Philip Hobbs, Sandhill Racing Stables, Bilbrook, Minehead
Philip and Sarah Hobbs, together with assistant trainer Johnson White and one of the most professional stable teams in the country, have been in the premier league of NH racing for over 20 years with results that few trainers have bettered. Indeed, last season saw the career milestone of 2,000 wins achieved, before the yard kicked on with a superlative treble at the Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown Festivals. Long may this success continue – hopefully with many winners for Owners for Owners.
Four reasons why he is one of our NH trainer team:
- Depth of experience: whether it is training festival winners; mapping out an appropriate race plan for a young horse; identifying an exciting prospect to buy through a close network of agents; dealing with injuries and the inevitable physical and mental setbacks of racehorses; this yard excels, with its decades of experience to draw on.
- Personal attention: Philip genuinely derives as much satisfaction winning a minor race with a moderate horse that finally realises its (limited) potential, as winning a huge race for a top owner. There is no distinction between the two. Every horse and owner receives a high level of personal attention. That is rare among top trainers.
- Ultra-professional: Sandhill ticks all the right training boxes: excellent grass, woodchip and polytrack gallops, extensive private schooling grounds, equine swimming pool, top stable jockeys in Richard Johnson and Tom O’Brien and a really efficient, smooth-running training regime. What more is needed?
- Proven track record: not many trainers can claim wins in races such as the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Arkle, Triumph Hurdle, Coral Cup, RSA Chase, Champion Bumper, County Hurdle, Grand Annual, Supreme Novices, Jewson and only last season, the Cross Country. And that’s just at Cheltenham!
Several years ago I was asked to write a short profile on Philip. In it, I said: “If Timeform assessed the performance of NH trainers, they would doubtless describe him as ‘Honest, genuine and thoroughly consistent. Still improving, and one to follow. A credit to connections.’” Nothing has changed.