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Newmarket trainer James Ferguson registers first win thanks to Arabian King

To borrow a football analogy – James Ferguson has rattled the woodwork on more than one occasion during the early stages of his training career.

After learning his trade working for the likes of Charlie Appleby, Brian Meehan and Jessica Harrington, Ferguson announced his intention to go solo in August of last year.

And while the early signs had been encouraging, victory had eluded the 29-year-old, who from his first 11 runners had seen four finish second.

James Ferguson with Arabian King (28248003)
James Ferguson with Arabian King (28248003)

However, the Saville House Stables-based trainer finally broke his duck at Southwell last week when Arabian King – runner-up at Lingfield earlier in January – produced a classy performance to win the #BetYourWay At Betway Handicap.

“The horses had been running well and while that meant we were not too disappointed, it is still frustrating to have come close the number of times we have,” said Ferguson, son of former Godolphin chief executive John.

“It is a massive deal to have got that first win because you cannot help but think why are they not winning? What do we need to do differently? We have had some near misses so this means everything.

“The horse ran a cracker for us first time out at Lingfield, and that was very much a case of him learning what needed to be done.

“I am very grateful to my team because they have worked extremely hard. We all love the job but ultimately we are running a business and so we need the wins. Hopefully from here it is onwards and upwards.”

* Another Newmarket trainer – Patrick Owens – also got off the mark with just his second ever runner last Thursday.

The former assistant to Luca Cumani, who is based at St Gatien Stables, saw Venusta take the honours in the tote Placepot First Bet Of The Day Apprentice Fillies’ Handicap at Chelmsford.

Owens tweeted: “Thank you everyone I worked with and learned from. From home in Ireland to Canada, USA, Dubai, England and New Zealand. You know who you are.”