Aidan O’Brien to be crowned Champion Trainer at Ascot

Aidan O’Brien will officially be crowned British Champion Trainer 2017 at QIPCO British Champions Day this Saturday, 21st October at Ascot.

O’Brien has enjoyed a sensational 2017 winning four out of the five British Classics, together with three winners at Royal Ascot and eleven races which comprise the 35 race QIPCO British Champions Series.

O’Brien is also tantalisingly poised to equal, and possibly exceed, the World Record for the most number of Group / Grade 1 victories in a year on QIPCO British Champions Day when he bids to eclipse Bobby Frankel’s tally of 25 which was set in 2003. Currently on 24 winners at the highest level for the year, O’Brien is fielding a dazzling squad for Britain’s richest raceday that comprises dual Classic winner Churchill, crack sprinter Caravaggio, globetrotter Highland Reel and Order of St George.

The Trainers’ Championship is decided on prize money and runs from 1st January to 31st December but, at the request of the National Trainers Federation, the presentation will be made on QIPCO British Champions Day, along with the Stobart Champion Flat Jockey and Champion Owner.

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the National Trainers’ Federation said, “In recognition of his exceptional performance in 2017 and as he challenges the boundaries at the highest level, the NTF felt it was fitting that Aidan O’Brien should be crowned Champion Flat Trainer on QIPCO British Champions Day, the finale to the European flat racing season. We congratulate him and all the team at Ballydoyle.”

Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series said, “Aidan O’Brien has once again been in blistering form this season, winning 11 of the 30 QIPCO British Champions Series races that have been run to date so we are delighted to be honouring his achievements and celebrating his successful defence of his title on QIPCO British Champions Day. Congratulations to him and all the team.”

O’Brien has accrued £7,247,556 in prize money in Great Britain this year and is nearly £3 million ahead of the 2015 Champion Trainer, John Gosden who, as the last British winner of the title, will make the presentation to his peer after the QIPCO Champion Stakes at approximately 4.05pm.


ROA Owners Jackpot race update

The table below is an updated list of upcoming ROA Owners Jackpot races. Note that the race on Sunday 19th November originally earmarked as a Jackpot race is no longer designated as such. This has been substituted for the race at Taunton on 16th November.

Fri 27 Oct Doncaster (Jackpot +) 1m 2f Class 3 3yo 0-95 Handicap
Wed 1 Nov Nottingham 1m Class 4 3yo+ 0-85 Handicap
Wed 8 Nov Musselburgh 3m Class 4 4yo+ 0-120 Handicap Hurdle
Thur 16 Nov Taunton 2m 1/2f Class 5 4-6yo Maiden National Hunt Flat
Tues 21 Nov Southwell 2m4f Class 4 4yo+ 0-105 Handicap Chase
Wed 29 Nov Hereford 2m 3 1/2f Class 4 4yo+ 0-105 Handicap Hurdle

Passing of Patrick Haslam

We are very sad to hear about the passing of Patrick Haslam following a long illness. Patrick was a clever and versatile trainer, renowned for the rare feat of having trained a winner at every British racecourse.

He had great energy and a passion for the sport of racing, not just training horses. He was always interested in what was going on in the industry and was much admired and respected by his colleagues.

Our condolences go to Anne and Ben.


NEWS RELEASE – 15 October 2017

For immediate release


The death of a stable employee last night at Kempton Park Racecourse is a tragedy that touches all in racing. Reactions across the sport testify to the close bonds that unite us in our common passion and from the National Trainers Federation, we send our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased.

Mercifully, fatal accidents in the course of caring for racehorses in Britain are rare and we acknowledge and salute the commitment of stable employees across the country who devote their working lives to their horses.

Since last night we have been advising and supporting the trainer and the team at the yard.

British horseracing is fortunate to have an excellent support system for its people and this is at the disposal of anyone in times of need. The 24-hour Racing Support Line can be contacted on 0800 6300 443.


The National Trainers Federation represents the interests of British licensed racehorse trainers.

For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, on 01488 71794 or 07899 797010. E-mail:

For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to

New form of examination to check suitability to race

The way in which the BHA checks that certain horses are fit to race is set to change and this will replace the “poor movers list”. The new method is called a “suitability to race examination”. It has been used informally over the last three months to assess the practicalities and gain responses from trainers. As a result of positive feedback these examinations will be rolled out on a permanent basis across all affected horses and therefore remove the poor movers list and protocol.

The reason for instigating this STR examination is to allow trainers and owners, their stable vets, and BHA vets to be confident that horses that arrive at the races with a history of idiosyncratic gaits will be able to race. It removes the problem of withdrawing horses on raceday once they have arrived at that racecourse because they are deemed at trot up to be lame. It also allows the BHA Veterinary Officers (VO) to have confidence that these horses have gaits that do not represent on-going pathology changes which could result in a catastrophic injury and hence welfare issues.

How it works:

  • Horses are identified by BHA VOs as having consistent abnormal gaits or have a history of being examined and possibly withdrawn on raceday a number of times because of their gait movements.
  • The trainer is notified by letter that their horse is to be subject to a STR examination because of one of those criteria.
  • The examination is to occur at the trainer’s stables and not on race day when the horse may be entered to race.
  • The trainer has the option to have his/her stable veterinary surgeon present when the examination takes place. There will also be a full review of the horse’s history and its medication records.
  • The examination consists of two stages: an examination, including a trot up which will be video recorded, before the horse undertakes a gallop and a further examination of the horse after it has completed a gallop.
  • Any horse presented for a STR examination may be drug tested in accordance with the Rules of Racing.
  • If the horse is passed as suitable to race, it may be entered and race as normal. It will be subject to on-going random VO checks on its gait on race days as it continues to race. If there is a deterioration in its action or a change in gait in future, it may be subject to a repeated STR examination, otherwise it continues to race as a normal racehorse.
  • If the horse is deemed unsuitable to race at any point by the VO, it may not be declared for a race until it has completed a satisfactory STR examination.
  • If there is a disagreement on the outcome of this initial examination a Senior Raceday Veterinarian will accompany the VO on the subsequent examination.

This is a significant welfare initiative and, although it will never completely stop race day catastrophic injuries, it should give both the industry and the general public confidence that welfare is the prime focus of the racing industry.

ROA event for Racing Secretaries in Newmarket

The ROA will be hosting an informal social event for Racing Secretaries and Senior Staff at The Racing Centre in Newmarket on Monday 23rd October.

Secretaries are invited to attend between 1-3pm for a general discussion on ownership related matters and to share new ideas for the recruitment and retention of owners. There will also be the opportunity to discuss ways that the association can support secretaries in their daily communications with owners.

A selection of sandwiches, finger food and cakes will be provided.

Those wishing to attend please RSVP to Chloe Martin no later than Wednesday 18th October.


Changes in the pipeline for Hunter Chase eligibility

The BHA Racing Group has agreed changes to the eligibility for Hunter Chases. This has followed a long debate over several meetings with the NTF not supporting the fourth of these recommendations:

  1. Licensed Trainers can continue to run horses in Hunter Chases
  2. Cessation of the November to December blackout period for horses running in the following year’s Hunter Chases
  3. No change to the Hunter Chase eligibility based on previous race performance
  4. Horses that run under the care of a licensed trainer in a Hunter Chase may run only in a Hunter Chase for the remainder of the Hunter Chase season (i.e. up to the Stratford HC meeting.)

The NTF’s concern was that the number of horses being sent Hunter Chasing from licensed yards may decrease significantly as a result of this change. The BHA’s opinion was that that if the other three recommendations were implemented, particularly the cessation of the November and December blackout period, then the whole approach to Hunter Chasing eligibility would be relaxed to a point where a large proportion of horses would be able to dip in and out of Hunter Chasing, something that would be undesirable.

The Racing Group will review the impact of the changes, including the number of horses being sent Hunter Chasing from licensed yards, at the end of the first season.