of L’Escargot’s trainer Dan) before making a brilliant start to training with such as Large Action and Berude Not To. But his career enjoyed its crowning glory with Many Clouds, winner of 12 races including the 2015 Grand National for Trevor Hemmings. He won a further three races after that but tragically – a word too often used but appropriate in this case – collapsed and died after with typical bravery holding off Thistlecrack in the 2017 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
The same colours looked to have a star in the making last spring with Sammy Bill, but after a couple of brilliant wins, he died while exercising at home. Happily, Sherwood has improving young horses to fall back on, among them Severano and Dominateur who promise great things for the future for this tried and tested stable.