A trainer for all seasons
Gary McKenzie on a trainer for all seasons
I’m someone who loves reading about racing history. But I am not expert enough to know of all the trainers who have had top class success in both codes. However I do know about some trainers who have had success on both the flat and over the sticks.
Aiden O’Brien won three Champion Hurdles with Istabraq while also training Giants Causeway, among others.
Legendary trainer Vincent O’Brien is best known for the likes of The Minstrel, El Gran Senor, Sir Ivor, Alleged, and the brilliant Nijinsky. Before that he had trained jumpers winning three Grand Nationals with three different horses in the early fifties.
He also trained Cottage Rake and Hattons Grace. The former won three Gold Cups in a row while Hattons Grace did the same in the Champion Hurdle.
Jessica Harrington is probably best known for her association with the superstar chaser Moscow Flyer who won two Champion Chases and two Tingle Creeks. But she has trained many other Grade One winners. Sizing John put her on the Cheltenham Gold Cup honour roll while Jezki won the Champion Hurdle.
Other top flight winners were Oscars Well, Bostons Angel, and Macs Joy. Last year she was just a couple of lengths short of winning the Grand National with Magic Of Light.
Jessica Harrington, however, also trains Group One winners on the Flat.
Lucky Vega became her latest when he won the Phoenix Stakes over six furlongs last Sunday. That was Mrs Harrington’s ninth top level flat winner. Champion filly Alpha Centuari was responsible for four of these wins and in June Alpine Star gave Jessica her second Coronation Stakes.
One of the best
So Jessica Harrington has won top races from six furlongs to three miles and two furlongs (three miles five furlongs if you include the Irish Grand National). Plus a narrow defeat over nearly four and a half miles in the biggest race in the world. She is surely one of the best trainers working at the moment.
And now she has a two year old who could be a big player in the 2000 Guineas next year. As you may have noticed I am a bit of a fan.
Good Luck All
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