Wednesday, 12 January 2022

James Moffatt


Formerly a successful National Hunt jockey, with 78 winners to his name, James Moffatt served time with several experienced trainers, including Tommy Stack and Sue Smith, before taking over the family training operation from his father, Dudley, in late 2002. Based at Pit Farm Stables in Cartmel, Cumbria, Moffatt enjoyed a 'purple patch' in the spring of 2007, when Chief Dan George won two Grade 2 events, at Wetherby and Haydock, within the space of a fortnight, and the Grade 1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

Three seasons later, Chief Dan George also became the first and, so far, only Cheltenham Festival winner for the yard when rallying in the last half a furlong to win the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase by a head. More recently, Highland Lodge flew the flag for the yard, winning the Becher Handicap Chase, over the Grand National fences, in 2015, before being denied by the minimum margin in the same race in 2016.

Moffatt holds a combined licence, but has never saddled more than a dozen winners in a National Hunt season and never more than nine in a Flat season. However, in the 2021/22 National Hunt season, so far, he has saddled seven winners from just 19 runners, at a extremely healthy strike rate of 37%. Indeed, in the space of five days in late May and early June, he saddled five winners from 11 runners, at a strike rate of 45%, at his local course, Cartmel.

Thursday, 9 December 2021

David Loughnane

Originally based in Nawton, North Yorkshire, David Loughnane started his training career in early 2016 and moved to his current base, Helshaw Grange, in Market Drayton, Shropshire later that year. Loughnane, 34, spent five years in Australia in his early twenties, where he worked in various roles, including for the late Bart Cummings and his son, Anthony, in Sydney and Paul Messara in Scone, a.k.a. 'The Horse Capital of Australia'.

A dual-purpose trainer, who counts former Grand National winning trainer Steve Brookshaw as a member of his staff, Loughnane has made a succesful start, gradually increasing his winning tally season-by-season. Indeed, he enjoyed his most successful season, numerically and financially, in 2020, with 41 winners and over £362,000 in prize money. The highlight of that season, and his career so far, was the victory of the 2-year-old filly Santosha in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Betfred Stakes at Ascot in July.

In 2021, his highest-rated horse, and highest single earner, so far, has been the 5-year-old mare Fizzy Feet, who has won handicaps at Lingfield and Windsor and was only beaten three-quarters of a length in the All-Weather Fillies' And Mares' Championships, also at Lingfield. Another horse to note is the 5-year-old gelding Tranchee, who is 1-2 on the all-weather so far in 2021, but whom Loughnane believes has 'a big pot on him'.