Monday, 14 November 2016

Jamie Snowden: Captain of His Own Destiny

Formerly a captain in the King's Royal Hussars, Snowden worked as pupil assistant to Paul Nicholls and assistant trainer to Nicky Henderson, before setting up on his own in a rented yard in Ebbesbourne Wake, Wiltshire in 2008.

His first three seasons yielded a total of 15 winners and £108,639 in total prize money but, following a move to his current base at Folly House in Lambourn, Berkshire his first runner, Knighton Combe, won the Britannia English Summer National at Uttoxeter – worth £22,608 to the winner – in June, 2011. He finished the 2011/12 season with 19 winners and £127,016 in total prize money. Two seasons later, he saddled his first and only winner at the Cheltenham Festival, Present View, in the Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase in 2014.

At the time of writing, Jamie Snowden has saddled 27 winners in the 2017/18 National Hunt season and amassed £214,568 in total prize money, already ahead – or, in terms of prize money, well ahead – of the corresponding totals for 2016/17, from far fewer runners. According to his website, his aim this season is to find a horse of the calibre of Present View and, with this in mind, he has increased his string from 35 to 45 horses for the 2017/18 season.

Perhaps the most interesting new recruits are those from the point-to-point field, namely Kalahari Queen, Grange Ranger and Scorpion Sid. Kalahari Queen, a 5-year-old mare by Kalanisi, the sire of Katchit, described as a “smashing mare with size and scope” has already won two of her four starts over hurdles. Scorpion Sid, a 6-year-old gelding by Scorpion, described as a “proper winter horse” has won comfortably on both starts over hurdles, despite his future lying over fences. Grange Ranger, a 6-year-old gelding by Kalansi, looked an unlucky loser on his sole point start last May and is one to note whenever and wherever he makes his debut under Rules.

Double Treasure, in the same ownership as Present View, clearly benefited from a wind operation over the summer, winning his first three starts on good and good to soft going before finishing in mid-division in the BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase, on soft going, at Cheltenham in November. He’s officially improved 31lb since September but, while the handicapper may have caught up with him, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares back on a sound surface.

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