The greatest racehorse trainers of all-time

FRED RIMELL

When Fred Rimell nnished as leading English National Hunt trainer in 1975-76, he ended the five-year un-beaten run of his great rival, Fred Winter. At the same time, the Master of Kinnersley set a stakes record by winning £111,740, some £10,000

more than Fred Winter`s previous best. This impressive total was accounted for mainly by two great wins - that of Rag Trade in the Grand National and of Royal Frolic in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In achieving this, Fred Rimell became the first trainer to pull off the double since Vincent O'Brien with Knock Hard and Early Mist in 1953.

As a jockey Fred Rimell never had much luck at Aintree, but he is one of the few men to saddle four winners of the great jumping classic: Nicolaus Silver, E.S.B., Gay Trip and Rag Trade. His riding career was one of which any man could be proud. Having ridden his first winner on the Hat at the age of 12, he rode 33 more before going into jumping, In this field he enjoyed enormous success, being Champion National Hunt jockey in 1938-39, 1939-40 and 1944-45, while he shared the title with 'Frenchie’ Nicholson in 1945-46.

Grey horse Nicolaus Silver, trained by Fred Rimell, wins the Grand National in 1961
Grey horse Nicolaus Silver, trained by Fred Rimell, wins the Grand National in 1961

Until a fall from Coloured School Boy broke his neck and ended his career as a jockey, Fred Rimell rode winner upon winner, some of his most famous partners being horses like Unconditional Surrender, Avenger, Knight of London and Custom House.

Apart from his four Grand National victories, Fred Rimell trained the Gold Cup winner Woodland Venture, dual Champion Hurdle winner Comedy of Errors and the winners of practically every major jumping race in the National Hunt calendar, including four successive Mackeson Gold Cups, the Scottish Grand National, the Welsh National, the Grand Sefton and three Great Yorkshire Chases.

VINCENT O’BRIEN

Born 1917, Vincent O`Brien must rank as one of the greatest and versatile trainers in racing history for he has won every major classic in Britain and Ireland, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Ballymoss, and the Washington International with Sir Ivor, as well as all the top jumping prizes.

His incredible feats include winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years in arow from 1948 to 1950 with Cottage Rake. He performed another treble with Hatton's Grace, who won the Champion Hurdle in 1949, 1950 and 1951 and then amazingly topped that by taking the Grand National at Aintree in three consecutive years and

with three different chasers. This quiet, unassuming man with a formidable sense of purpose then set about making a name for himself on the Flat. His first British classic victory came with Ballymoss in the 1957 St.Leger at Doncaster, while Larkspur won him his first Epsom Derby in 1962. He won the Oaks in consecutive years, 1965 and 1966 with Long Look and Valoris and he also collected the 1966 1,000 Guineas with Glad Rags. He uses the services of Lester Piggott whenever possible and in 1968 scored a wonderful classic double in the 2,000 Guineas and Derby with Mr.

Raymond Guest’s Sir Ivor. But even this was overshadowed in 1970 when he trained the late Mr. Charles Engelhard's Canadian-bred Nijinsky to land the Triple Crown 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger - as well as the Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

In 1972 collected another Derby with Roberto and also the St. Leger with Boucher. He won his fifth Derby in 1977 when Mr. Robert Sangster’s The Minstrel caught Hot Grove in the final furlong.

FULKE WALWYN

Winner of the 1936 Grand National on Reynoldstovsm, Fulke Walwyn has since turned out countless winners under jumping rules from his famous Saxon House stables in Lambourn. His powerful string of around 60 horses—under the colours of such famous owners as Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for

whom he has trained countless winners including Game Spirit, Isle of Man and Present Arms—was always a force to be reckoned with in any major jumping race. He will always be remembered as the trainer of Mill House, who had so many epic

battles with Arkle over the park courses of England in the hands of Irish-born jockey Willie Robinson, and of Mandarin, one of the greatest ever chasers to win the elusive

Grand Steeple de Paris. He was associated with that grand old character, The Dikler, and many good hurdlers including the brilliant American-bred Exhibit A.

TOM DREAPER

Throughout his long career as one of lreland’s greatest National Hunt trainers, Tom Dreaper was reckoned to be not only a leading trainer and horse rnaster but also one of the finest judges of a young horse. His long association with Anne, Duchess

of Westminster’s string of line chasers including the mighty Arkle, bears witness to that. For it was Tom Dreaper who bought Arkle as a three-year-old at the Dublin Sales on behalf of his sporting patron, despite the fact that the gelding was in no way fashionably bred and was something of an ‘ugly duckling' to look at at that time.

Apart from Arkle, generally reckoned to be the greatest ever chaser over park courses, Tom Dreaper's Kilsallaghan stable in Co Dublin produced the winners of practically every great jumping trophy in both England and Ireland before being handed over to Tom’s son, Jim, who has carried on the family tradition with considerable success.

PETER CAZALET

Old Etonian Major Peter Cazalet trained innumerable winners on his 1,500-acre Fairlawne estate near Tonbridge in Kent for the cream of British jumping owners including Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Colonel ‘Billy' Whitbread of the brewing family and others including Lord Abergavenny and Lord Portman. If he never had any success in the Grand National, he was always prominent at the

famous park meetings of Cheltenham and Sandown where he trained winners for The Queen Mother, including The Rip, Laffy, Makaldar and Lochmore. The best horse he ever trained for his life-long friend Colonel Whitbread was dual Two Mile Champion Chase winner Dunkirk, who died tragically when taking on the amazing Arkle at Kempton.


JOHN SCOTT

Born 1800's. Five Derbys, nine Oaks and no fewer than 16 St. Legers, that was the impressive record of Chippenham born John Scott, who trained at Malton, Yorkshire, between 1829-63. He was the Hrst prominent public trainer on the English racing scene.

ALEC TAYLOR

Born 1862. Among the very best trainers of the 19th Century, his belief that racehorses should not be over raced and overworked as two-year-olds paid dividends, as his record in the three-year•o1d classics show. Three Derbys, eight Oaks, five St. Legers, four 2,000 Guineas and one 1,000 Guineas were among his 1000 or so winners.

FRANK BUTTERS

Born 1878. He was among the most successful trainers of the 1920’s and 30's. After a highly consistent period as trainer to Lord Derby he took up an appointment with the Aga Khan until his retirement in 1949. During his career he trained classic winners, including the Triple Crown winner Bahram. He died in 1957.

FRED DARLING

Born 1884. An outstanding trainer, he won 19 classic races including the Derby seven times. Hurry On and the brilliant but temperamental Sun Chariot are just two of the many great horses that passed through his establishment at Beckhampton. Sun Chariot won the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St. Leger in 1942. Plagued by ill health, he retired in 1947 and died in 1953 — just after Pinza, whom he bred, had won the Derby.

BART CUMMINGS

Born 1928, he became one of the greatest Australian trainers of modern times and was that country's first million-dollar trainer on june 17th, 1974, although only two hours later the feat was equalled by that fine Sydney trainer-TommySmith. In 1954, four years after his late father had won the Melbourne Cup with Comic Court, he took out his first trainer's licence.

He never looked back and went on to land the Melbourne Cup three years in a row, with Light Fingers (1965), Galilee (1966) and Red Handed (1967). He also won Australia’s richest race in 1974 and 1975 with Think Big. After his famous 1974 victory he returned to Flemington two days later and staged a repeat one-two success in the Victoria Oaks, Leica Show just holding on against her more fancied stable-companion, Cap d`Antibes,

ANGEL PENNA

Bom 1923. A leading trainer in France. He first took out a trainer's licence in 1946 with his father, in Argentina. Gained further experience in Venezuela before moving to the United States where he was very successful, firstly in Florida and then New York.

Angel Penna moved to Europe in 1972, based at Chantilly in France and in his first season won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with Countess Batthyany’s San San. He won this valuable prize again in 1974 with the brilliant Allez France as private trainer to Daniel Wildenstein.

This truly international trainer, although having great success in France, had a frustrating run of bad luck whenever he sent runners across to Britain. However, he cut matters right when Lianga captured the 1975 July Cup at Newmarket. In November of that year he told Daniel Wildenstein that he would win for him the first British fillies classic, the 1,000 Guineas,the following May with Flying Water. This he did and he followed up by taking the Epsom Oaks and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes with Pawneese. More success was to follow when he saddled Crow to win the final classic, the St.Leger.

This remarkable Argentinian had the achievement in 1976 of winning six races in Britain worth £240,819 with only four horses.


ENRICO CAMICI

Bom 1913. He rode for the Hogarth stable in its heyday, and during his career as a jockey rode well over 4,000 winners. He rated Rihot as the best horse he rode. Two others of which he held a high opinion were Molvedo and Orsenigo.

Camici rode in America, Australia, Italy, France and England. He was six times champion jockey ot Italy.He won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes on Ribot, the Goodwood Cup on Tenerani, the Ascot Gold Cup on Antelani`s sire Botticelli and the Champion Stakes on Marguerite Vernaut. He was also suc-

cessful in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Ribot and Molvedo. Camici learnt his trade under the great Italian rider Paelo Caprioli. The latter was the regular rider for the Guiseppe de Montel stable at which Camici’s father was head lad.

He was president of the Italian Jockeys’ Association when he retired from the saddle to become a trainer. In 1970 he was appointed chairman of the Italian Trainers’ Association.

SIR NOEL MURLESS

Born 1916, after 41 years training retired in 1976. Easily the outstanding British post-war trainer, he equalled Fred Darling's record of 19 British classic winners and was top trainer nine times between 1948 and 1973.

ln racing all his life, he started his training career as assistant to Hubert Hartigan, near Penrith, Cumbria. Five years later, in 1935, took out a trainer’s licence and with a string of three horses and a staff of one, jim White, who stayed with him throughout his career as travelling head lad, started training at Hambleton Lodge, near Thirsk, Yorkshire. Later he was invited to take over from the retiring Fred Darling at Beckhampton; Wiltshire, but did not settle there and only stayed four years before buying Warren Place at Newmarket in 1951. Sir Gordon Richards rode for him for six years before retiring from the saddle and then Lester Piggott was retained until deciding to become freelance in 1966.

During his career he won over £3 million in stable money for his patrons, winning three Derbys, tive Oaks, six 1,000 Guineas, the 2,000 Guineas twice and the St, Leger three times. Possibly the best colt he trained was the highclass Crepello, who won the 1957 2,000 Guineas and Derby. Other outstanding colts were the 1967 2,000 Guineas and Derby hero, Royal Palace, and Busted who, in an outstanding four-year-old career, won the Coronation Cup, Eclipse Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

He was particularly brilliant at training lilies. His wife's home-bred Caergwrle won the 1968 1,000 Guineas and Altesse Royale and Mysterious both landed the 1,000 Guineas-Oaks double in 1971 and 1973 respectively. But probably his best filly ever was the unpredictable, but flying grey Petite Etoile who, in 1959, won the Free Handicap, 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks and followed up by landing the Coronation Cup at Epsom in 1960 and 1961. He now concentrates on his stud interests, running the Beech House Stud and Wood Ditton Studs, Newmarket and Cliff Stud, Hernesley, Yorkshire.

PETER WALWYN

Born 1933. The top trainer in 1975. One of the most enthusiastic and successful trainers in British racing today. He had a few rides jumping as an amateur jockey before starting in 1953 as assistant to trainer Geoffrey Brooke. Later joined Gaie johnson Houghton before taking out his own licence in 1961.

Through dedication and a strong competitive spirit his stable became one of the most powerful in British Flat racing. He landed his first classic when Humble Duty, ridden by Lester Piggott, won the 1970 1,000 Guineas. Pat Eddery, champion apprentice in 1971, became his stable jockey and the combination struck gold in 1974 when for the first time they headed the trainers’ and jockeys’ lists. During this season Polygamy — after being beaten in a photo-finish by the Queen’s Highclere in the 1,000 Guineas - went on to triumph in the Oaks. In 1975 Grundy was the stable star.

He won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Derby, the Epsom Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot and totalled a British-trained record of £326,422. 68 other horses helped the Seven Barrows stable to a record-breaking winning aggregate of 121 races and £382,527 in Britain. Further successes in Ireland and France made him the first British trainer ever to pass the half-million mark in a season. In 1976 he was just pipped on the post by Newmarket trainer Henry Cecil for the trainer's title.

MAURICE ZILBER

Born September 2nd, 1921 in India. Spent early life in Egypt, the son of an agent for a tea company. This great international trainer first came to France in the l930’s when he hoped to study as a veterinary surgeon. Later returned to Egypt where he became assistant trainer to John Jenkins. He took over the stable eventually and trained some 800 winners in his native country. He decided to return to France in the

early 1960s. He arrived in Paris with just £6 in his pocket. For 18 months he worked the Paris tracks as a professional backer, putting money on the Pari-Mutuel, and accumulated some £200,000. This capital was invested in a stable at Chantilly where in 1965 he became a public trainer. His talents were soon drawn to the attention of the big owners and one of his first patrons was M. Daniel Wildenstein. He really hit the headlines when he joined forces with United States owner Mr. Nelson Bunker Hunt.

By 1974 he was training 90 horses for this Texas oil millionaire, including the great Dahlia, who went on to become the biggest money-winning mare of time. Nearly came close to splitting with Mr. Bunker Hunt after a clash of personalities and he later had only 17 horses belonging to Mr.Bunker Hunt in his yard, but fortunately these included Empery and Youth. Empery went on to Win the Epsom Derby, and Youth landed the French equivalent, the Prix du jockey Club at Chantilly. Youth later rornped home in the Washington International at Laurel, also won the previous year by Maurice Zilber with Mr. Bunker Hunt’s Elly Nobiliary.

FRANCOIS MATHET

Born 1908. This ex-cavalry officer was known as a strict disciplinarian throughout France and his yard was run along military lines. Among his clients were Nelson Bunker Hunt, the Aga Khan and Baron Rothschild.

Mathet was considered by many to be one of the finest trainers in France and his successes would seem to bear this out. The list of horses he has had under his care included, Pola Bella, Reliance, Relko and the great Tantieme are just a few. Yves Saint-Martin started his career with Mathet and was at Gouvieux for fifteen years.

THEO GRIEPER

A man in his fifties, Theo Grieper was probably Gerrnany's foremost trainer. Two of his leading clients were W.Zeitelhack and the Gestutt Rottgen.

Both his home and international records are very impressive, having trained some of Germany’s star performers, among them Star Appeal who won the Arc de Triomphe in 1975, Kronenkranich and Ziethen who both won the German 2,000 Guineas, My Brief, Irish Star and Lord Udo who was voted ‘Horse of the Year'.

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Derby Deals 4 years ago from Jeffersonville, Indiana

A very diverse and thorough list. Nice writing style!!

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