This year’s 2000 Guineas-winning trainer talks to Catherine Austen about his long-awaited second Classic victory, training for The Queen and the team effort behind his Kingsclere operation
Racing lends itself to dynasties; the same surnames are found repeated in generational gaps throughout its history. That comes with advantages, of course – knowledge is inherent, networks are pre-established and often facilities are inherited. It also comes with heavier loads, however; expectations are high, while successes are perhaps taken for granted and failures more public.
In the build-up to the 2020 Derby, there was barely a mention of favourite Kameko and his trainer Andrew Balding that didn’t include a reference to Andrew’s father Ian’s victory in the race with Mill Reef in 1971, 18 months before Andrew was born. That great horse’s statue stands proudly at the heart of the Baldings’ training establishment at Kingsclere, Berkshire, in the yard that bears his name.
“The problem with the Derby is that you get very few goes at it, and it is incredibly hard to find a horse that is a genuine candidate,” says Andrew. “It could be another five years, it could be another 10, it could be never.”