|Weathercock House Stables|
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|February 1965-August 1968 David Hastings
David Hastings launched his training career at Blandford, Dorset in 1937, recording his first winner, Sweet Will, at Ludlow soon afterwards.
During the War his training career was interrupted when he joined the RAF, but after the War he resumed his career at East Ilsley, and it was from that base that he sent out Magnetic North (SR 1954) to win the 1956 Irish St Leger. In 1957 he moved to Seven Barrows, replacing Ian and Rosemary Lomax who had occupied the historic stables for a little over a year. Hastings remained at Seven Barrows for 8 years, transferring to the newly built Weathercock House, Upper Lambourn, with 18 boxes, in February 1965 after Peter Walwyn bought Seven Barrows. Weathercock House had 20 boxes and was completed in March 1965. He remained at Weathercock House until August 1968 when he brought his 32-year training career to an end and was replaced in November by Simon Morant.
|I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1830 map shown above.|
November 1968-75 Simon Morant
September 1976-30th June 1999 Jenny Pitman
|However, she really began to be noticed as an exceptional talent in September 1976 when the couple purchased Weathercock House in Upper Lambourn, selling their Parva Stud to jockey Paul Cook, and bringing her string of 20 horses to Lambourn. In 1975 a horse named Corbiere was born, which was to cement Jenny Pitman's name into the record books as the first woman to train an Aintree Grand National winner. Corbiere, whose stable name was Corky, was a chestnut gelding with a broad white blaze and a determined spirit. As a seven-year-old it won the 1982 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow, leaving its breeder M Parkhill, owner Bryan Burrough and trainer Jenny very excited by the prospect of Corbiere running in the Grand National in 1983. In the 1983 Grand National Ben de Haan kept Corbiere amongst the front-rank horses throughout the race, taking the lead at Valentine's and holding off a late challenge by Greasepaint to win by three-quarters of a length. Corbiere contested each of the next 4 Grand Nationals, finishing third in both 1984 and 1985, but did not finish in 1986 and ran down the field in 12th in 1987. In 1976 a brown foal was born and named Burrough Hill Lad, bred and owned by Stan Riley. It won the 1982 Mildmay Novices Chase, the Welsh National in 1983, while in 1984 it enjoyed its most successful season, winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and the King George VI Chase at Kempton. In the same year Corbiere won the Aintree Grand National a chestnut foal named Royal Athlete, bred by John Brophy, was born and was eventually sold to Gary and Libby Johnson. Jenny trained the horse to cause an upset in the 1989 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, winning at 33/1 in the hands of Dean Gallagher, before sending it chasing the next year. It won the 1990 Reynoldstown Novices Chase, the 1990 Mumm Club Chase, and in 1995 captured Jenny's second Grand National at Aintree. By then, some say Jenny should have already trained her second National winner because in 1993 Esha Ness 50/1, partnered by John White, had completed the course in first place only for the race to be declared void after starter Keith Brown had failed to send the runners off together after 2 false starts. In 1984 Jenny wrote Glorious Uncertainty in conjunction with Sue Gibson, but it was not until she neared retirement that, in 1998, she wrote her autobiography. In 1997, when Mark began training on his own account at Saxon House Stables, he and Jenny set up the Mark & Jenny Pitman Racing Club. In June 1999 Jenny announced her retirement from training and Mark took over at Weathercock House. At the same time as undergoing treatment for a serious health condition, Jenny began to write racing thrillers, completing Done Deal and On The Edge in 2002. These early books were followed by The Dilemma in 2003, The Vendetta in 2004, and The Inheritance in 2005. Like Dick Francis before her, and John Francome at the same time as her, she had so much first hand experience of the racing game to call upon, that she was always likely to become a successful writer.
|1982 Mildmay Novices Chase at Aintree BURROUGH HILL LAD 9/1 owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Phil Tuck
1982 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow CORBIERE 12/1 owned by Bryan Burrough, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Ben de Haan
1983 Aintree Grand National CORBIERE 13/1 owned by Bryan Burrough, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Ben de Haan
1983 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow BURROUGH HILL LAD 11/4 fav owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John Francome
1984 Anthony Mildmay & Peter Cazalet Memorial Chase BURROUGH HILL LAD 11/8 fav owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John Francome
1984 Gainsborough Chase at Aintree BURROUGH HILL LAD 11/8 owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John Francome
1984 Cheltenham Gold Cup BURROUGH HILL LAD 7/2 owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Phil Tuck
1984 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby BURROUGH HILL LAD 10/11 jt fav owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Phil Tuck
1984 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury BURROUGH HILL LAD 100/30 fav owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John Francome
1984 King George VI Chase at Kempton BURROUGH HILL LAD 1/2 fav owned by Stan Riley, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John Francome
1985 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot MISTY DALE 9/4 fav trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Phil Tuck
1986 Mildmay Novices Chase at Aintree STEARSBY 11/4 owned by Terry Ramsden, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Graham Bradley
1989 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot ROYAL ATHLETE 33/1 owned by Gary and Libby Johnson, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Dean Gallagher
1990 Reynoldstown Novices Chase at Ascot ROYAL ATHLETE 11/4 owned by Gary and Libby Johnson, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Mark Pitman
1990 Sun Alliance Chase at Cheltenham GARRISON SAVANNAH 12/1 owned by Autofour Engineering, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Ben de Haan
1990 Mumm Club Chase at Aintree ROYAL ATHLETE 5/2 fav owned by Gary and Libby Johnson, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Mark Pitman
1991 Philip Cornes Novices Chase at Newbury ESHA NESS 7/2 jt fav owned by Patrick Bancroft, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Mark Pitman
1991 Cheltenham Gold Cup GARRISON SAVANNAH 9/1 owned by Autofour Engineering, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Mark Pitman
1991 Souter of Stirling Novices Chase at Ayr ESHA NESS 7/4 fav owned by Patrick Bancroft, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Mark Pitman
1992 Reynoldstown Novices Chase at Ascot DANNY HAROLD 2/1 owned by Mrs Shirley Robins, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Mark Pitman
1992 Lord Stalbridge Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Wincanton ESHA NESS 9/1 owned by Patrick Bancroft, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Mark Pitman
1995 Aintree Grand National ROYAL ATHLETE 40/1 owned by Gary and Libby Johnson, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Jason Titley
1996 Sun Alliance Chase at Cheltenham NATHEN LAD 7/1 owned by J Shaw, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Warren Marston
1st July 1999- April 2006 Mark Pitman
|April 2006- June 2009 Carl Llewellyn
Carl Harries Llewellyn, born at Pembroke Dock on 29th July 1965, is the son of a farmer, Eryl. He enjoyed riding ponies as a boy, but then progressed to point-to-point races before working for former champion National Hunt jockey Stan Mellor. He won the Conditional Jockeys Championship, and then landed a huge number of wins in the most prestigious races in the National Hunt Calendar. In 1988 he won the Mildmay of Flete Chase on Smart Tar, but his greatest success came a year later when he won the 1992 Aintree Grand National on Party Politics. Tipping Tim was one of his favourite horses on whom he won the 1992 Mackeson Gold Cup and National Hunt Chase. Successes at the Cheltenham Festival include the 1993 Sun Alliance on Gaelstrom, the 1994 Supreme Novices on Arctic Kinsman, and the 1998 Triumph Hurdle aboard Upgrade. Towards the end of his riding career, whilst already training, he landed the 2006 Scottish Grand National on Run For Paddy. In August 2005 he acted as assistant trainer to Mark Pitman at Weathercock House, and when Mark decided to retire in April 2006 Carl was appointed trainer by owner Malcolm Denmark. He trained for 3 seasons at Weathercock House, training 79 winners, two of which were Demsey in the 2007 Celebration Chase, and Hennessy in the 2009 Bet365 Gold Cup, formerly the Whitbread Gold Cup. In June 2009 Carl and Malcolm agreed to part company, with Carl returning to assist Nigel Twiston-Davies for whom he rode so many good winners.
2007 Fraser Steel Handicap Chase at Sandown DEMSEY 8/1 owned by Mrs T Brown, trained by Carl Llewellyn and ridden by Timmy Murphy
2007 Celebration Chase at Sandown DEMSEY 5/4 fav owned by Mrs T Brown, trained by Carl Llewellyn and ridden by Timmy Murphy
2009 Bet365 (Whitbread) Gold Cup at Sandown HENNESSY 13/2 owned by Malcolm Denmark, trained by Carl Llewellyn and ridden by Tony McCoy
|2009-2012 Warren Greatrex
Warren Greatrex, born in Norwich on 22nd February 1975 is the youngest son of Julian and Valerie Greatrex. His father was a farmer, while his mother taught, and the family lived in Dartmoor. He loved being around horses from an early age, taking part in activities organized by the Spooner and West Dartmoor Pony Club, but he was also an accomplished sportsman whilst at school, particularly enjoying rugby and hockey. After completing his sixth form studies he joined David Nicholson's Jackdaw Castle stables, gaining invaluable experience from a recognized master of his trade. He rode as a conditional jockey for Josh Gifford and David Gandolfo, partnering 13 winners in total, and then joined the Lambourn stable of Bryan Smart who had been training in the village since 1990. In 2002 Bryan Smart moved to Hambleton House Stables in Thirsk, but Warren wanted to remain in Lambourn. He gained further experience working for Jamie Osborne before working for Oliver Sherwood for almost a decade at Rhonehurst Stables. In 2009 he was offered the opportunity to train in his own right by racehorse owner Malcolm Denmark and took over at Weathercock House stables, made famous by Grand National and Gold Cup winning trainer Jenny Pitman. Warren remained at Weathercock House until the 2012 season when he moved further in to Lambourn, taking charge of Uplands stables which Charles Egerton had recently purchased.
|November 2015-present Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes, son of legendary National Hunt jockey and later trainer Dessie Hughes, was born in Dublin on 11th January 1973 and was brought up surrounded by horses. He began pony racing at the age of seven and remembers his first winner, riding Chestnut Lady in a 6-furlong race at Wexford. He came to England in 1996 and won the Italian Derby on Bahamian Knight, although he was riding under both codes and rode the winner of the 1997 Irish Champion Hurdle on Cockney Lad.
He was stable jockey for Richard Hannon for a good number of years and married Hannon's daughter Lizzie, the couple being blessed with 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. On 15th October 2012 he rode 7 winners, out of 8 races, at Windsor, winning the Joe Ward Hill Memorial Stakes on Pivotal Moment 13/8 jt fav, the Davis Bakery Nursery aboard East Texas Red 5/2 fav, the Ladbroke Maiden Stakes on Embankment 7/1, the Ladbroke Mobile Handicap Division 1 aboard Magic Secret 4/1 fav, the Ladbroke Mobile Handicap Division 2 partnering Links Drive Lady 5/2 fav, the Ladbroke Handicap with Clarence Lady 7/4 fav and the Skybet.com Handicap on Mama Quilla 15/8 fav. The 7-timer paid 10.169/1, but in the 8th race on the card he came 3rd on the 2/1 fav, and had that also gone in then a £30 accumulator would have paid £1 million. Although Richard was crowned Champion Jockey 3 times, he did not record his first English Classic winner until 2013 when he won the 1000 Guineas on Sky Lantern (SR 1848), and also won the Epsom Oaks on Talent (SR 1766). However, by then he had already notched up victory in the 2010 Irish 2000 Guineas on Canford Cliffs (SR 1934). In 2015 Richard retired from the saddle after 25 years as a top jockey and was ready to launch his training career from his base in Salisbury from where he saddled his first runner, Bank of Gibraltar 7/4 fav, on 11th September 2015 but it was unplaced. Richard then bought Weathercock House stables in Upper Lambourn in November 2015, from where his first runner, Duchess of Marmite, was his first winner on 4th November 2015. He has continued to be successful, sending out winners to Chantilly, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, Goodwood and Chester.
|Top 5 Weathercock House Stable horses of all time
BURROUGH HILL LAD (1984 Cheltenham Gold Cup, Hennessy Gold Cup, King George VI Chase)
GARRISON SAVANNAH (1991 Cheltenham Gold Cup, 1990 Sun Alliance Chase)
CORBIERE (1983 Aintree Grand National, 1982 Welsh Grand National)
ROYAL ATHLETE (1995 Aintree Grand National, 1990 Mumm Club Chase)
HENNESSY (2009 bet365 Gold Cup)
|© John Slusar 2023|
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