When the 2019/20 British Jumps season was brought to a premature halt after the conclusion of racing at Taunton and Wetherby on Tuesday 17th March, Lucinda Russell Racing was sitting in a respectable 30th place in the trainer’s table with 32 winners from 332 starters and total prize money of £343,886, thus ensuring the yard was the leading Scottish stable for the eleventh season in a row.
The number of winners was split fairly evenly between hurdlers and chasers, with 16 victories coming over fences and 14 over hurdles. With the addition of our two bumper winners, Order of Thistle and Max Appeal, our final total of 32 was just four short of what we achieved the previous season, despite the campaign failing to run its full course. Our strike-rate of 10% was also higher than in 2018/19.
We had a high number of placed horses with 48% of our runners finishing in the first four, 52 of them finishing second, including four in one day at Perth in September. Whilst frustrating, this shows that we are not far away, and if we can convert some of these seconds into winners next season, we should be heading for somewhere in the region of 50 winners.
October was our most successful month, with nine winners from 49 runners at a strike-rate of 18%. Our leading horse in terms of wins was Chanceiton, who scored three times, including a quick-fire double at Perth and Sedgefield in the early autumn. Honourable mention must also go to Bialco, Blooriedotcom, Lucky Flight, Order of Thistle and Mighty Thunder who each scored twice, Mighty leading the way in terms of individual earnings having accumulated £23,049 during a season in which, in addition to his two wins, he also finished a narrow second on two further occasions.
Blair Campbell took the honours on the jockey front, steering home a career-best 16 winners at a strike-rate of 15%. This season also saw one of our amateur jockey’s, Cameron Wadge, record his first winner under Rules aboard the aforementioned Chanceiton at Perth in September. We travelled far and wide in our search for winners, but our most profitable tracks were those closest to home, with eight victories coming at Musselburgh, seven at Kelso and six at Perth.
The statistics show that 22 of our successes came in handicaps but that 13 of them (41%), came in races restricted to maidens or novices. This reflects the fact that we have a number of promising youngsters coming through, something we very much hope to build on when racing resumes.