Nicky Henderson – Trainer Profile
Nicky Henderson – Trainer Profile
Today I continue my series on Trainers, having a look at some of the different stables that work hard and tirelessly to bring us some of the best horse racing in the world, every day of the week.
Regular Jockey: Barry Geraghty
The next Trainer in the series will be a very popular one with many of you out there in the ‘net-sphere’ as Nicky Henderson is one of my favourite Trainers, especially at the Cheltenham Festival.
Born on 10 December 1950, Henderson was educated at Eton College, and came from a racing family.
His Father – Johnny Henderson, was one of the people who started the Racecourse Holdings Trust in 1964, which is now the Jockey Club Racecourses. This was initially formed to secure the future of Cheltenham, but the group now owns a total of fourteen other racecourses, in all kinds of codes, and they reinvest all the profits to develop British horseracing.
Not only does Nicky have a good reputation at Cheltenham, they have also named a race after his Father when he died in 2003. So from 2005 they have ran the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, which Nicky won in 2006 with a horse called Greenhope.
He started of as an amateur jockey, riding 75 winners throughout a career of six years. He got the feel for training from another successful trainer – Fred Winter (Another trainer with a race named after him at Cheltenham!) and became assistant trainer to him from 1974 to 1978.
It was a slow start when began training in 1978, but has built up a fearsome reputation over the years and has copped some great winners at most of the jump courses. In the 1990′s he moved to Seven Barrows near Lambourn, Berkshire, and he still remains there now.
One great horse of his during the 80′s, albeit a touch stroppy, was See You Then, who won the Champion Hurdle three times, and Nicky had a real job on his hands to keep him on the straight and narrow.
Around this time he copped the Champion Trainer title in the 1985/86 then the 1986/87 season, and he finally started to see the fruits of his labour show some results.
His next Champion Hurdle winner came in 1992 with Remittance Man, who was another odd-ball horse, who used to get lonely in the stables, and once he was restless, he would pace about incessantly.
He found the way to stop him was to give him a companion –
Somehow, this calmed him down and got him to rest, but I bet he was perhaps hoping for a more ‘horsey’ friend to stay with!
Another one of Henderson‘s achievements was to win the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket in 2008, with a horse that was the grand age of 11 – Caracciola, which came in at the eye-watering odds of 50/1!
This was put down to a one-off at first, but Caracciola won again at the age of 12, in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2009. Whatta gutsy horse!
More recent Champion Hurdle horses were – Punjabi in 2009, Binocular, in 2010, and Long Run, who all won the Horse Racing Tips loads of cash in the Gold Cup in 2011. Nice!
After using Mick Fitzgerald as a stable jockey for many years, he was forced to retire after a bad fall at the 2008 Grand National, and now uses Barry Geraghty as his main jockey in Britain.
There are no bad stories to report on this class trainer, apart from a run in with the British Horseracing Authority panel with a horse – Moonlit Path, who was given anti-bleeding drugs which should not have been administered whilst racing.
Henderson argued “that it had been done so for the horse’s welfare, and that he had not been attempting to enhance performance.” After a ban for three months during late Summer, (when he would not be racing anyway) in 2009, he returned to the fold, as he would have been greatly missed by all.
Nicky describes his bad habits as smoking, wine and worrying. Perhaps he should take up my habits instead – Drinking, women, and winning!
A Good Solid Trainer, who is now the best trainer at the Cheltenham Festival of all time.
For up to date stats, here is the link to the Sporting Life:-