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20 Jun 2022

Who are the Best Flat Racing Trainers in Ireland?

Irish trainers have bolstered their reputation on the world stage by seizing glory in dozens of famous races in recent years. 

Their haul includes the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Ascot Gold Cup, Epsom Derby, Breeders’ Cup Turf, Hong Kong Vase, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and many more. The breadth of talent ensures that the domestic flat racing scene is highly competitive, keeping the Emerald Isle’s best trainers on their toes. 

These are the best flat racing trainers in Ireland right now:

Aidan O’Brien 

The Ballydoyle maestro has loomed large over the Irish flat racing scene for many years. He initially made his name as a National Hunt trainer, saddling his first winner – Wandering Thoughts at Tralee – on the day his licence began. O’Brien was Ireland’s champion National Hunt trainer for five consecutive seasons in the 1990s, and he found fame when his star hurdler – Istabraq – won three consecutive Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham. 

He took over the Ballydoyle stables from the retiring Vincent O’Brien (no relation) in 1996, and he landed his first Group 1 success when Desert King won the National Stakes that year. The same horse won the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Irish Derby in 1997, giving O’Brien his first taste of Classic success.

O’Brien won his first flat Irish champion trainer title in 1997. Dermot Weld finished ahead of him the following year, but O’Brien reclaimed the title in 1999 and he has won it every year since. During more than two decades of domestic dominance, he has claimed 14 Irish Derby victories, 10 Irish 1,000 Guineas wins, 11 Irish 2,000 Guineas triumphs and more than 350 Group 1 wins. 

He has also been crowned British champion trainer on six occasions, most recently in 2017, despite spending most of his time in Ireland. O’Brien has accumulated 39 Classic triumphs in Britain, including a record eight wins in the Derby at Epsom. He has also won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice, the Cox Plate in Australia, three Hong Kong Vases, the Dubai Sheema Classic and six Breeders’ Cup Turf titles. His most famous runners include Galileo, Hawk Wing, Yeats and Rip Van Winkle. 

Joseph O’Brien 

O’Brien Jr. has already emerged as the greatest threat to his father’s dominance. He has finished second in the race to be crowned champion trainer in each of the past four years, despite only starting out in 2016. 

The former Irish champion jockey announced himself to the world when he won the Melbourne Cup with Rekindling in 2017. That victory was notable, as Aidan O’Brien has never won the race that stops a nation, and his star stayer – Johannes Vermeer – finished runner-up to Rekindling, while Willie Mullins’ Max Dynamite was third in a famous Irish 1-2-3.

Joseph O’Brien clinched his second Melbourne Cup triumph in 2020, when Twilight Payment stormed to victory. Once again, his father had to settle for second place, as Tiger Moth could not catch Twilight Payment down the straight. 

If you are looking for Irish racing tips, it is likely that you will find plenty of runners from O’Brien Sr. and O’Brien Jr. in the mix. Joseph O’Brien has also won big races in Britain, France and the United States, and he is still just 29 years of age, so the future looks bright. His younger brother, Donnacha, is also starting to make waves, cementing the O’Brien dynasty. 

Dermot Weld 

Weld set a record for the most winners trained in Ireland in August 2000, when he landed his 2,578th winner. He has continued to add to that tally ever since, and he is still going strong at the ripe old age of 73.

He was the country’s leading amateur rider on three occasions before becoming a trainer, and he is also a qualified vet. In 1993, Weld became the first European trainer to win the Melbourne Cup when Vintage Crop saluted. He has multiple winners at Royal Ascot under his belt, and he has also trained National Hunt winners at Cheltenham. 

Weld, who was played by Brendan Gleeson in The Cup, secured his first Classic win all the way back in 1981, and he is still rattling off major victories, including the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2020. 

Ger Lyons 

Lyons grew up in Co. Kildare – the thoroughbred county of Ireland. He spent four years as a National Hunt jockey in England, but he became a trainer after a nasty fall at Newcastle in 1989. Lyons’ first victory came at Navan in 1994, when Maelalong emerged victorious. 

By the end of 2018, had reached the milestone of 800 winners. He smashed through the 1,000 wins barrier in August 2021. He has been one of Ireland’s most consistent trainers over the past two decades, and he has frequently been crowned the Irish All Weather Champion Trainer of the Year. He is currently fourth in the battle to win the 2022 Irish champion trainer crown, with a stronger win percentage than both Aiden and Joseph O’Brien. 

Jessica Harrington

Harrington is primarily a National Hunt specialist, but she has also enjoyed considerable success in flat racing. She earned more prize money than Lyons and Weld in 2020 and 2021, and she consistently ranks among the top five flat jockeys in the country. 

She has more than 80 horses in training at her yard, and some of her greatest successes have come via Jumbajukiba. Harrington is now 75 years of age, and she has won it all over jumps, but she shows no signs of slowing down. Her main ambition now is to emerge as one of Ireland’s strongest trainers on the flat. 

“In terms of ambition I want to win more classic races and races abroad. There are a lot of things on the hit-list I haven’t done yet,” said Harrington. “I’d like a Breeders’ Cup winner. I’d like to win big races in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, all sorts of places. I’ve got some very nice flat horses now, with proper pedigrees. They are very exciting.”

15 Jun 2022

Betway Insider: Are You Ready for the Norfolk Stakes Group 2?

Royal Ascot 2022. 

Are you ready for the Norfolk Stakes Group 2? Thunderous, galloping strides, devouring the turf, to conclude in an exceptional winner. 

Five furlongs never seemed to go so fast! 

If you love two-year-old horse racing then this is one race your will savour. The Flat turf season started on the 26th March. In that short time, we have filtered the cream of the crop to feature a race of eleven juveniles fit and ready for their day at the races. 

If you want the scoop on Andrew Balding's thoughts about Ascot, head to the Betway Insider and see what he has to say about this amazing horse racing spectacle. 

Don't miss out on his horses to watch at the 2022 meeting. 

The Norfolk Stakes takes place on Thursday 16th June at 2:30. 

It's a race with a long history dating back to 1843. In recent years, it has been won by Perfect Power (2021), The Lir Jet (2020), A'Ali (2019), Shang Shang Shang (2018) and Sioux Nation (2017). 

Interesting to note that Andrew Balding has a two-year-old in this field. Bakeel, a son of the aforementioned Sioux Nation, won on his debut at Ascot, so a course and distance winner. In fact, he beat another classy horse in Whistle And Flute (trained by Eve Johnson-Houghton) who had won impressively on debut at Bath. 

Bakeel races in the familiar silks of Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah and looks to hold a live hope over this flying five furlongs on going which is forecast to be good to firm. 

We have a class field of two-year-olds including two other unbeaten challengers: The Antartic, trained by A P O'Brien, who has won his last two races and Brave Nation, another son of the sire Sioux Nation, who won with ease on debut by six-lengths for Micheal Bell, who is no stranger to success in this race with The Lir Jet who tasted victory in 2020. 

Andrew Balding is yet to win this race but he will be hopeful Bakeel can show his class today and this January foal can do the stable justice.

Good luck to all.

Photo: Betway

14 Jun 2022

Kevin Philippart de Foy in Winning Form

As an avid follower of horse racing I scan the race card on a daily basis. Then I stop at an unfamiliar name. 

Kevin Phillippart de Foy. 

It was April, an early two-year-old race. Pokhara, ridden by Daniel Muscutt. A bay filly, a daughter of The Gurkha, in the ownership of the Run Away Racing Himalayan Syndicate. 

They sound my kind of people!

This £15,000 yearling purchase, out of an unraced dam made her debut at Yarmouth, a 20/1 shot finishing fifth of five. 

Another trainer with high hopes and limited ammunition? 

Based at Machell Place, Newmarket, Suffolk, it would have been easy to say: ''Here today, gone tomorrow.''

However, this exceptional young trainer could well be one of those few handlers which hits the jackpot

My specialist niche is two-year-old horse racing and I follow each and every season like a black taxi cab driver revises the knowledge. 

I've been very impressed with Kevin Philippart de Foy's formative season. In fact, as a rookie trainer he reminds me very much of Archie Watson when he made an impact in 2016. 

At the time of writing (21/07/2021) he has sent out just 10 two-year-old horses. For any trainer winners are hard to find. Having the talent to ready a debutante really takes a lot of skill. It's the reason most established trainers have so few horses hitting the frame when making their racecourse bow let alone winning in style. 

Taking a quick glance at the juveniles he has raced so far for the 2021 season:

Two-year-olds: Winners underlined


Pokhara 5th 

Smooth Talking 3rd 


Rock Melody 1st 

Giewont 8th 

Mehmentum 3rd 

Bailysgutfeeling 4th 


New Pursuit 1st 

Unexpected Arrival 5th 

Scot's Grace 1st 

Pearl Glory 1st 

I will update his results until the end of the turf season. 

Comments: That's a 40% win strike rate with his debutantes. From experience, any two-year-old that wins on debut is often good enough to dip its toe into pattern class. That was seen with Rock Melody who thrashed his rivals on debut at Redcar. The 16/1 shot stormed clear by over three-lengths winning comfortably. 

I bet against this filly and cursing: ''Who is this bloke!'' 

This is what the Racing Post had to say: ''Raced freely, held up in behind leaders, headway going easily two out, ridden to lead 1f out, soon edged right, went clear inside final furlong, easily.'' 

She contested the Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies' Stakes (Listed Race) at Newmarket over 6f on good to firm going (20th June, 2021) finishing a respectable 10th, beaten just over five lengths. 

Make no mistake, you will be hearing a lot about Kevin Philippart de Foy this season let alone years to come. 

Take note of his other debut winners: 

New Pursuit 

Impressive when winning well on debut at Epsom by over two-lengths. This son of New Bay, a steal at 30,000g as a yearling. In the ownership of Run Away Racing Quest Syndicate. 

Scot's Grace

This daughter of Mehmas literally flew home when making her debut at Kempton. In the ownership of Bernard Havern, bred by Tally-Ho Stud, this bay filly was picked up for pocket money at the Tattersalls Ire Goresbridge Breeze Up @ Nmkt for £15,000. A four-and-a-quarter length victory, Scot's Grace stamped herself as a live chance for Group race success.

Pearl Glory

I was impressed and disappointed when this daughter of Cotia Glory won on debut. You've guessed it, I bet on the horse that finished second [Outside World, trained by Mark Johnston]. This bay filly won by a nose, after having traffic problems. Another inspired breeze-up purchase by this young trainer for just £12,000, from vendor Hyde Park Stud. She was purchased on the 3rd June and bringing home the bacon on the 14th July. Make no mistake this was a victory worth noting because the form of this debut effort will be proven to be high class. 

Kevin Philippart de Foy has achieved in 10 two-year-old debutantes what many established trainers have failed to do in a decade. 

Good luck for the future. 

You most certainly don't need it. 

15 Mar 2022

Katie Walsh Vs West Ham - What it takes to be a Jockey

The Cheltenham Festival 2022 commences on the 15th March, and it's going to be a week of racing that punters and racing enthusiasts alike can't wait to devour. I'm sure you all have your favourite aspects of Cheltenham whether from past winners of the Gold Cup, owners such as J P McManus who love to place giant bets to your favourite jockeys. 

That brings me to Katie Walsh, the Betway ambassador, who knows a thing or too about horse racing, from a family who have seen amazing successes, and what it takes to be a jockey at the Cheltenham Festival. 

What's more she's literally teamed up with West Ham FC players so they can learn what is takes to be a winning jockey. 

What the atmosphere is like in the weighing room. 

How to know when to make your move when coming towards home. 

The relationship with other jockeys they are competing against. 

The feeling of coming home first on a favourite. 

See how West Ham players Jarrod Bowen, Aaron Creswell and Mark Noble fair as they swap the beautiful game with the rough and tumble of racing at the highest level.  

Take a look at this video as you'll love it.  

Source: Betway

13 Mar 2022

Everything Happening at This Year’s Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is back and bigger than ever! Horse racing and betting fans have been looking forward to this ever since the last festival closed, so you can imagine a lot of ornamental hats flying off the shelves right now. 

But there is so much to the Cheltenham Festival, you can’t just sum it up in horse racing. There’s music, there’s dancing, there’s good food and of course there’s the horses. Take a look at our guide to find out what there is to see at the Cheltenham Festival 2022.

What’s on the racecourse?

Cheltenham Festival 2022 will be marked by superior racing. We’ve got hurdles, we’ve got chases, we’ve got two-mile runs and we’ve got trophies! 

Names like Honeysuckle, Tiger Roll, Shishkin and more are returning to retain their titles, while a few newer names will appear to try and snatch it from them, like Jonbon, Sir Gerhard and Bob Olinger. 

The headliner races are made up of the Unibet Champion Hurdle on day one, on day two the Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase, the Ryanair Steeple Chase on day three, and of course The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase to close the festival. All the headliners will take place at 3.30pm so don’t miss it spending time in the restaurants. 

Plus, St Patrick’s Day lands slap bang in the middle of the festival, so Thursday will see the festival themed Irish, with the Village transformed into The Guinness Village and everyone encouraged to wear as much green as you have in your cupboard. 

Where to eat and drink? 

Where can’t you eat? For the best views of the racecourse, head to the Parade Ring Viewing Restaurant. It is newly opened and available to the public for a luxurious horse racing experience. You will be able to see over the paddock as the horses leave the parade ring and will be first to know when the champion passes the finish line. 

Also new for 2022 is Four Eighty, which is a revolving restaurant. It offers the most mouthwatering gourmet meals, with staples like tender rack of lamb, succulent smoked salmon, and famed indulgent Cheltenham pudding. 

There are a total of 13 restaurants for you to explore, ranging from casual to delectable, all with views of the racecourse, offering the best of British cuisine, or the best from around the world. Book your table today to get the most of it. But move fast! Seven of the restaurants are already sold out! 

Where to be merry? 

All over the place! There will be music acts scattered around the venues for your entertainment. The Wickermen will be bringing their brand of classic rock to the opening and closing days of the festival, while Murphy’s Marbles bring the St Paddy’s cheer with their country Ireland Celtic tunes. The Hipcats will be roaming the venue, offering some soothing and jolly jazz music, whatever the moment demands. And of course, the Got2Sing choir will be bringing some fun tunes to the Best Mate Plaza and the main drive every day.

Photo: Unsplash 

17 Feb 2022

Enjoy The Thrill Of Racehorse Ownership Without The Expense


Harraton Stud. Laceys Lane. Exning. Suffolk. CB8 7HW
Tel: 07974817694


  • Enjoy the thrill of ownership without the expense, make new friends, enjoy the day at the races.
  • Newmarket Equine Tours Racing Club has 4 quality horses to enjoy throughout the season. Go to the races in style with your owner/trainer race badge, with a fantastic group people. 

N.E.T. Racing Club 1 year membership
12-month membership to the N.E.T. Racing Club with Julia Feilden. You will be a member of an enthusiastic and successful racing club with the opportunity to watch your horses race as well as stable visits. Includes ballot for complimentary race day badges (including race day hospitality) unlimited stable visits, email updates and invites to special owners' days.


''It's great being part of Newmarket Equine Tours Racing Club. My only disappointment is not joining years ago. It's exceptional value! It's ideal for getting the inside edge when betting on the horses. With four talented horses running for you, it's a perfect time to make this new Flat turf season something out of the ordinary. There will be plenty of opportunities to go racing this year. The correspondence is great. Julia keeps you informed of the horses and their chances on the day. Go racing in style: Collecting your Owners/Trainers badge(s);  gaining entry to all those parts of the racecourse which once seemed the province of the rich and famous. You will be that VIP. Rub shoulders with the great and good: meeting Julia and the team in the paddock, shake hands with the jockey, listen to the pre-race talk, then watching your horse run like the wind. With four lovely horses, you're odds-on to make the winner's enclosure in 2021.''    

Thanks for a wonderful club and brilliant days' racing. Fantastic. Fully recommended by Horse Trainer Directory. (Owner, Jason Coote) 

Read Julia's Blog

25 Jan 2022

How To Stream Horse Racing Online

If you bet on horse racing regularly, then it’s great to be able to watch the races live. Not only will this add to the excitement of having a bet on the race but you’ll also be able to see how your horse and the other runners perform which can help with any bets you have on them in future races. 

One of the most popular ways to watch racing online is via bookmaker accounts. Many of which have horse racing live streams. By streaming racing with a bookie, you’re able to place bets and watch the race all in the same place and there are several other advantages too. 

Not all bookmakers offer live streaming and for those that do, they may not offer horse racing streams. However, many of the top UK bookies do with the most popular choices being the likes of Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfred, William Hill and Betfair.

Can You Stream Horse Racing For Free? 

Although bookmakers don’t directly charge customers to access the live racing streams, the vast majority of them require a bet to be placed on the race that you want to watch. This is usually in the region of £0.50 - £2 but varies between bookies. However, the exception is Paddy Power who is 2020, announced that they were to offer free horse racing streams to their customers. All that is required is a Paddy Power account and no qualifying bet needs to be placed to watch the races. Every race that is taking place within the UK and Ireland can be streamed for free both via the Paddy Power website and the app. 

Taking Advantage Of Racing Offers 

Another advantage of being able to bet on and stream horse races with a bookmaker is that you’ll be able to take advantage of the various betting offers that are available. Many of the top bookies offer Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK & Irish races which is an offer that should be high on your list if you bet on racing regularly. There are also several other commonly found racing offers available daily such as Extra Places and Money Back if 2nd. 

Stream Racing On The Go 

With races in the UK taking place throughout the day and week, it’s not always possible to be at home when the races are on. However, any respectable bookmaker will have a website that is optimised for mobile devices and many of them have dedicated mobile apps that you can download for free from the app stores. Racing streams are available both via the websites and apps meaning that you can watch the races on your smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices wherever you are so long as you have an internet connection. 

What Other Sports Can You Stream With A Bookmaker? 

Horse racing isn’t the only other sport that you’re able to stream with a bookmaker and there are often dozens more available. 

The sports and events that are available to be streamed will depend on the bookmaker but some of the most common include Football, Tennis, American Football, Table Tennis, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Darts, Ice Hockey, Rugby, Snooker and many others.

4 Nov 2021

SuperEasy Ways To Learn Everything About Betting in the United Kingdom

Did you know that over 50% of the UK population gamble each week? That’s an awful lot of betting on your staples: horse racing, football, boxing, snookers… You name it, you can bet on everything these day. You still get those in a Festive mood hoping for a white Christmas! 

To learn everything about betting in the United Kingdom is a pretty wide subject, but you will do yourself a favour by visiting to get all the latest news and compare those betting odds. 

As an ardent form student my sporting niche is horse racing. Now, you may enjoy another sport and that’s just fine. But it’s very important to stick to betting on a subject you are passionate about. Without this enthusiasm you won’t take your betting seriously. If you don’t bet to win you are wasting your time and money. If you simply bet for fun then you are doing yourself a disservice. 

Betting is a game of skill. If you don’t know more than the layer who takes your bet then you need to increase your knowledge. That’s why any gambler worth their salt will be betting on a skill-based sport rather than fixed odds. You don’t need me to tell you that you cannot – long term – beat fixed odds. It’s a mathematical fact. 

Also, which is the best approach: betting with you’re head or your heart? You may say the former (rightly so) but would you ever bet against your favourite football team? If you want to win at gambling you need to bet with skill. 

To be a successful gambler you really don’t need to know everything. Here’s a little secret to the success of most punters who have the bookies running for cover. They know a little more than most. It’s a pointless exercise trying to be the best on planet Earth. Unless you want to win a gold medal at the Olympics, it’s a safe bet that you don’t need to be numero uno. Fair enough, if you happen to be that said person, you don’t need to be reading this blog post.

Horse Trainer Directory details UK Horse Trainers big and small. If you want to know something more than your average punter, then take the time to understand the strength and weakness of a trainer who catches your eye. Why? Because just doing that will give you an edge over 95% of gamblers who feel they don’t need to put in the effort to learn. If you want to beat the opposition then you can only do this by educating yourself. Not only is it fun it can help you make your betting pay. 

For example, a new horse trainer, Kevin Phillipart De Foy, is someone who you really want to pay close attention and do a little bit of research about his two-year-old horses because he is such a talented handler that I can almost guarantee you will make money from betting on his juveniles on their first or second start. It comes straight from the horse's mouth. 
Other horse trainers who are worthy of note on their first start include: 

George Boughey 
Roger Varian 
Archie Watson 
David O’Meara 

It is worth noting that many horse trainers simply cannot win at speculative odds and reason why you need to study and research to understand. Don’t fall into the trap of most gamblers who never learn anything from the day they place their first bet. Before betting make sure you know your subject matter well. Place your bets with skill. Use these 10 pointers to help you bet like a pro: 

1) Know your niche it is your key to outwitting any layer 
2) Be selective when betting that’s your strength 
3) Never bet for fun, the buzz or bored 
4) Bet level stake 
5) Keep a record of all bets 
6) Never chase losses 
7) Compare odds and get the value 
8) Keep motivated and bet with confidence 
9) Hone your skills 
10) If you lose regularly – stop betting 

Compare the betting odds to find value. If a bet doesn’t offer value (a price better than its actual chance of winning) you will never win long term. 

Winning isn’t a matter of luck, it’s a matter of judgement. 

Good luck.

14 Sept 2021

Famous Horses Immortalized in Movies

Horses have been part of human culture for centuries. Back in the day, they were the most important means of transport, invaluable help in working the land, so much so that the power of our cars is, to this day, expressed in a unit of measure based on their force - horsepower. Horses have been replaced by engines in time - but they didn’t disappear from our lives: they are now a source of pleasure, part of some medical therapies, and used for sport. Horse racing has probably appeared around the time horses were domesticated. Today, equestrian sports are performed at the Olympics, and traditional horse races are among the most popular event in many countries. Not to mention the extended online horse racing betting phenomenon. 

Today, racehorses rarely rise to stardom - their place has been taken by football stars and tennis players. But there are many racehorses in history that rose to stardom - they became famous enough for their names and performances to be immortalized on the silver screen.


Seabiscuit was one of the most famous thoroughbreds in American history, and the top money-winning horse in the 1940s. Born during the Great Depression, he was small and often the underdog - but he beat the 1937 Triple-Crown winner War Admiral by four lengths, which turned him into a symbol of hope for the disillusioned people. 

The story of Seabiscuit was adapted to the screen several times. The latest of these is the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction novel “Seabiscuit: An American Legend”, simply called “Seabiscuit”, with Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges, and, of course, Popcorn Deelites, the thoroughbred actor who played the title role in the movie. 


Secretariat didn’t only win the American Triple Crown in 1973 but also broke the records for the fastest times in all three races, records that he holds to this day. He left an impression, showing up sporadically in pop culture to this day - like in the surreal series “BoJack Horseman”, for example. And, of course, his biographical movie. Based on William Nack's 1975 book “Secretariat: The Making of a Champion”, “Secretariat” is a 2010 biographical drama from 2010. While the movie is not entirely accurate, it was fairly successful - in its Disney-esque family-friendly way - and a nice tribute to the fastest racehorse in the history of the American Triple Crown. 


Finally, let’s spare a thought on the most successful filly in Europe, the Hungarian thoroughbred Kincsem. Born in 1874, she was a weak and small horse, so much so that when she was offered up for sale as part of a package deal, she was the only one that was refused by the buyer. She was also picky - legend has it, Kincsem had her own suite that included a fellow filly and a cat, and that she refused to eat anything but grain and hay from her owner’s farm. Kincsem became the most successful thoroughbred in history, having won 54 of her 54 starts, against both male and female opponents, everywhere from Hungary to England and France. The story of Europe’s most successful filly inspired Hungarian filmmakers to make a move based on her story. Well, it didn’t turn out exactly that - Kincsem is extensively featured in the film but she is by far not in the centre of attention. In some scenes, Kincsem is even played by a stallion - so much for accuracy. But it’s a tribute, nonetheless.

3 Sept 2021

What Does a Horse Trainer Actually Do?

When cheering on a horse you have placed a bet on, it is normally the horse itself that gets the most attention and, hopefully, after the race all the plaudits that go with winning. After that, it might well be jockey’s performance, which is either ecstatically praised or angrily lamented. Yet when the bet has been placed and the horses are out of the stalls, you hardly ever hear the trainers name being ricochet between the walls of the betting shop. 

The reason for this – beyond the obvious that the horse and the jockey are actually visible during the race – is that, while many horse racing fans have a general idea what a horse trainer does, the actual breadth of their duties is a matter of widespread ignorance. When it comes to horse racing betting odds, it might be fairly easy to see how a jockey’s track record or a horse’s past performance are informing the numbers, but it’s less obvious to the uninitiated to see how the relative prestige of the horse trainer has played a role. 

Yet played a role the trainer undoubtedly has. In fact, they have played multiple roles beyond the one that everybody knows – getting the horse into peak physical condition before the race. For one thing, a trainer is not assigned to a single horse by that horse’s owner, and they do not occupy a role similar to an athlete’s trainer or coach. Trainers are in fact small-to medium-sized business owners who run a stable, most often train multiple horses, and are in charge of a team who are integral to the performance of a horse on race day. 

As you might expect of someone running a business and managing a team, a trainer in fact has many different roles and a highly varied job. Far more so, in fact, than the jockey’s and the horse, who only ride and race respectively. 

Basic Duties 

As mentioned, it is a horse trainer’s most fundamental duty to prepare a horse for race day. Many will not be surprised that this involves regulating the horse’s diet, exercise schedule, and its schooling. The last of these may not be as familiar as the first two. In horse racing, “schooling” refers to the techniques associated with improving the horse’s manner and behaviour when ridden by a jockey. Schooling is important for all horses, not just racing horses, and if you’ve ever ridden a horse yourself, you can be sure that this horse will have been well schooled to accept a rider calmly and respond to commands. 

As mentioned, a horse trainer will also, in the vast majority of cases, run a large stable and command a large team. This takes all the management skills and co-ordination that any team management needs in whichever field this may be in. Indeed, there is a good deal of business acumen that must avail a successful horse trainer before they can offer their services with any measure of success. 

It is a common misconception that a horse trainer will constantly be vying with others for the chance to train a prestigious horse. While some horse trainers are employed by owners, many also own, raise, and train their own racehorses for competition. 

Racing Advice 

For any competent horse trainer, an in-depth knowledge of the horse under their care will always be matched with an in-depth knowledge of the sport itself. This means that horse trainers also take on the role of advisors to horse owners, specifically suggesting which races to enter a particular racehorse in. 

This is a role that takes a good deal of expertise and knowledge of the both the horse in question and the conditions of a broad range of racing events. Normally, there will be a set type of race which most plays to a particular horse’s strengths. However, a horse can also be trained specifically for a certain event, which means a specific diet and training programme for the horse.

On race days, it is not unknown for the trainer to walk around the track to ascertain its qualities underfoot and advise the jockey on a racing strategy. There are those who might imagine that racing strategy and performance is the job of the jockey, but the unique knowledge had by a competent trainer means that they also fulfil a role in this department.


The earnings a professional trainer will make can vary a lot but is usually dependent on the amount of prize money that their horses can win. Being a horse trainer then is not simply a job that pays a set amount, but one which rewards the very highest level of commitment. 

When you consider just how many different fields of expertise this commitment extends to, it is easy to see why the horse trainer holds one of the most prestigious positions among those who are responsible for bringing a horse to the track to race.

31 Aug 2021

Horse Trainers who like to bet on their Horses

You're not the only one who likes a bet.  

Horse trainers do too. 

Remember back in the day when horse trainer Barry Hills was named King of the Coups? 

One of the tabloids had the headline: ''Barry Hills has won so much money from bookies during his training career that it's a wonder he didn't call one of his sons William.'' 

He has five sons, including Charles, who is presently a trainer at Wetherdown House Stables, Lambourn and John who was a successful handler, sadly passed away in 2014. 

Barry Hills funded his training career on the strength of monster gambles. The 1968 Lincoln winner, Frankincense, backed from 66/1 - 100/8 gave him the finances to change his life and follow his dream. 

The payout £64,000, which in today's money is well over £1.5M. 

It was the beginning of a very long list of winners which saw him get his trainer's licence in 1969 and retire in 2011. 

He trained over 3,000 winners including four Classics in Great Britain: 1000 Guineas - Enstone Park (1978), Ghanaati (2009) & 2000 Guineas: Tap On Wood (1979), Haafd (2004).  

I wonder if Mr. Hills debated which bookies were best for his horse racing bets. If you want to know more about that intel about the best horse racing betting sites, just click right here because it's important to know what you are looking for when you have a flutter online.  

Not bad going for the son of a head lad, who paved the way for future generations of horse trainers.

In these times, horse trainers are probably a little more secretive about telling a soul of their plans to land a big punt. However, you can guarantee that a lot of horse trainers pride themselves on making the bookmakers pay. In fact, a number sell tips to horse tipster platforms for extra cash. I'm sure they don't detail the best chances (but that's just my opinion). 

When you think about the perfect person to give you a tip, it should be the trainer of the beast.

Horse trainers are in that privileged position. They should know whether Pegasus, entered to run at 2:00 Great Yarmouth, has been catching pigeons at home on the gallops. 

As a follower of two-year-old horse racing, it's my job to know everything about this niche. 

Now, I don't know for sure which horse trainers like a gamble, but I certainly have my own opinions about which ones like to have a bet and those that may well frighten most bookies to death. 

My assessment of which trainers like to gamble comes from observing major gambles that have won and those who are canny devils with a glint in their eyes. 

Here are my top 3 horse trainers who like to bet on their horses.

David Evans

The Welsh Wizard. Based at Ty-Derlwyn Farm, Pandy, Abergavenny. There are many canny horse trainers but, for me, Evans is in a class of his own. Whether he has a debutante at Chepstow, a handicapper at Haydock or a hot shot running at Royal Ascot he is a man to follow when the money is down. Trust me, he makes most trainers look like Micky Mouse. I've seen some major gambles on the stables two-year-olds and although not all of then find the winner's enclosure a good number do. 

For example, who will forget the debut of two-year-old Choux at Thirsk (15th May)? This daughter of Exceed And Excel was backed from 40/1 - returning at odds of 100/30. She won in a breeze. I don't know for sure whether it was the owners Chris Kiely Racing Ltd & Partner who lumped on but I can't imagine Mr Evans not enjoying a slice of the pie, if not the cherry on the top.

Gambling score: 5/5 

I must admit, I don't know much about horse trainers from across the globe like Australia, New Zealand, France, South Africa and of course the famous Kentucky Derby in the United States but I do know a few more British horse trainers who it pays to follow with cold, hard cash.  

Here's to my next intriguing horse trainer who may or may not like a bet. 

David Simcock

Based at Trillium Place Stables, Birdcage Walk, Newmarket, Suffolk. An excellent horse trainer who always likes to run his best two-year-olds at headquarters [Newmarket]. Now, I can only surmise whether this stable likes a punt but I have one very good piece of data which suggests to me this is a stable where winners are backed to short odds. Sounds intriguing, hey. I will tell you this little gem of wisdom which I have researched. The stable two-year-olds on their second start can be very hard to beat. But here's the real peace of info you need to know. For the last umpteen years, he has never had a juvenile win on it's second start at odds greater than 13/2. That's not the exact price because I'm not giving that info away for free. But I will tell you this. ''If you bet on one of his horses at big odds, you'll be unlikely to win any wonga.''

If you want to know about all UK horse trainers big and small then you won't find them any faster than clicking this mobile-optimised site, as you don't want to forget knowledge is power. And winning is all about knowing who is hot property when they have a bet. 

Gambling score 4/5

My third and last horse trainer to follow when the money comes is another high-profile handler and a lovely man. 

Clive Cox

Based at Beechdown Stables, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn, Berkshire. A horse trainer who knows his horse. Once again, I have no idea whether Mr. Cox likes a punt and simply extrapolate my wisdom from what I have learned from his two-year-old horses. I must say that when his two-year-old debutantes start favourite they are very hard to stop from winning. Mostly, they are the best juveniles in the stable. You really can't go wrong following the money with this outfit. 

Gambling score 4/5 

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution but given 

29 Jul 2021

What's Next for British Horse Racing Broadcasts?

With horse racing, as with virtually every other widely followed sport, there's often fierce competition over who gets the right to broadcast fixtures and provide analysis on TV. Over the past decade alone, the broadcast rights for major British horse races such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham have passed between the hands of multiple channels, with the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 all having held the main broadcasting rights at one point or another. 

Today, the broadcasting contract for British horse racing is held by ITV, as part of a £20 million multi-year agreement. However, its future as the home for televised horse racing is far from assured. After all, renegotiations for the contract nearly collapsed late last year with Racehorse Media Group, which represents all of the major race events. It's clear that ITV is not able to see eye to eye with the organisation on multiple fronts. 

As such, it seems well within the realm of possibility that ITV will no longer receive the broadcast rights once its current contract expires in 2023. But what happens after that? While it's possible that the game of musical chairs will continue and that the contact will go to one of the other big broadcasters, it's important to look at other trends at play in order to determine what the future of British horse racing will look like. 

For one, it's possible that the ever-encroaching popularity of online sports broadcasts and analysis will erode the value of the TV contract. After all, some of the world's top horse racing betting sites like bet365 offer live broadcasts to all members, alongside daily news and analysis on all major British horse races. This is a service that members of bet365 do not have to pay extra for and it's a feature that is becoming increasingly common across the booming online sports betting industry. 

As sports TV continues to see fierce competition from digital competitors, the broadcasters might find themselves less and less willing to shell out tens of millions of pounds for a contract in the near future. Meanwhile, it's also worth pondering whether the big three broadcasters will even be in the running for the contract by the time that it comes up for renewal.

Source: Unsplash

Smaller, for-pay channels are increasingly asserting themselves within the sports broadcasting arena. Just take a look at the Olympics, for example. The International Olympic Committee decided to award the entire European broadcasting rights for Tokyo 2020 not to public broadcasters like the Beeb, but to the cable US network Discovery, which has put most of its Olympic content behind a paywall. 

While this might result in fewer viewers overall, it's almost certainly a major boon to the network's profits. In the years to come, there is no reason why smaller, for-pay broadcasters won't begin seriously competing for the Racehorse Media Group contract. It's clear that the world of horse racing is currently in flux, and how we consume this great British pastime may change in the coming years. Stay tuned to find out. 

Top Photo Source: Unsplash