Four in a row, and Alan celebrates the 2,000th winner of his career
Alan always enjoys a Saturday winner, not least because with a quiet Sabbath the following day, it means there is no rush for either him or the Barbury team to curtail their celebrations.
And, having won with all his three runners on Friday, Alan put a little icing on the cake when Westerton, his sole Saturday representative, provided the trainer with the 2,000th winner of his career when making all in the Sandown maiden under an aggressive front-running ride from Ryan Moore.
An emotional Alan, who got an extra special kick out of the fact that Westerton is owned by a fellow Scot, said:”I am chuffed, not just for myself but everybody at the yard who has been working so hard. We have been inching closer to the magical 2000, and, though things have been a bit quiet lately, we’ve now won with our last four runners to crown what is a very special day.
“I am also delighted for Westerton’s owners who flew down this morning from Aberdeen – they are terrific supporters and I’m really pleased for them.”
Ryan took the bull by the horns from the start on Westerton, who, having finished runner-up in his previous three races, was clearly in no mood to be worn down up the Sandown hill.
Alan said:”I left riding plans to Ryan, but he got Westerton settled beautifully out in front. Those three seconds had been on soft ground, but we always felt that he would be even more effective on better ground.”
Having been an integral part of David Nicholson’s successful training career as assistant at Condicote and Jackdaws Castle, Alan took up training himself and gradually put together a top-class jumping operation, celebrating 16 Cheltenham Festival winners.
It’s his 23rd year training at Barbury, and, with more than 360 of those winners having come on the Flat, the equine team is getting close to 50-50, though the winter performers still just have the edge in numbers.
Proud to be able to look back on 34 years of experience in racing, during which time he has trained 33 Grade 1 winners over jumps, plus two Group 1 winners on the Flat, Alan has enjoyed some magical days with stable jockeys like Choc Thornton, Wayne Hutchinson and Tom Cannon.
Here’s hoping that Alan and his wife Rachel have many more big days on the horizon, and rest assured that there would not have been a bad bottle on the King dinner table last night,