You'd think there'd be a legion of trainers in Berkeley country, given the widespread grassland and rich heritage of hunting. The reality is something different: our leading - and almost only - trainer is Adrian Wintle at Westbury-on-Severn.
It would appear that a majority of trainers have migrated to the hill country of the Cotswolds, where the cluster of Jumps trainers and their phalanxes of high quality thoroughbreds between Cheltenham and Oxford grows each year.
But there's certainly nothing wrong with Adrian's methods, or his results, as this afternoon's results from Uttoxeter illustrate. A clever half length victory in the St Leger Guide At attheraces.com/leger Novices Handicap Hurdle over the higher-rated Champagne Noir from the opposite end of the Cotswolds is a perfect example.
Espinator, picking up a second consecutive handicap win off a light weight, is earning his keep in the best possible fashion, earning his owner £7,952.68 in six runs since April 1st.
But whilst any winner is to be celebrated, and many owners will say it was never about the money, it's a stark reminder of the competition we face when horses under Rules are running into place money for little more than the travel expenses. Small wonder some of our trainers are voting with their feet for a better lifestyle and easier rewards in France.
Adrian Wintle is enjoying an excellent start to September, Espinator providing a second winner within a week after Plansina won a middle distance handicap at Bath last week.
Meanwhile, as the harvest season draws to a close, Berkeley Pointing enthusiasts are in good company thinking about what to campaign this winter and next Spring at Woodford and elsewhere. The fixture list is nearly complete, and allows for a better balance than in any recent season, with many fixtures opting for autumn or winter racing.
Check out the new Season Ticket to all the fixtures in the West Mercian area that include Woodford next Spring. At £130, it represents excellent value for an early sight of horses, riders and trainers on the upgrade.
Berkeley Races news brings you articles about racing folk and events in and around the Berkeley country