Happy New Year to everyone. This should be the first of many blogs as I am being given plenty of nudges to keep this up!
First of all I am going to start the New Year with a tribute to my wonderful old boy WARDEN WARREN. We bought Warren as a 2yo at the very start of my training career, in fact my first purchase as a trainer. Warren had won 2 races before we bought him but had the reputation of a “very quirky” individual, just the sort I was looking for to start my career! He certainly was a quirky individual but the most wonderful character.
He was my very first winner as a trainer back in June 2002, owned by the Annwell Inn Syndicate, headed by Graham Bromley, which was the start of a great friendship to this day. A Very memorable occasion on the July Course at Newmarket, which has remained my favourite course, thanks for Warden Warren. A Wonderful Saturday afternoon, Brian Reilly on board, Warren romped home at 33-1!! A shock to all concerned, when nobody has ever heard of you, having never trained a winner, to have your first at Newmarket was fantastic and will live in my memory for ever. The Newmarket Officials laid on extra bottles of champagne and said at the time they had never seen such a happy bunch of owners in the enclosure. It really was a memorable occasion.
This was just the start of Warren’s adventures. 111 runs, 14 wins he took us far and wide across the country, winning three times at the July Course in Newmarket, 3 times at Southwell, 3 times at Wolverhampton – another memorable win in the last race of the year in 2003. He also won at Leicester, Kempton, Redcar, Yarmouth and Doncaster. Doncaster and Yarmouth rank high in best days/evenings ever, to see Warren romp home alone on the opposite side of the track to all the other runners kept our hearts in our mouths throughout!! . Doncaster in particular has plenty of good memories for all concerned!!
It was decided to retire Warren after his last race in March 2007 after 7 wonderful years’ racing. Still full of life and energy he then embarked on a new venture at the British Racing School where he taught many a young rider and budding jockey the ropes. He proved an invaluable member of the team there and was much loved.
After 7 years at the Racing school, at the age of 17, he was again retired and came home to College Farm to live out the rest of his days in our paddocks.
Sadly, 2 days after his 21st birthday we had to say goodbye to a very, very special horse who will always remain very dear in the hearts of all of us who had the pleasure of being involved with him.
God rest you Warden Warren 25th Feb 1998 – 4th Jan 2019 x