We've reached the end of the 2022 Flat season and it's fantastic to be able to look back on another successful campaign for us and our very supportive owners at Rathbride.
We closed out the season with a total of 29 winners - matching our best ever tally reached in both 2016 and 2017.
Of course, it's naturally a bit disappointing to have come so close to beating our best total for a season without managing to better it, but we're very happy with how the year has gone.
Over the course of the season we had 23 individual horses win for 18 different owners, recorded our best ever strike rate for a campaign and had some quality winners in black-type races.
Cigamia put her best foot forward to land the Listed Cairn Rouge Stakes at Killarney for the Niachos Family, Are We Dreaming produced a career-best performance to win the Listed Brigid's Pastures Stakes at the Curragh for the Oghill House Stud team, and a smashing effort from Ballylinch Stud's Self Belief gave Nathan Crosse a first black-type win in the Listed Trigo Stakes at Leopardstown.
Insinuendo also did the Deegan Racing Syndicate proud on many occasions throughout the year, only beaten a neck by Irish Champion Stakes winner Luxembourg when second in the Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes and again just narrowly denied when runner-up in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend. She ran a blinder when third in Group 1 company on British Champions Day too.
Billy Lee is a huge part of our team and we were glad to supply him with 20 winners in what was the most successful year of his career. It was obviously a shame that he didn't manage to lift the jockeys' title after his great tussle with Colin Keane, but he can be very proud of his achievements for the season.
We came within half a length of bringing up a 30th winner on the final day of the season at Naas when Loveday ran a cracker to finish third in a competitive 5f handicap. Hopefully she'll continue to go the right way next season considering how she's learning to settle.
There was also a good effort on the same Naas card from Echoing, who finished third in a 6f maiden on heavy ground. That ease in the conditions seemed to suit her much better than when down the field on the all-weather at Dundalk for her next start.
We'll have just a small number of runners representing us at Dundalk in the lead-up to Christmas, but it won't be long before we're building up again to the start of the new season in March. Everyone is hungry to keep the momentum up for next year after a strong 2022 season.