Racing: Roll call reveals toll on trainers

Click to follow
The Independent Online
AS A reflection of the state of racing, nothing provides a clearer, or harsher, image than the annual Horses In Training, the 1993 edition of which is published this week. Listing the strings at each stable in the country, and those of several notable yards in Ireland and France, it makes it all too easy to calculate the numbers left standing after the recession, and racing's inability to cope with it, have taken their toll.

Sadly, for many trainers, what becomes equally clear after scrutinising the lists is that some have been affected much more badly than others. Some have even thrived.

Heading that category by some distance is Mary Reveley. From having 53 horses in her care in 1990, she is now up to 135 and if she had room for more there is no shortage of prospective owners queueing down the road from her stable near Saltburn in Cleveland. 'We've built 50 or 60 boxes in the last few years, but we're bursting at the seams,' she said yesterday.

One reason of course is the success she achieved even when she had just a few horses, which has now developed to the stage where she saddled 68 winners on the Flat last year and 99 over jumps compared to 23 three seasons before.

But value for money is another consideration and her rivals have become tired of hearing how little this 52-year-old grandmother charges owners and how she cuts costs by taking her turn behind the wheel of the horsebox.

Reticent about the exact figure for fear of again riling other trainers, she will allow that her colleagues in the North provide a better value service than some more fashionable stables. 'I'd be certain of that,' she said. 'I'm happy with what I make. If other trainers want to make bigger profits that's up to them.'

Another who has managed to increase his string is the Middleham- based Mark Johnston, who recorded his first Group-race success last season with the 1,000 Guineas contender Marina Park.

At the upper end of the scale John Gosden, Sheikh Mohammed's main trainer, continues to thrive, but Michael Stoute, Guy Harwood and Henry Cecil are down in strength, the latter solely because the horses he trained for the late Charles St George at Sefton Lodge Stables have now passed on to David Loder.

Luca Cumani, whose string dropped to 150 when the Aga Khan boycotted Britain after 1990, is now down to 121, but the champion, Richard Hannon, has increased numbers from 107 to 155 over the same period. The contrasting fortunes of James Fanshawe and Alec Stewart represent both sides of the picture of how middle-ranking Newmarket trainers are coping.

Not to be read literally are the figures for Peter Walwyn and Vincent O'Brien. The former has switched to smaller premises, while O'Brien has turned away owners as he moves slowly towards retirement.

Horses In Training, published by Raceform (0635 578080), pounds 11.95

----------------------------------------------------------------- HOW STABLE STRENGTHS HAVE FLUCTUATED ----------------------------------------------------------------- Trainer 1990 1991 1992 1993 G Balding (Dorset) . . . . . . . . . 109 112 95 81 J Berry (Lancashire). . . . . . . . . 113 127 117 97 F Boutin (Chantilly). . . . . . . . . 188 201 207 184 H Cecil (Newmarket) . . . . . . . . . 211 181 184 164 L Cumani (Newmarket). . . . . . . . . 187 150 132 121 D Elsworth (Dorset & Hants) . . . . . 141 123 NA 58 J Fanshawe (Newmarket) . . . . . . . 32 51 78 71 A Fabre (Chantilly) . . . . . . . . . NA NA 206 222 J Gosden (Newmarket). . . . . . . . . NA NA 160 171 R Hannon (Wiltshire). . . . . . . . . 107 131 139 155 G Harwood (Sussex) . . . . . . . . . 164 134 84 70 M Johnston (Middleham). . . . . . . . 35 35 39 49 D Nicholson (Gloucestershire) . . . . 66 48 64 75 M V O'Brien (Tipperary) . . . . . . . 84 47 NA 11 M Pipe (Somerset) . . . . . . . . . . 107 131 120 81 Mrs J Pitman (Lambourn) . . . . . . 89 92 83 58 Mrs M Reveley (Cleveland) . . . . . . 53 72 103 135 A Stewart (Newmarket) . . . . . . . 94 77 70 66 M Stoute (Newmarket). . . . . . . . . 191 NA 171 147 M Tompkins (Newmarket) . . . . . . . 98 98 93 72 P Walwyn (Lambourn) . . . . . . . . . 90 67 51 41 J W Watts (Yorkshire) . . . . . . . . 60 43 33 34 D Weld (The Curragh). . . . . . . . . 100 101 100 97 -----------------------------------------------------------------

(Photograph omitted)

Comments