What’s Paddy Brennan’s strike rate for Fergal O’Brien?
Nowadays based at Ravenswell Farm in Withington, Gloucestershire, Fergal O’Brien has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2021/22 National Hunt season. Effective from October, 2021, O’Brien joined forces with fellow Gloucestershire trainer Graham McPherson to create O’Brien McPherson Racing, but retained the role of licensed trainer for the new enterprise. He currently leads the Jump Trainers’ Championship with 57 winners and £441,223 in prize money, over £100,000 ahead of his nearest rival, reigning champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
At the time of writing, Paddy Brennan has ridden 150 of the 265 runners that O’Brien has saddled under National Hunt rules so far in 2021, for a return of 40 winners, at a strike rate of 27%. He currently lies third in the Jump Jockeys’ Championship, 29 winners adrift of 2019/20 champion jockey Brian Hughes. Nevertheless, his current strike rate for the yard compares favourably with his overall strike rate over the last five seasons, which stands at 206-1,033 (20%). During that period, he achieved his previous highest strike rate, 21%, in both 2019/20 and 2020/21, but his highest total, 64 winners, in 2020/21.
Interviewed during the latter part of the 2020/21 season, during which O’Brien eventually saddled a career-best 104 winners, Brennan told the ‘Racing Post’, ‘People ask how long this incredible run is going to last and I say this is just the start.’ It appears his optimism was not misplaced.