Philip Hobbs, born in 1955, is the son of Tony Hobbs who had a permit to train for many years, breeding several good horses to run in the family colours.

Unlike many trainers who went into the industry at a very young age, Hobbs opted to study at Reading University where he achieved a BSc honours degree. Following that he rode several point-to-point and National Hunt winners as an amateur before turning professional at the age of 21.

Red Rum in the 70’s. The King of Aintree

He rode 160 winners in a ten year career including The Black and White Gold Cup at Ascot, The Killiney Novice Chase and The Midlands Grand National but with a career as a trainer firmly in mind, whilst still riding professionally, he started training in August 1985 with only 6 horses.

Hobbs has had a very successful career with 16 wins at Cheltenham and in the last five seasons has had over 400 winners. Despite all of this and the fact that he has sent out 21 Grand National runners since 1990 he has never actually won it.

His previous best finish in the race came in 2002 when What’s Up Boys finished 2nd and despite a very good Planet Of Sound being entered in 2012 he could only manage 12th place.

Richard Johnson was back again for the 2013 Grand National on board Balthazar King for Hobbs and despite a worthy effort, he finished in 15th place but following another year of preparation Balthazar King was back again for the 2014 National and despite his very best attempts, was beaten to the winning post by Pineau De Re and had to settle for second place.