Mount Vesuvius' run at Exeter on Wednesday rounded off a fantastic jumps season in style, as Nick Schofield rode a perfect race to bring the gelding on in a comfortable first place.
Wednesday's win was the 16th of the season for the yard, equalling the record set for most wins in the 2012/13, however this year it took 15 fewer races meaning Paul and the team finished the season with a career-high 14% win percentage (16/115).
After a slow start to the season, waiting for the rain to come Un Beau Roman really kick started the season with a huge win in the Bet Victor Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. Un Beau had come back after 114 days off to put in an incredible performance under Nick Schofield to fend off the pre-race favourite Pair of Brown Eyes in a thrilling finish up the Cheltenham hill. The pair almost went on to repeat the feat a month later when they finished 2nd in another hot Cheltenham race.
Doitforthevillage had delivered the yard's first win of the season back in May and was not going to let Un Beau take all the limelight. On the same day, Un Beau came second at Cheltenham, Doit had kicked off proceedings will a fantastic win at Lingfield under James Best. Doitforthevillage would go on to be the yard's most successful horse of the season, picking up 5 wins and 2 places under some great rides from Paddy Brennan.
A newcomer to the yard, Amron Kali, kicked off the new year with a win at Fontwell on the mare's first start for the yard. Amron had failed to pick up a win in 15 previous starts before coming to Whitsbury. Amron went on to pick up a further 4 top 3 places in 5 runs this season.
The wins weren't just on the track, as in February Jamie Bunsell won Work Rider of the Year at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Awards. Jamie had been nominated by Paul for the outstanding work he'd done with Un Beau, getting him ready for his win at Cheltenham, and his all round ability and passion for the job and the horses. His win was well deserved and a real boost for the yard.
Wins and places came thick and fast over February and March. At the end of March Thepartysover and Turban gave Paul a double at Plumpton which took him to his highest ever prize money haul with a month still to go in the season.That double also ensured that every owner in the yard had had at least one winner over the season.
Further wins for Miss Oscarose, Doitforthevillage and finally, Mount Vesuvius finished off the season in superb fashion, with a total of 16 wins and 31 places from 115 runs. A record win percentage of 14% and total earnings of a sniff under £150,000.
A big thank you to all our staff, jockeys and of course our fantastic owners. We couldn't do what we do without your ongoing support. The 2016/17 season was our most successful ever. Now on to the flat and here's to an even bigger year in 2017/18!
Paul Henderson & Jane Patten