|Upshire House Stables
|If you can provide any photos associated with this stable, or additional information to fill any gaps then contact email@example.com
1988-1989 T Couchman
In the late 1980s T Couchman built Upshire which, at that point, contained 20 stables. The stables were leased to Dermot Browne in 1989 where Browne trained for a year before being charged with doping offences in October 1990.
October 1989-October 1990 Dermot Browne
Dermot William Patrick Browne, born in Ireland on 29th October 1961, was the eldest of 5 children. He was an excellent amateur rider, partnering his first winner, Nebbian, at the Curragh in July 1980. He was crowned champion amateur twice, initially in the 1981-82 season with 28 wins, and again the next year with 33 wins. In 1983 he won the SGB Handicap on The Mighty Mac, but arguably his best ride was on Browne's Gazette when winning the 1984 Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, later winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. In 1986 he was aboard Berlin when the pair were victorious in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown. He launched his training career towards the end of 1989, training at Upshire, Lambourn.
|I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1830 map shown above.
|In October 1990 he was charged with doping horses which he admitted to at a disciplinary meeting of the Jockey Club, where the specifics were that he doped 23 horses between 3rd August 1990 and 20th September 1990. He was found guilty and banned for 20 years.
1983 SGB Handicap at Ascot THE MIGHTY MAC 13/8 fav trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Dermot Browne
1984 Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival BROWNE'S GAZETTE 11/2 owned by John Poynton, trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Dermot Browne
1984 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle BROWNE'S GAZETTE 1/2 fav owned by John Poynton, trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Dermot Browne
1986 Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown BERLIN 11/8 fav owned by N Mills, trained by Nick Gaselee and ridden by Dermot Browne
1991-1994 Ray D Laing
1985 Phoenix Park Stakes Group 1 at Phoenix Park ROARING RIVA 4/1 owned by Billy Gaff, trained by Ray Laing and ridden by Ray Cochrane
Ray Laing, born in Malton, the son of a flat race jockey, was a Marine Engineer during the War, afterwards becoming a much-valued member of Peter Walwyn's successful Seven Barrows team at a time when the stable star was Grundy, winner of the 1975 Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and epic contest against Bustino, one of the best races of the century. He had ridden as an apprentice and jump jockey, but in 1977 he decided to apply for his own trainer's licence. He launched his training career in 1978 at Eastbury Cottage, just outside of Lambourn, where he trained for Tony Stratton-Smith, owner of Charisma Racords who owned the stables. He later moved on to the historic Delamere Stables on the Baydon Road in 1982. He remained at Delamere until 1988, and retired for the first time in that year, but by 1991 he had transferred to Upshire Stables. His best horse by far was Roaring Riva, a 15,000 guineas yearling out Music Boy out of Elton Abbess, who was owned by Billy Gaff, one time manager of Rod Stewart. Roaring Riva won the 1985 Group 1 Phoenix Park Stakes at the now closed Phoenix Park while Ray was at Delamere Stables. Ray was associated with many famous people in the Pop music industry apart from Rod Stewart. He knew Chris Wright, Dave Robinson, Alvin Stardust, Liza Goddard and food critic Robert Morley. Another of his good horses whilst at Delamere was Crime of Passion, owned by Chris Wright, who won the 1982 Cherry Hinton Stakes and was runner-up in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. Other horses who performed well for Ray were Beggars bridge, Chukaroo and Tugoflove. Ray died in June 2012 having spent the majority of his life with wife Barbara in Lambourn, breeding budgies and zebra finches during his retirement.
1982 Cherry Hinton Group 2 Stakes at Newmarket CRIME OF PASSION 12/1 owned by Chris Wright, trained by Ray Laing and ridden by Billy Newnes
1995-1996 Charles Elsey
Charles Elsey, part of the Elsey racing dynasty, successfully applied for his trainers licence in 1988 aged 29 and began training at Malton where he saddled just one winner, Eastern Ember, in the Riding Traditional Bitter Handicap at Beverley. He then took out a 3-year lease from Tom Marshall, owner of Felstead Court Stables, replacing Mark Usher in October 1989. Charles is the fourth generation of Elsey's to train, learning his trade with David Elsworth before assisting father Bill for one year. During the time Elsey took over at Felstead Court, Tom Marshall lived in the bungalow adjacent to the stables. Charles won with a number of good handicappers in his time at Felstead Court, including Rapporteur and Ghostly Glow. Charles moved on to Upshire in 1995 and remained there until 1996.
1990 Handicap at Lingfield RAPPORTEUR 6/1 trained by Charles Elsey and ridden by Billy Newnes
1991 Handicap at Kempton ASTERIX 16/1 trained by Charles Elsey and ridden by Billy Newnes
1991 Handicap at Lingfield KISSAVOS 11/2 fav trained by Charles Elsey and ridden by Franny Norton
1992 Handicap at Nottingham GHOSTLY GLOW 9/4 trained by Charles Elsey and ridden by Michael Roberts
1993 Lady Riders Handicap at Lingfield RAPPORTEUR 100/30 trained by Charles Elsey and ridden by Miss A Elsey
1996-1999 Paul Eccles
Paul Eccles, born circa 1962, learnt his trade with some of the best jumps trainers in the business, notably Fred Winter, Toby Balding and Oliver Sherwood before being appointed assistant to Simon Sherwood. In 1996 he launched his own training career at Upshire Stables where his career flourished. However, in 1999 one of his best owners offered him the chance to rent a yard not far from Bangor racecourse and he jumped at the opportunity. Unfortuantely, he soon realised that the gallops were not as good as the extensive Lambourn gallops and winners became scarce. After just 4 months he transferred to stables in the vicinity of Whitchurch, but still the winners did not materialise and he gave back his licence in 2001.
|2000 Kevin Bell
In 1998, after John Akehurst departed for South Hatch, Epsom, Neardown Stables was purchased by Ian Wood and his wife Joyce, who put Kevin Bell in charge while Ian learnt the training ropes as his assistant. Kevin remained for two seasons before moving down the road to Upshire when Ian Wood was ready to train in his own right.
2005-2006 Bill Ratcliffe
Bill Ratcliffe learnt his trade with Barry Hills, acting as his assistant for a number of years. He then began training on his own account at Upshire Stables, Lambourn in 2005, remaining there until 2006. He then upped sticks and moved to Bolton Hall Stables, North Yorkshire on Lord Bolton's estate, where he was with trainers Ricardo Lanfranco and Geoff Harker. He later moved to Exning, near Newmarket, and then moved again to Heyward Place Stables on the Hamilton Road in Newmarket.
2006-2008 Rod Simpson
Rodney Simpson, born in Putney on 16th September 1945, son of a Merchant Navy man and a barmaid, moved to South Croydon early on in his life. Whilst he did not have an upbringing involving horses, and was not all that keen on his school days, he had an ambition to join the Royal Horse Guards. During his teens he lived barely 15 miles from Epsom Racecourse, but it was his PE teacher, Mrs Bassett who gave him the chance to ride his first horse, and it was thanks to her that he contemplated working in racing stables, initially hoping to become a jockey. He spent 5 years as an apprentice with Cyril Mitchell, who trained at Heath House, Burgh Heath, and was even given a few rides, but he knew that he was never going to make the grade as a jockey. His first ride, on 22nd June 1964 at Folkestone was aboard Ramillies in the Stayers Handicap, but it was unplaced. He had spells with John Hooton, Alec Kerr and Maurice Zilber, gaining experience at each in readiness for his own career as a trainer. He launched his training career in an unconventional way, training for Dr Tom Wade and his wife Thelma, the first of more than a dozen stables he was to train at. A number of stables later he grabbed the chance to lease South Hatch Stables, near Epsom, replacing former champion jockey Scobie Breasley, who was taking over as manager of Ravi Tikkoo's horses, and Rod enjoyed much success during his time at South Hatch. The yard already celebrated prominent winners in the past, notably the 1943 Epsom Derby winner Straight Deal (SR 2051) 100/6 winner owned by Miss Dorothy Paget, trained by Walter Nightingall and ridden by Tommy H Carey, so Rod was aiming high. He won the notoriously difficult handicap, the City & Suburban at Epsom, with African Pearl in 1982, and then hit the jackpot with Bajan Sunshine in the 1983 Cesarewitch, taking some fancy prices from 66/1 downwards along the way. But he immediately suffered two body blows; straight after the Cesarewitch owner Paul Green decided to take Bajan Sunshine away from Rod and move it to the successful Martin Pipe stable to carve out a jumping career. The second body blow followed shortly afterwards when Rod had to up sticks from South Hatch and head for Neardown Stables, Lambourn, which Reg Akehurst had just vacated. He won the valuable Queen's Prize at Kempton with Fortune's Guest, who had run well in the previous years Cesarewitch behind stablemate Bajan Sunshine, and did loyal owner and newspaper tipster Tony Stafford a couple of favours with his horse Tangognat, winning a maiden at Kempton at 20/1, and then just 4 days later landing the Magnolia Stakes at 6/5. Tony and Rod realised that Tangognat was a Triumph Hurdle horse in the making, sending it to Cheltenham on New Year's Day 1986 to win the Steel Plate Trial Hurdle at 3/1 in the hands of Peter Scudamore. Whilst at Neardown Rod struck up a winning relationship with multi-millionaire owner Terry Ramsden who was terrifying the bookmakers at that time. Terry owned Brunico and Rod decided to aim high with him by running in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at the 1986 Chester May meeting. The horse duly won at 33/1 and Rod was so pleased that he punched Wayne Jackson, the 32-stone minder of Terry Ramsden. No offence was made, and none taken, but Rod had contemplated lifting Wayne up instead, but thought that was a step too far. In 1987 Rod decided to target Pinctada at the William Hill Horse of the Year prize awarded to the horse which won the most races during the year. In 1985 Chaplins Club had won the prize after winning 8 races, but Rod fancied his chances in 1987. The horse began the season winning a couple of Hurdle races at Windsor and Bangor to ensure that the horse was fit before the Flat campaign began. In June and July the horse ran up 5 straight wins, two at Lingfield, and one each at Beverley, Brighton and Haydock before the run came to an end at Pontefract when Pinctada was beaten into third by Cheerful Times. It was a valiant effort, made all the more difficult because Pinctada had to have soft ground, but he just came up short. Terry Ramsden, who owned Neardown Stables, leasing it to Rod Simpson, made his money buying and selling Japanese warrants and through his Edinburgh based company, Glen International, but after the Black Monday Market Crash on Monday 19th October 1987, Ramsden suddenly found himself in a financially challenging position. Rod knew that his own future at Neardown was in the balance and decided to buy it for £330,000. After the market crash interest rates began to increase to such an extent that Rod found it difficult to meet mortgage payments, relocating to Foxhill Stables, close to the Wiltshire and Berkshire border. After further spells at English stables and stables in Dubai Rod returned to Upper Lambourn, renting Upshire Stables in 2006. He maintained contact with some of the wealthy Arabs he had met in Dubai and they promised to send him horses. He received Hippodrome, Macabre and White Wingo to get him started, and thought it prudent to form a business which he named Carnival Quest. That business ran horses such as Unlimited, Christophers Quest and Even Bolder, but with limited success. For a short time Rod moved to a yard in Cumbria, but within 2 months he was back at Upshires. Of the 6 horses mentioned, just two won, Even Bolder at Kempton in 2007 and Unlimited at Kempton in 2008. Rod moved again to the edge of Lambourn before returning to Abu Dhabi.
2007 digibet Sports Betting Stakes at Kempton EVEN BOLDER 8/1 owned by Carnival Quest, trained by Rod Simpson and ridden by Sophie Doyle
2008 digibet Sports Betting Handicap at Kempton UNLIMITED 33/1 owned by Carnival Quest, trained by Rod Simpson and ridden by Jimmy Quinn
2010-2013 Noel Chance
Noel Chance, born in Dublin, Ireland on 18th December 1951, was educated at St Patrick's High School, Downpatrick, and freely admits that school was a low priority in his thoughts, with racing set on a much higher plane. He inherited his love of racing from his father, a Head Lad who died when Noel was just 2-years of age. Noel launched his training career near The Curragh, in his native Ireland, in 1974, after working for Sir Hugh Nugent at The Curragh from 1967 and then gaining further experience in Neville Begg's Sydney yard in Australia in 1971, but he was much more successful when he was enticed by owner Michael Worcester to transferred to Folly House Stables in Upper Lambourn in 1995. The next year he won the Towton Novices Chase at Wetherby with Mr Mulligan, who then followed up in the Reynoldstown Novices Chase at Ascot. He further repaid Worcester's faith in him by winning the 1997 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Mr Mulligan at 20/1 a year later. In 1999, when Mark Pitman decided to move across to Weathercock House after his mother announced her retirement, Noel Chance was able to move to the historic Saxon House Stables, announcing himself as a public trainer, landing the Sun Alliance Chase with another of his stars Looks Like Trouble, but even Chance would have thought it long odds against winning a second Gold Cup with the horse just 12 months later. Nevertheless, Looks Like Trouble won the 2000 Gold Cup at 9/2 for owner Tim Collins when ridden by Richard Johnson, following up in the John Bull Chase at Wincanton in 2001. Also, in 2000 Chance landed the prestigious Tingle Creek Chase with Flagship Uberalles, the race being moved to Cheltenham that year. Flagship Uberalles had already won the 1999 Tingle Creek trained by Paul Nicholls, but Chance took him on in 2000 to win that year's running, although the horse was less successful in the other 3 races he ran whilst at Saxon House. In 2002 Chance moved to Berkeley House in Lambourn where arguably the best horse he trained was Murphy's Cardinal, remarkably unbeaten at 8-years-old. The horse ran up a sequence of 6 wins, 3 at lowly Folkestone before successes at Ascot and Down Royal. However, Flame Creek could also lay claim to being Chance's best horse during this period of his career, winning 6 races in less than 2 years. Noel Chance then gave up training for a while when it became financially unviable, but did return to the training ranks when based at Upshire House Stables before finally retiring in 2013, and being replaced by Dominic Ffrench Davis.
1996 Towton Novices Chase at Wetherby MR MULLIGAN 3/1 owned by Michael Worcester, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Richard Johnson
1996 Reynoldstown Novices Chase at Ascot MR MULLIGAN 9/4 fav owned by Michael Worcester, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Richard Johnson
1997 Cheltenham Gold Cup MR MULLIGAN 20/1 owned by Michael Worcester, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Tony McCoy
1999 Sun Alliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE 16/1 owned by Universal Conference & Incentive TRV, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Paul Carberry
2000 Pillar Property Chase at Cheltenham LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE 100/30 owned by Tim Collins, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Norman Williamson
2000 Cheltenham Gold Cup LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE 9/2 owned by Tim Collins, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Richard Johnson
2000 Tingle Creek Chase at Cheltenham FLAGSHIP UBERALLES 3/1 fav owned by E Gutner and M Krysztofiak Racing, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Richard Johnson
2000 James Nicholson Wine Merchant Champion Chase at Down Royal LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE 5/4 jt fav owned by Tim Collins, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Richard Johnson
2001 John Bull Chase at Wincanton LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE Evens fav owned by Tim Collins, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2002 Endsleigh Insurance Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham FLAME CREEK 3/1 owned by Martin Wesson Partners, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Richard Johnson
2002 Weatherby's Stars of Tomorrow Open NH Flat Race at Folkestone MURPHY'S CARDINAL 4/1 owned by Miss Eimear Chance, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2002 Gerrard Future Champions Intermediate Hurdle at Kelso FLAME CREEK 4/5 fav owned by Martin Wesson Partners, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Tom Doyle
2002 Shell Club Corringham Hurdle at Folkestone MURPHY'S CARDINAL 6/1 owned by Miss Eimear Chance, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Tom Doyle
2003 George Stevens Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham FLAME CREEK 100/30 owned by Martin Wesson Partners, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2003 Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock FLAME CREEK 9/4 owned by Martin Wesson Partners, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2003 Stelling Minnis Hurdle at Folkestone MURPHY'S CARDINAL 7/4 owned by Miss Eimear Chance, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Tommy Phelan
2003 Ascot United FC Hurdle at Ascot MURPHY'S CARDINAL 7/4 fav owned by Miss Eimear Chance, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Tommy Phelan
2003 Burlton Inn Novice Chase at Bangor on Dee FLAME CREEK 2/5 fav owned by martin Wesson Partners, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2003 BT Network First Novices Chase at Wetherby FLAME CREEK 2/9 fav owned by martin Wesson Partners, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2003 Equine America Beginners Chase at Plumpton MURPHY'S CARDINAL 8/15 fav owned by Miss Eimear Chance, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2003 Mayfield Restaurant Novice Chase at Kelso FLAME CREEK 2/11 fav owned by martin Wesson Partners, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2004 Killultagh Properties Chase at Down Royal MURPHY'S CARDINAL 7/2 owned by Miss Eimear Chance, trained by Noel Chance and ridden by Seamus Durack
2013-2019 Dominic Ffrench Davis
Dominic Ffrench Davis, born circa 1966 in County Meath, was associated with animals from a very early age, as his father was a vet, but he can also trace back family links with racing to his great-grandfather, Captain F Ffrench Davis who owned and trained runners at Phoenix Park for a number of years. It is no surprise that he was a member of the local pony club, enjoyed hunting and attending point-to-point meetings. After completing his compulsory education Dominic, then aged 18, left Ireland and joined Paul Cole's stable at Whatcombe Estate, Berkshire as pupil assistant, and was there when Epsom Derby winner Generous was a foal. In the early 1990s he was with David Elsworth to gain further experience, joining at a time when In the Groove was winning the 1990 Irish 1000 Guineas, International Stakes and Champion Stakes, while the next year she won the 1991 Coronation Cup and Sandown Mile. But Elsworth was such a good trainer to learn from, being master of the Flat game with the likes of In the Groove, but also guiding the mighty Desert Orchid to his many National Hunt successes. In 1989 and 1990 the nation's most loved grey was at the peak of his career, winning the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the 1989 and 1990 King George VI Chase, and the 1990 Irish Grand National. Dominic spent 5 years with David Elsworth, at the end of which he thought the time was right to apply for his own trainer's licence, and he began training in 1994. In Summer 1996 he married Avery Whitfield, daughter of permit holder John Whtifield, Avery training at Windy Hollow on the outskirts of Lambourn. Dominic then leased 12 boxes at Saxon House stables before moving to Upshire Stables between 2013 and 2019, but when High View Stables became available, Dominic transferred in 2019.
1999 Brunswick Hyperion Conditions Stakes at Ascot SIR NINJA 7/1 owned by Hargood Ltd, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by John Reid
2003 Windsor Racecourse Condtions Stakes CRAFTY FANCY 100/30 owned by Mrs F Houlihan, trained by Dominic Ffrench David and ridden by Darryll Holland
2005 EBF Thomas Lord Stakes at Thirsk BRANDYWELL BOY Evens fav owned by P B Gallagher, trained by Dominic Ffrench David and ridden by Royston Ffrench Davis
2005 Tote Exacta Handicap at Bath BLESSED PLACE 4/1 owned by S J Edwards, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Richard Quinn
2005 Moulton Handicap at Yarmouth BLESSED PLACE 7/2 fav owned by S J Edwards, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Frankie Dettori
2006 Alex Layton UK Handicap at Pontefract BLESSED PLACE 7/1 owned by S J Edwards, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Ashley Hamblett
2007 Pump Technology Handicap at Newbury BLESSED PLACE 9/2 owned by S J Edwards, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Richard Quinn
2007 Sartori Menswear Handicap at Chester BLESSED PLACE 9/2 owned by S J Edwards, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Ashley Hamblett
2008 London Stock Exchange Handicap at Sandown BLESSED PLACE 33/1 owned by S J Edwards, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Chris Catlin
2009 Shredding for Bedding Handicap at Newbury BRANDYWELL BOY 13/2 owned by P B Gallagher, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Richard Thomas
2009 Merbury 19th Anniversary Apprentice Handicap at Goodwood BRANDYWELL BOY 9/2 owned by P B Gallagher, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Toby Atkinson
2010 FSB Telecom Handicap at Bath BRANDYWELL BOY 6/1 owned by P B Gallagher, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Billy Cray
2010 TKP Surfacing Handicap at Newbury BLESSED PLACE 12/1 owned by S J Edwards, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by John Fahy
2010 Pike Seniors Handicap at Salisbury BRANDYWELL BOY 7/2 fav owned by P B Gallagher, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Billy Cray
2010 Totesport Handicap at Ffos Las ADMIRABLE DUQUE 10/1 owned by Brian W Taylor, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Martin Lane
2010 Ivan The Terrible Handicap at Ascot BRANDYWELL BOY 7/1 owned by P B Gallagher, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Billy Cray
2013 GP Masonry Handicap at Newbury ADMIRABLE DUQUE 15/2 owned by Mrs J E Taylor, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and ridden by Hayley Turner
2022 Campbell Sport Horses
After Dominic Ffrench Davis departed for High View Stables in 2019 Upshire was on the market for some time. In due course it was taken over by Campbell Sport Horses, offering pre-training facilities, sales and rehabilitation.
|Top 3 Upshire House Stable horses of all time
|© John Slusar 2023