Saturday, 23 December 2017

Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien
Record-breaking Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien already has 28 British and 37 Irish Classics wins and 55 victories at Ascot.

The son of farmer and small-scale horse trainer, Denis O’Brien, Adrien started his career at P.J Finn’s racing stables in County Kildare, before working with Jim Bolger at Coolcullen, County Carlow.

In 1996 he moved to Ballydoyle Stables in County Tipperary where he built his reputation as a legendary horseman Since becoming the private trainer for John Magnier and his Coolmore Stud he’s turned out some of the most prestigious horses in racing including Camelot, Peeping Fawn and leading sires Galileo and Giant’s Causeway. 

The same year he became Ireland’s youngest Champion Trainer at 26 a title he’s won a further 19 times and in 2010 became the youngest ever Champion British trainer. O’Brien was the first trainer in history to win the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas in both the UK and Ireland in the same year. 

His incredible wins include the 1,000 Guineas four times, the 2,000 Guineas eight times, The Epsom Derby six times, the Epsom Oaks six times and St. Leger Stakes five times. In Ireland he’s won the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Irish 2,000 Guineas 11 times, the Champion Stakes seven times, the Irish Derby 12 times, the Irish Oaks five times and The National Stakes 11 times. 

His love of horseracing runs in the family. In 2012 Aidan and son Joseph became the first ever father/son partnership to win the Derby with Camelot.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Mill Reef

Mill Reef
Bred and owned by the late Paul Mellon, trained by Ian Balding at Park House Stables in Kingsclere, near Newbury, and ridden, exclusively, by Geoff Lewis, Mill Reef won 12 of his 14 races between 1970 and 1972. In fact, his record of six consecutive Group One victories in 1971/72 stood for 30 years, until broken by Rock Of Gibraltar in 2001/02.

Named after the Mill Reef Club, a private members’ club on the island of Antigua in the West Indies, Mill Reef was an outstanding juvenile in 1970, winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Gimcrack Stakes at York over 6 furlongs and the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket over 7 furlongs. He began his three-year-old campaign with victory in the Greenham Stakes, over 7 furlongs, at Newbury and, although beaten fair and square by Brigadier Gerard in the 2,000 Guineas, he would come into his own over middle distances as the season progressed.

Indeed, he displayed an excellent turn of foot to beat Linden Tree in the Derby at Epsom and subsequently beat the French colt Caro, the best older horse in Europe, by 4 lengths in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. Training Ian Balding later reflected, “He was going away from them in the last furlong; had it been over a mile and a half he’d have won by 10 lengths.”

Stepped back up to a mile and a half pulverised the opposition in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, winning by 6 lengths, and finished the year with a 3-length victory over Pistol Packer in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, breaking the track record in the process.

Mill Reef was kept in training as a four-year-old, winning the Prix Ganay at Longchamp and the Coronation Cup at Epsom, but was plagued by a virus and a swollen hock, before fracturing his left foreleg during a piece of work on the gallops at Kingsclere, which ended his racing career.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Brigadier Gerard

Brigadier Gerard
Bred by John Hislop, trained by Major Dick Hern and ridden only by “Smokin’” Joe Mercer, Brigadier Gerard was arguably the best British-trained horse of the twentieth century. His Timeform rating of 144 has been bettered only by Sea Bird and, more recently, by Frankel.

Brigadier Gerard, named after the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, won seventeen of his eighteen races between 1970 and 1972 and was unbeaten at two and three. His most important win as a juvenile came in the Middle Park Stakes, over 6 furlongs, on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket, where he beat Mummy’s Pet and Swing Easy by 3 lengths and half a length.

The following season, he returned to Newmarket for the 2,000 Guineas, which he won by 3 lengths from Mill Reef. Geoff Lewis, who rode the runner-up, said afterwards, “The winner was always going too well for me. As soon as Joe [Mercer] produced Brigadier Gerard I knew we were beaten.”

Brigadier Gerard subsequently won the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, also at Ascot, and the Champion Stakes at Newmarket as a three-year-old. His winning streak continued into his four-year-old campaign with victories in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes again, the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

‘The Brigadier’ finally met his Waterloo in the inaugural running of the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup, now the Juddmote International Stakes, at York in August, 1972. Facing just four rivals, including Roberto and Rheingold, first and second in the Derby, Brigadier Gerard started 1/3 favourite but, as commentator John Penney observed, saw his unbeaten record “absolutely smashed to smithereens”. He was eventually beaten 3 lengths by 12/1 chance Roberto, who made most of the running, with Gold Rod 10 lengths further away in third. Jean Hislop, co-owner of Brigadier Gerard said, ungraciously, afterwards that Roberto “must have been stung by a bee.”


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Luke Morris


Introduction

A popular English jockey, Luke Morris was born 20th October, 1988, and trained at the Newmarket British Racing School form a young age. Brought up in this kind of academic format, he was apprenticed by racehorse trainer Michael Bell. To this day, he still maintains a strong connection to the city that he grew up in – and those who set him on the pathway to success.

Despite his tender age and a growing career still to come, Morris has been progression as a jockey throughout his whole career. From his first win away back in late 2005 to his first major win in 2016, he’s become a racer that many people have plenty of time for around the race course.

Deemed in 2012 as the ‘Britain’s busiest jockey’ by the Daily Mirror, Morris took on an incredible 1,330 rides in 2011 alone and this showcases his utter determination to reach the top and take himself to the highest level possible of the sport.

Career Summary

With over 8,000 rides between 2010 and 2015 alone, he’s one of the most persistent jockeys on the planet. A strong career relationship with Neil Allan means that it’s not often that Morris isn’t found on the racecourse, either racing or getting ready for a race. His first winner came in 2005, with his first big win coming in 2007 when he rode Juniper Girl to success at the Northumberland Plate.

2010 was his first race success, when he won the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes aboard Gilt Edge Girl. His first Group 1 win came towards the end of 2010, when he won the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.

With plenty to come from the busy jockey, it won’t be long before we see him back winning.

Achievements & Highlights

Major Wins – Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (2010, 2016)

Associations – Michael Bell, Neil Allan.

Toilet Humour


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Shergar

Shergar
Shergar, bred and owned by Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV, and trained by Michael Stoute, is best known for winning the 1981 Derby by an unprecedented 10 lengths, the longest winning margin in the history of the race. Having won the Sandown Classic Trial by 10 lengths and the Chester Vase by 12 lengths, Shergar started 10/11 favourite for the Epsom Classic – only the third horse since World War II to be sent off at odds-on – but, having taken up the running at Tattenham Corner, travelling sweetly, went further and further clear to win with ridiculous ease. An incredulous Peter Bromley exclaimed, with over a furlong to run, “There’s only horse in it! You need a telescope to see the rest.”

Shergar subsequently won the Irish Derby at the Curragh by 4 lengths, “in an exercise canter” and the King George & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot by the same margin, “in tremendous style”. He finished his racing career on a low note, finishing only fourth in the St. Leger behind 28/1 outsider Cut Above, whom he’d previously beaten comprehensively in the Irish Derby. Nevertheless, at the end of his career Shergar had earned £436,000 in total prize money and a Timeform rating of 140, the equivalent of that subsequently awarded to the likes of Dancing Brave and Sea The Stars. The late Walter Swinburn, who rode Shergar in the Derby, said of him, “He was the best I rode by a country mile. Most horses have strengths and weaknesses. In his case there were none.”

Shergar, valued at £10 million, retired to the Ballymany Stud in Co. Kildare but, before his second season as a stallion, in 1983, he was kidnapped by masked gunmen in the middle of the night and never seen again. The general consensus is that he was abducted, and killed, by the Irish Republic Army (IRA), although the organisation never officially claimed responsibility for his disappearance and his body was never found.







Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Ed Dunlop

Ed Dunlop
Edward A.L. Dunlop is a British thoroughbred racehorse trainer, whose wins include the Ascot Gold Cup, the Epsom Oaks twice and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Ascot. 

The son of British champion trainer John Dunlop, Ed grew up at his father’s yard, the Castle Stables in Arundel. After completing his education at Eton, he worked on stud farms in Ireland and Kentucky and received extra education in Sydney, Australia. 

Dunlop returned to the UK where his first job was an assistant to four-time British jump racing Champion Trainer, Nicky Henderson. He then moved to work with Alex Scott at Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum’s Oak Stables in Newmarket. After Scott’s death in 1994, 25-year-old Dunlop took over the yard when it was renamed, Gainsborough Stables. Dunlop’s first success came shortly after when Lynton Lad won at Yarmouth. 

Despite the daunting task of taking over from Scott, Dunlop flourished achieving 1,000 domestic winners as well as finding success further afield in Ireland, the U.S, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, France and Canada.

His most famous trained horse is Oujia Board, who as a three-year-old was as a dual Oaks winner. He went onto win seven Group and Grade 1 races, including a Hong Kong Vase, a Prince of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot. 

Dunlop has had his fair share of bad luck too. In November 2015 he suffered the loss of British-bred Thoroughbred Racehorse Red Cadeaux, who was a triple runner up in the Melbourne Cup. He was put down following complications after surgery.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Hurricane Fly

Hurricane Fly is best known for winning the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival twice, in 2011 and 2013. However, Ruby Walsh, who rode him to both those victories, always insisted that the son of Montjeu never displayed his true colours at Prestbury Park.

Be that as it may, Hurricane Fly was one of the finest and most consistent horses in the history of National Hunt racing. In a nine-year career, he won 24 of his 32 starts over hurdles, including a world-record 22 Grade One races, and earned nearly £1.9 million in total prize money. His Timeform rating, of 174, was just 1lb inferior to the likes of Gaye Brief, Salmon Spray and Sea Pigeon.

Hurricane Fly finally crossed the Irish Sea to contest the Champion Hurdle for the first time in 2011, having missed the Cheltenham Festival through injury in the two previous seasons. However, those people who had called him the Irish ‘phantom’ soon realised what they’d been missing because, despite taking a keen hold, Hurricane Fly took a slight lead at the final flight and was driven out to beat Peddlers Cross by 1½ lengths.
At the end of his racing career, Ruby Walsh said of him, “Quite simply, Hurricane Fly is the best hurdler I have ever sat on. The only hurdler you can compare him to in my lifetime is Istabraq.” Speaking of Istabraq, Hurricane Fly registered his fifth and final win in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in January, 2015, breaking the previous record of four wins held by the three-time Champion Hurdle winner. Remarkably, Hurricane Fly ran in 10 races at Leopardstown – all Grade One contests – and won all 10.

Co. Carlow trainer Willie Mullins, who took charge of Hurricane Fly from Jean-Louis Pelletan in France in the spring of 2008, simply said of him, “He’s a legend of a horse.” Mullins was, however, thankful that his charge was retiring in good health, saying, “This day was always going to come and it’s great that we’re doing it on our terms, rather than due to an injury or something like that.”


Monday, 23 October 2017

Sea the Stars


Sea The Stars
Sea The Stars, owned by Christopher Tsui and trained by John Oxx in Co. Kildare, was a half-brother to Galileo and, in 2009, had arguably the most successful three-year-old campaign of any modern thoroughbred. Indeed, he had a perfect record, winning all six races at the highest level, at distances ranging from a mile to a mile and a half, and earning £4,347,391 in prize money. Frankel, by contrast, won five Group One races during his three-year-old campaign, earning £1,106,235 in prize money, but didn’t race beyond a mile.

Sea The Stars won the first two colts’ Classics of the season, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Derby at Epsom, before taking on his elders for the first time in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. Ridden by Mick Kinane, as he was throughout his career, Sea The Stars dug deep to fend off the potent challenge of Rip Van Winkle by a length, with Conduit a further 4½ lengths behind in third. In so doing, he became the first horse since Nashwan in 1989 to complete the 2,000 Guineas-Derby-Eclipse treble.

Sea The Stars subsequently won the Juddmonte International Stakes at York and the Irish Champion Stakes at the Curragh with the minimum of fuss consequently started odds on to become the first horse ever to win the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He took a keen hold at Longchamp and, having been restrained, made good progress on the inside with two furlongs to run and powered clear in the closing stages to win, impressively by 2 lengths. Mick Kinane said afterwards, “He’s exceptional – he’s just a phenomenal, rare horse. They were going a nice pace and I knew I would need a bit of luck in the straight, no matter what happened, but I knew I had the pace to go anywhere I wanted.”

Understandably, Sea The Stars was named Cartier Horse of the Year for 1986 and, at the time, his Timeform rating of 140 was the seventh best ever awarded.


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Arkle

Arkle
Notwithstanding an increasingly implausible Timeform rating of 212 – 2lb superior to contemporary stable companion Flyingbolt, but 30lb superior to any other steeplechaser in the last fifty years or so – Arkle remains the yardstick by which equine talent, at least in the sphere of National Hunt racing, is measured.

Named, not inappropriately, after a mountain in the Scottish Highlands, Arkle stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries, with the exception of Flyingbolt, whome he never raced. Between 1962 and 1966, the horse often revered simply as ‘Himself’, or ‘The Champion’, won 22 of his 26 races over fences. His major claim to fame was winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years running, in 1964, 1965 and 1996, but he also won the Irish Grand National in 1964, the King George VI Chase in 1965, the Hennessy Gold Cup in 1964 and 1965, under 12st 7lb on both occasions, and the Whitbread Gold Cup in 1965, again under 12st 7lb.

Arkle demonstrated his class, most obviously, in handicaps, in which he routinely conceded two stone and upwards to the best steeplechasers of the day. Perhaps his most astonishing weight concession ever came in the Gallaher Gold Cup at Sandown in 1965, in which he faced his old rival, Mill House, who was receiving 16lb. Approaching the so-called Railway Fences – three fences that come in very quick succession at the end of the back straight – Arkle trailed Mill House and, momentarily, looked vulnerable. However, in a matter of strides, he effortlessly swept past the leader and drew away in the closing stages to win by 20 lengths, breaking the course record by 17 seconds in the process.
Arkle fractured a pedal bone in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, 1966 and, although he recovered from the injury, he never raced again. Five years after his death, at the age of 13, in 1970, his body was exhumed and his skeleton placed on permanent display at the Irish National Stud in Co. Kildare.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Richard Fahey

Richard Fahey
Nigerian born Richard Fahey is one of the UK’s leading trainers, who has racked up over 2,000 winners.

He equalled the record for most flat winners trained in a calendar year in 2015 with 235 wins, and by the end of the 2017 season had 200 victories to his name and earned prize money of over £4.2m.
Fahey turned to training after a successful ten-year stint as a jockey, where he chalked up over 100 wins and shared the conditional jockeys’ title in the 1988-89 season.

After a period running a livery, in 1993 he turned his hand to training and set up his stable at Manor Farm, Butterwick near Malton with 10 horses. 

His first taste of success came with National Hunt performer Noyan, who won the Irish Heineken Gold Cup in 1997. That was followed by the first of five Royal Ascot winner with Superior Premium in 2002. By the 2003 season he had saddled over 50 winners for the first time. 

Fahey’s move to Musley Bank Stables in Malton in 2005 would prove to be a turning point in his career. A year later he broke the £1million prize money barrier and trained over 100 winners. Last year it turned out over 200 winners including Ribchester who took victory in the Locking Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, Prix Jacques Le Marois and Prix du Moulin. 

He is well known for his 12-year partnership with double champion jockey Paul Hanagan, who has credited his success to Fahey’s abilities.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Richard Hannon

Richard Hannon
Richard Hannon is a British Champion flat race trainer and the son of four-time Champion trainer, Richard Hannon Sr.

After assisting his father for 12 years, Hannon Jr officially took over the licence of their Herridge Racing Stables, in Wiltshire on the 1st January 2014. 
 
The trainer only had to wait two days for his first solo victory, with Unscripted winning at Wolverhampton on 3rd of January. It was the first win of a blistering season for Hannon, who won the 2,000 Guineas with Night of Thunder, the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot with Tornado and was named Champion Trainer. 
 
He kept the momentum going into the next season where he scooped victories in the Coronation Cup and in the Lockinge with Night of Thunder; maintaining Group 1 success in every season since.
Born into one of Britain’s most prestigious racing families, Hannon Jr learnt his trade at top stables in Australia before returning to the UK to become his father’s assistant. Hannon Snr had also worked under her father, Harry Hannon, before taking over in 1970. 
 
Hannon Jr stayed in the role of assistant for 12 years, during which time the father and son team experienced incredible success and Hannon Sr won three trainers’ championships.
While working for his father, he was credited with bringing new owners to the stable including Sir Robert Ogden, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sheikh Fahad Al Thani.

The stable is currently training 240 horses including Tornado, Toormore, Olympic Glory and Night of Thunder.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Red Rum

Red Rum
Grand National legend Red Rum requires little introduction. In fact, a poll conducted in 2006, 11 years after his death, suggested that he was still the most famous horse in Britain, ahead of Black Beauty, the eponymous, but entirely fictitious, hero of the novel by Anna Sewell.

For the uninitiated, Red Rum became a household name after winning the Grand National at Aintree an unprecedented three times, in 1973, 1974 and 1977. His most dramatic success, in terms of the way in which the race unfolded, was his first. Ridden by the late Brian Fletcher, Red Rum was sent off 9/1 joint favourite alongside the great Australian steeplechaser Crisp, ridden by Richard Pitman. Crisp, an instinctive front-runner, set off in front and, when his nearest pursuer, Grey Sombrero, fell at the Chair, led the field by 25 lengths. Crisp continued to jump superbly for most of the second circuit until, approaching the second last fence, his welter burden of 12st began to tell. Pitman recalled, “I felt the strength fall out of him.”

Crisp jumped the last fence 10 lengths in front, but on the long run-in Pitman made a crucial error of judgement that he later described, saying, “I went for the whip with my right hand, forcing Crisp to veer away from, rather than towards, the Elbow. It cost us two or three lengths, crucial momentum and, ultimately, the National.” In any event, Red Rum, carrying just 10st 5lb, overhauled Crisp in the dying strides to win by three-quarters of length. In so doing, he broke the Grand National record time, which had stood for 40 years, by nearly 20 seconds; the record wouldn’t be broken again until 1990.

Red Rum returned to Aintree in 1974, carrying 12st to a 7-length victory over L’Escargot, which made him the first horse since Reynoldstown, in 1936, to win back-to-back Nationals. He was beaten by the same horse in 1975 and by Rag Trade in 1976 so, by the time he lined up, as a 12-year-old, in 1977, many observers thought his best days were behind him. “Rummy”, as he was affectionately known, was having none of it, though; patiently ridden by new jockey Tommy Stack, he was left in the lead by the fall of Andy Pandy at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit and steadily drew clear in the closing stages to beat Churchtown Boy by 25 lengths!




Saturday, 2 September 2017

Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson
Nicholas John Henderson is a four-time British jump racing Champion trainer, who has enjoyed five decades of success in horse racing.

The renowned trainer is the son of Johnny Henderson, one of the founders of the Racecourse Holdings Trust. Eton-educated Nicky began his career as an amateur jockey before becoming assistant trainer to National Hunt racing racehorse jockey and trainer, Fred Winter in 1984.

Four years later he set up his own training stables at Seven Barrows in Lambourn, Berkshire. His career highlights include winning The Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1992 with Remittance Man and three-time Champion Hurdle winner, See You Then who won from 1985-1987. Henderson was named Champion trainer twice and has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, first with Long Run in 2011 and then Bobs Worth in 2013. The trainer has become synonymous with Cheltenham with only one other active trainer, Willie Mullins, won more races at the legendary track. 
 
One of his best known horses was the hugely popular Caracciola. The mainly National Hunt horse was a 50/1 outsider when he pulled off a shock win the Cesarewitch Handicap flat race at Newmarket in 2008. He followed that success with a win in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2009. 
 
It hasn’t all been glory for Henderson though, in 2009 he was fined a record £40,000 and banned from running horses for three months after a prohibited anti-bleeding drug was found in the blood of Moonlit Path, a mare he trains for the Queen.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Jonjo O'Neill

Jonjo O'Neill
Jonjo O’Neill is a double Jockey’s Champion and National Hunt racehorse trainer. 
 
One of the most successful trainers in the UK and Ireland, he’s still the only person to ride and train a winner on the flat and over fences at Ascot and to have reached 100 wins in a season as a jockey and a trainer. 
 
Born in County Cork, after leaving school he worked as an apprentice to Michael Connolly. Winning over 900 races in his 16-year career, his first came in 1970 with a dead heat on Lana at the Curragh.
Twice named British Champion Jockey, in 1977/78 he broke the record for most winners in a season with 149. He followed that with a with a win in the first of two Cheltenham Gold Cup wins, first on Alverton in 1979. The second came in 1986 on the mare Dawn Run, who was the only horse to have also win the Champion Hurdle. 
 
Later that year, after coming back from serious injuries and battling cancer, O’Neill took out his trainers licence and began working at Skelton Wood End, near Penrith. After 15 years he moved to the JP McManus-owned Jackdaws Castle, Cheltenham. where he struck up a partnership with legendary jockey A.P McCoy, who stormed to victory on Don’t Push in the 2010 Grand National.
 
Some of his biggest wins as a trainer include Synchronised in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2012, Wichita Lineman in the William Hill Trophy at Cheltenham in 2009 and 2014 Irish Grand National winner, Shutthefrontdoor.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Walter Swinburn

Walter Swinburn
Born on the 7th August in 1961, Walter Swinburn was a flat racing jockey of some note, as well as a internationally renowned trainer of racehorses. Hailing from Oxford, Swinburn became Champion Jockey in 1976 and 1977 and was the very first to win more than 100 races in a single Irish season on the flat.

Dubbed “Choirboy” by those who loved the affable jockey, which was and still is a very well populated club, Swinburn was once described as “one the biggest talents in the Sport” by Sir Michael Stoute. He will be most remembered for riding the ill fated Shergar to victory in the 1981 Derby.

He would win the Derby twice more in a star studded career that saw him win countless major domestic and international races including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1983, the Grosser Preis von Baden in 1996, the 1981 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Ascot Gold Cup in 1991. It would simply take too long to list all of the 66 major wins in his personal scrapbook, suffice to say that he was a major figure in the sport for many years.

Tragedy

Disaster struck on December 12th 2016, when Walter Swinburn fell to his death in a freak accident at his Central London Home. He was taken far too young at the age 55 and there was standing room only at his funeral, with ex England Football Captain Bryan Robson amongst those paying their respects. It is believed that the ex jockey’s long standing battle with epilepsy may have played its part in the accident.

It’s fair to say that Walter “Choirboy” Swinburn will be missed. In his prime he was coolness personified and was perhaps the best ‘big race’ rider of his generation.

He was survived by his wife and two daughters.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Steve Cauthen

Born on May 1st 1960, Steve Cauthen is a retired jockey from the US who rode his first race as a rosy cheeked 16 year old at Churchill Downs, Kentucky. He made it round the ‘athletics style’ course, but came in last on King of Swat. However, he didn’t have to wait long for his fortunes to change, riding his first winner just a week later at River Downs Ohio on Red Pipe

What followed was a rise to fame in the sport that can only be described as meteoric. At the still tender age of 17, Cauthen became the first jockey to register earnings in excess of $6m and just 12 months after that, he was the youngest jockey ever to win the US Triple Crown, eclipsing his prize money tally from the previous year.

Europe

After having hit the heights on the US horse racing scene, Steve Cauthen tried his hand in Europe, not least because he was having trouble making the weights in the US. He got off to a fantastic start, winning his first European race on his first appearance, riding Marquee Universal to victory at Salisbury racecourse.

It was to be good portent for Steve Cauthen, as he would go on to have a magnificent career that saw him win three British Champion Jockey titles and ride winners in ten English Classic races. The American jockey was something of a Derby expert, as he added the Derby, the French Derby, the Irish Derby and the Italian Derby to the Kentucky Derby he’d already won before arriving from the US.

Cauthen was rightly honoured after his retirement, receiving the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and featuring in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga New York. What is most impressive however, was being named as the Racing Post’s 8th best jockey of the 20th Century in 1999.

Once Immortalised as Sports Illustrated ‘Sportsman of the Year’ Steve Cauthen was a true ‘pin up’ in the sport of horseracing who now spends his days running his own stud farm with his wife and three daughters.