Tuesday, 15 May 2012

#AscotAsks Racehorse Trainer Andrew Balding

After AscotInsider was lucky enough to have a tour round his yard, Park House Stables, #AscotAsks racehorse trainer Andrew Balding a few questions which include what his routine is before a day’s racing, what his favourite racecourse is as well as what he is looking forward to at Royal Ascot this year.

Name: Andrew Balding
Age: 39
Location: Park House Stables, Kingsclere, Newbury
Occupation: Racehorse Trainer

1. Andrew, how did you first get into racing?

Having had a Great Grandfather, two grandfathers, two uncles and a father as a trainer, I was well exposed and followed the family tradition. I was also a pretty average amateur jockey so saw that side of the game too.

2. What was your career path to becoming a trainer?

I was assistant to Lynda Ramsden in Yorkshire for a while before coming home to be assistant for my father for three years before taking over the licence in 2003.

3. What do you think are the best and worst parts of your job?

The best is naturally having winners, the worst, without a doubt is all the injuries.

4. What would you consider has been the highlight of your career?

Winning 3 International Group 1’s with Phoenix Reach from 2003 – 2005 is still the highlight. He took us to some great places with the three triumphs being in Canada, Dubai and Hong Kong.

5. Could you let us into your routine before racing?

I get up and have cup of tea and look through the Racing Post, watch the 1st and 2nd lot, back in to the office for entries / declarations and a cup of coffee. Back out for 3rd lot and fly back in, change (quick shave if I have time) and off in the car. 99% of the journey I will spend on the phone, thank goodness for mobile’s!

6. What would be your advice for those interested in becoming a racehorse trainer?

Get as much experience world wide as you possibly can, watching, learning and seeing how every one does it differently.

7. Who was your role model growing up and why? 

My Father, and Uncle Toby – both great trainers and between them won the Derby and the Grand National.

8. What is the highlight of your annual racing calendar and why?

The highlight is the Epsom Derby meeting. I have always been a Derby anorak and just think the history of the race, the unique atmosphere and the fact that it is still the Premier flat race, make it very special.

9. What is your favourite racecourse and why?

Epsom, Ascot and Chester – all very different, offer some good prize money and our owners love running horses there.

10. Finally, what are you most looking forward to at Royal Ascot 2012?

The prospect of seeing two serious champions in Frankel and Black Caviar is very exciting.

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