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.