Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls celebrated his 3,000th winner over jumps this week and, in this exclusive update, he reflects on his career at Ditcheat and looks forward to new challenges.
"So many people have contributed in helping me reach the milestone of 3,000 winners. They work hard at home in all weathers, do their bit and share my enthusiasm."
I am still on a high after Kupatana became my 3,000th winner over jumps in Britain at Cheltenham on Thursday. I've been closing on the landmark for a while and have felt the pressure so I am thrilled to have done it before the season ends next Saturday.
It has been quite a journey since Paul Barber gave me a chance to begin training at his yard at Ditcheat in October, 1991. He has backed me to the hilt ever since and is hopeful, as I am, that his chaser Topofthegame could give him a third victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March.
Team spirit at Ditcheat
I started at Ditcheat with eight horses and managed to build up a useful team over the next few years. I've tried to improve things year on year because you can't afford to stand still. Team Ditcheat is a pretty big unit these days with my head lad Clifford Baker a key player in all that we do.
So many people have contributed in helping me reach the milestone of 3,000 winners. They work hard at home in all weathers, do their bit and share my enthusiasm.
Here's to the next thousand winners
I am as driven as ever and always looking ahead to the next challenge which is to train 4,000 winners over jumps. I'd say it is perfectly achievable given a fair wind if we get enough nice horses.
With an 11th trainers' title pretty much secured, we can take our foot off the pedal for a few days and enjoy the celebrations.
We don't have any runners tomorrow (Saturday April 20) but we will be sending a strong team to Sandown next Saturday if ground conditions are suitable.