Racing careers play musical chairs

  • Hot on the heels of the alarming news that 47 mostly cash-strapped trainers have quit the sport comes another revealing statistic. More are coming into the game than getting out.

    According to Jockey Club figures, 50 ambitious new faces appeared in the official list of licensed professional trainers in the last 12 months.

    Among those 50 are some returning to the ranks after a break, including David Loder,who will be handling 100-plus blue-blooded two-year-olds on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation in Newmarket.

    But the fact that so many are trying to establish a foothold in the precarious world of racehorse training says something about the type of person attracted to the business.

    They are coming in on the back of the frightening figures issued by accountants KPMG that Britain’s 527 trainers make an average profit of just £5,000 each.

    Take into account the multi-million pound earnings of the high rollers such as Sir Michael Stoute,Henry Cecil and Martin Pipe and some trainers aren’t making a copper coin.

    Even so, horseracing remains a magnet. The sport creates an insatiable desire to be part of the action. The new men and women set out on a wing and a prayer driven by their passion. Many are mortgaged up to the eyeballs, but their spirit is never dimmed. Their hopes never die.

    Those who have been forced out of business will tell you: “I don’t want to do anything else.”

    But sadly training is a business and they have to accept the reality: if the sums don’t add up the enterprise goes under.

    Try telling that to an eager new trainer.

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