Nicky Henderson is celebrating a landmark winner after learning Brave Eagle at Worcester last month was the 3,000th of his glittering training career.
Since his first success in 1978, the Seven Barrows handler has landed the trainers’ title five times and virtually every big prize worth winning in the National Hunt world – with the glaring exception of the Grand National.
He said in his blog for Unibet: “I was absolutely delighted to train my 3,000th winner, but I must admit I wasn’t completely sure when we’d got there.
“I was aware we were getting close, so asked my secretary to check the records as I’d been going through them myself a few days earlier, it turns out the stats tell us it was Brave Eagle at Worcester on July 31.
“This is a landmark year for me in another way because I celebrate my 40th year training and it’s taken quite a long time to reach this milestone, but it’s been great fun along the way!”
He added: “I’ve had to change things quite a bit since starting training racehorses because it’s a completely different ball game to what it was 40 years ago, not surprisingly.
“Not a lot of things stand still for that long, unless you are Corky Browne, of course, who has been my sidekick since year dot and with me every step of the way.
“He’s an integral part of our team along with Charlie Morlock, who was here for nine years, disappeared to train himself, but came back a few years later and hasn’t left since.”
Henderson had a special mention for two horses in See You Then and Remittance Man.
He said: “See You Then was obviously the first really good horse I trained. He was a proper horse who had legs of glass, but we managed to win three Unibet Champion Hurdles with him; he put me on the map.
“And then Remittance Man, who was a great character, came along in the late 80s and won an Arkle and Queen Mother Champion Chase. They were really the first two horses that gave us the headlines and I’ll forever be indebted to them and their owners for letting me train them.”
He also confirmed he has no intention of taking his foot off the pedal.
He said: “Just because I’ve reached 3,000 winners and got to 40 years unscathed, it doesn’t mean I’m resting on my laurels. You’ve got to keep evolving and looking for new ideas to keep the winners coming.”