Classics Races Trainers

Henry Cecil

Henry Cecil

Henry Cecil has captured virtually every major Group 1 event on the English flat racing calendar. His first classic winner came in 1975 when Bolonski lifted the 2,000 Guineas, but it would be another decade before he lifted the prized Derby trophy. With Steve Cauthen at the reins Slip Anchor powered home to lift the Derby 1985, and with Oh So Sharp taking the Fillies’ Triple Crown, Cecil prevailed in four of the five classics that season.

Further classic success was achieved with Reference Point and Commander In Chief both winning the Derby for Henry Cecil. In 1995 Cecil suffered a reversal in his racing fortunes when after falling out with Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, the leading owner withdrew his horses from the Cecil stable. However, classic victories were to continue with Bosra Sham lifting the 1,000 Guineas and Lady Carla winning the Oaks in 1996. Two more classics were lifted in 1997 and a further three in 1999, including a fourth Derby triumph with Oath.

Cecil has had a long reputation for employing the top jockeys, with Lester Piggott, Steve Cauthen, Pat Eddery and Kieren Fallon all enjoying success with him. Now, with Richard Quinn at the helm of another impressive crop of classic hopefuls it is inconceivable to discount Henry Cecil adding to his impressive haul.

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston and Kieren Fallon

Mark Johnston and Kieren Fallon

Qualified vet, Mark Johnston, began his training career in 1987, with Hinari Video providing him with his first winner at Carlisle. Since taking over at Kingsley House in 1988, Mark Johnston has gradually increased the stable in size and strength.

Johnston’s first classics success came in 1994 when Mister Baileys clinched the 2,000 Guineas in almost record time. It took a decade for Johnston to claim his second classics success, when Attraction won the 1,000 Guineas in 2004. Along with his classics titles, Johnston has also won a crop of Group 1 races, including the Ascot Gold Cup, St James’s Palace Stakes and Coronation Stakes at the Ascot Meeting.

On September 4th 2000 (thirteen years and sixty-five days following his first winner), Double Honour won the race that provided Mark Johnston with the honour of becoming the fastest British trainer to one thousand career victories, beating Henry Cecil by ninety days in the process. Johnston’s global racing commitments, involving a wide-range of owners, that includes Sheikh Maktoum, ensures Johnston will be at the fore of British racing this season.

Aidan O’Brien

Aiden OBrien

Aiden O'Brien

Since switching from being a record-breaking career as a national hunt trainer, Aidan O’Brien has employed his talents to great effect, delivering group success on repeated occasions. His major achievements include a clean sweep of both the Irish and England classics, as well as dozens of major Group 1 races in the United States and France.

Despite a premature end to his career as jockey at the tender age of twenty-three, Aidan O’Brien has consistently displayed his aptitude as trainer. Two winners were saddled on his very first day as a national hunt trainer and after being asked to step into the shoes of the legendary Vincent O’Brien (no relation), he has acquitted himself impressively. He currently holds the record for the most winners within a year in Ireland and is firmly established within the elite of the world’s top trainers.

Saeed bin Suroor

Saeed Bin Suroor

Saeed Bin Suroor

After leaving his former employment as a police officer, Saeed bin Suroor obtained his training license in the United Arab Emirates in 1994. His first competitor, Lock’s Heath ran on December 1st 1994 and his first winner quickly followed at Nad Al Sheba with the Arabian gelding Dobry’s Warlock. In April 1995 bin Suroor joined Sheikh Mohammed’s Al Quoz stable in Dubai and the Godolphin operation in England, this partnership has produced the most successful stable in the world today.

The Godolphin operation was created in 1994, under the supervision and funding of the Maktoum family, with the aim of moving away from the traditional approach of preparing horses for a European flat campaign. Each winter a select number of horses are bought to Dubai, acclimatised and prepared for the following years racing. The climate of Dubai allows for uninterrupted training schedules, giving them a better chance of honours when employed in Europe (from their Newmarket base) or globally.

The Godolphin operation has developed rapidly into one of the most powerful stables anywhere in the world. With the resources at the disposal of the Dubai royal family, there is no doubt Godolphin will add to its already impressive record of over eighty Group One titles.