World famous ‘Royal Ascot’ week kicks off on Monday 17th June; it is the centrepiece of Ascot’s year and dates back to 1911 when the June week of races became a Royal Week. Every year Royal Ascot is attended by Queen Elizabeth and other members of the British Royal Family and has become one of the most famous sporting events in the British social calendar. The Buying Solution talks to leading lady racehorse trainer Eve Johnson Houghton, ahead of the event.
What do you love about being a trainer?
Being a trainer is more a way of life than a job or a career. You live on the job, and live in the job. If you don’t love it you are going to struggle. The horses are the be all and end all and trying to get the best and do the best for each horse however good they might be is of utmost importance to me.
How do you and your horses prepare for Ascot?
Preparing the horses is just routine. You normally aim for a specific race and try to get them in the best form they can be, and as happy and as fit as possible so they can do their best. Preparing myself is not quite so easy. Being a woman trainer and having to wear hats is not always mutually compatible!
Which horse do you think has the best chance at Ascot this year?
Accidental Agent. He won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes last year, the first race of the meeting and I am hoping he can repeat it this year.
Which is your favourite racecourse and why?
I love Ascot, for obvious reasons, but I also like Newbury & Goodwood. They always have good ground and good racing and they look after the owners & trainers well.
Which jockey (living or dead) do you admire the most?
Lester Piggot was The Maestro, but I was always a fan of Steve Cauthen who revolutionised the way jockeys rode in the UK. He had the most amazing hands (this means keeps the horses relaxed) and horses ran for him.
Who would you rather train the offspring of Galileo, Frankel or Dubawi?
Having never been lucky enough to train any of the above I would be grateful for either. I also think Kingman is going to be an exceptional talent as a stallion.
Which Stallion do you think will produce the most group 1 winners over the next 5 years
Which younger horse and older horse of yours should we be following?
Kiefer is a horse I very much like and is developing into a lovely stayer. The older horse is obviously Accidental Agent.