Blog: The Cheltenham countdown

The countdown is on for one of the most anticipated racing events on the UK fixture list, with only five weeks to go until the Cheltenham Festival.

Philip Hobbs has won sixteen races at the Festival in his career, and the yard is in top form leading in to the four day fixture from 11-14 March.

Traditionally, Trials Day starts to set the scene six weeks out from the Festival. Also held at Cheltenham, it was a successful day for the Hobbs yard, taking out the Grade 3 Chase with Festival prospect Wishfull Thinking. It was a stout staying performance for the 11 year old to secure his tenth career win in the hands of jockey Richard Johnson.

Wishfull Thinking trained by Philip Hobbs

Pictured: Wishfull Thinking after his Cheltenham win with his groom Liz Walsh. (PHOTO: Michael Harris)

In January, Johnson, in an incredible achievement, reached a century of winners for an 18th consecutive season. “I started when I was 19 and I’ve had 100 every year since then” said Johnson.

The 100-winner mark came up for Johnson at Exeter on 14 January aboard Royal Player, who is trained by his boss Philip Hobbs and carrying the silks of Mrs Diana Whateley, made famous by the likes of Wishfull Thinking, Captain Chris and Menorah.

Amlin Plus sponsored jockeys Tom O’Brien and Andrew Thornton are also on winning form. Tom has ridden over fifty winners this season and Andrew Thornton is another step closer in his bid to ride 1000 winners, his 947th win coming at Wincanton on 30 January aboard Alder Mairi.

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