Blue Spinnaker arrived in 2002 after I bought him from John Hammond in France. He had had problems with his legs but I knew I could fix him up and I knew he would be good once I had!
He showed lots of promise on his debut at Pontefract where he was narrowly beaten by a head in a maiden race for older horses at odds of 100/1. At that point I knew I had a serious horse on my hands.
Spinnaker went on to win the Thirsk Hunt Cup and the Zetland Gold Cup along with seven other races in 92 outings. He earned a total of £160,000 in prizemoney. Blue Spinnaker liked Doncaster, winning there three times and he also won twice just up the road at York and twice at Thirsk as well as at Redcar and Haydock.
It was his fifth win, at York in 2006, that got me into trouble. I was interviewed about how I bought him and I got pulled up for what I said on the telly. I had no idea it was a forbidden word that I'd used, but I got a letter for me troubles and a slap on the hand.
Blue Spinnaker was retired in 2011. He is still with us here at the yard and now in his 20th year he provides a valuable role, babysitting the yearlings when they are out in the fields. It suits him y'see, 'cos he's a bossy sort and he likes to put the youngsters in their place.
A bargain horse that goes on to win some big races and wins twice on our home track at York, that's the sort of horse that gives me so much satisfaction.