Unibet HendersonUnibet ambassador Richard Hannon reflects on his first 1000 winners, having reached the milestone on Saturday and looks forward to the next 1000!

”...I was delighted to get my 1000th winner on Saturday…”


I WAS delighted to get my 1000th winner on Saturday and it was even better that it was at Epsom with Anna Nerium in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, when everyone was there to see it including all my family – it was a very special and quite emotional occasion.

Brian Epstein giving us our 1001 winner, was followed by Separate making it 1002 an hour later, which very quickly got us on the road to targeting 2000 so the pressure is on!

Obviously it’s a massive team effort and Tony Gorman, who has been with us since the beginning, is an integral part of the team at Herridge, while Steve Knight and Tom Ward oversee much of the running at Everleigh and I couldn’t wish for better staff. Claire Haggerty, Maxine Ledger, Wayne Kavanagh and Guy Anstey are important cogs in the wheel in getting the horses to the races and

Kevin Mason, who does most of our race planning, is brilliant at finding the right race for the right horse and is probably better at me than remembering certain horses but I’m pretty sure Night Of Thunder was my first Group One winner. To do it in the 2000 Guineas, in my first season since taking over from dad, was very special and he was a brilliant colt who will end up a very good sire, in fact we have a lot of his offspring here who have been showing plenty. Of course I was very lucky to have inherited such a well oiled operation but Richard Snr is still very much part of the team and keeps a close eye on everything that goes on. If he’d carried on we’d probably be celebrating 5000 winners!

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Olympic Glory was a smashing horse and gave me my second G1 winner in as many weeks when taking the Lockinge at Newbury before giving us a memorable day in France to win the G1 Prix De la Foret for Al Shaqab Racing, who have been very loyal supporters of mine since the beginning.

Peter and Ross Doyle are responsible for buying many of our horses and they purchased Tiggy Wiggy for £41,000 at Doncaster’s yearling sale and she ended up amassing almost £500,000 in prize money after winning the Super Sprint, Lowther, National Stakes and the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes which cemented her position as Cartier Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.

Toronado, Pethers Moon, Toormore and Billesdon Brook must also be given a very special mention as they all won Group Ones for us, but I think the most memorable and pleasurable would have to be Barney Roy winning the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot two years ago. He was very unlucky not to win the 2000 Guineas but he came back out at Ascot and absolutely thumped Churchill and subsequent dual Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow, which gave me a real thrill and I was delighted for the whole team as many of us were still licking our wounds having backed [Barney at 33/1 antepost to win the Guineas, so at least we got some compensation, even if he was a much shorter price!


He was ridden by James Doyle but we have a fantastic team of work riders and jockeys at both our yards, including Sean Levey who deserves every bit of success he gets, as he’s extremely dedicated and been with us for a few years. Tom Marquand is a very high class rider and Hollie Doyle is also an important member of our jockey talent, including Pat Dobbs, Dane O’Neill, Ryan Moore (when we can get him!), Thore Hammer Hansen, Luke Catton, Rossa Ryan, Emma Taff and Mark Crehan.

Our owners are the most important people in the whole thing and I’m very lucky that I have some extremely loyal and understanding people who I very much consider friends more than anything else. I’d like to thank Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, Tim and Tom Palin and everyone at Middleham Park Racing, Chelsea Thoroughbreds, Julie Wood, who has been with us for many years, the McCreerys, King Power Racing, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, Jared Sullivan and the many, many syndicates and other individual owners who have supported me since taking over from dad in 2014.

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Whether it’s a seller at Southwell, Handicap at Hamilton or Group One at Goodwood, every single winner is extremely important and I get as much enjoyment from seeing a lowly rated Handicapper win, who we’ve had problems with and had to be patient, as I do from celebrating the big ones. Each horse has to be given individual attention and trained accordingly and I have the right staff to help us achieve that and get as many winners as we can.

Royal Ascot is just around the corner and we will hopefully have plenty of decent chances over the five days. The next target is to reach 2000 and if things keep going the way they are, I’d be hopeful it won’t be long until we get there – watch this space!

Article by Trainer and Unibet Ambassador Richard Hannon and used with kind permission by the Unibet Blog.

For the full blog post and more, visit: www.unibet.co.uk/blog

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