Stable Tour with Ann Duffield
Name: Ann Duffield
Training Location Leyburn North Yorkshire
Single/dual license? Dual but I rarely have a jumper! If single flat/jump?
How long have you held a license? – 20years
Training Facilities, including how many in the team
We have a brilliant Up hill all weather (woodchip) gallop, grass uphill gallops, fibresand round canter, Water treadmill, vitafloor and solarium, walkers/ lunge ring/ 50 acres of post and riled turnout in a mixt of small paddocks and larger fields, two sets starting stalls, various schooling obstacles and fences.George also operates “Sunhill sports horse fitness and rehabilitation centre” from the farm, this is a pre training, breaking yard and rehabilitation and fitness for all types of competition horses
Number of horses in training/capacity 45
What is your background/introduction to racing? I moved to Yorkshire form Liverpool in 1988 and was bored when I wasn’t in Liverpool running the business so I began buying and selling all types of horses, one of which was a former flat racehorse I sold into polo and she did remarkably well. The resulting order for more like her took me to the bloodstock sales where I also bought a national hunt horse to train myself for point to points and hunter chasing. He did very well, selling for a large profit so I decided the game was ‘easy’ and I would give it a go! That assumption was my first mistake! For many years I trained a few horses for myself and a handful of owners but gradually the string increased although we have never been a big yard, in 2004/5 we only had seven horses.
Favourite horses either currently in training, you’ve previously trained or seen in your lifetime. Melody of Love as she was my first runner and winner in a Group race. Just Lille was a big favourite winning 18 races for Jubilee Street had been written of by his former owners and trainers after only winning one race, but one of the owners had faith in him and after buying the others out he sent him to me, he gave his owner so much pleasure winning 9 races.
Which jockeys do you regularly use? Best Available
Three horses to follow this season and why?
Which courses will suit (preferably Yorkshire!) Uncle Charlie is well handicapped and loves Catterick and Thirsk. Troop is well treated and will enjoy tracks like Beverley and Thirsk. Arnold is one to watch and he likes Beverly and Thirsk in particular and we have a smashing unnamed two year old who looks a handy type but he doesn’t have an owner yet so therefore he has no name!
Favourite Yorkshire course and why. I love all the Yorkshire tracks because they are well run, friendly, they reinvest in their facilities for the benefit of horses, owners trainers and the public and crucially, they are not too far from Sun hill!
Anything else of note e.g records held, funny stories, memorable racedays, first winner etc. We can’t boast records like those held by the big powerful yards but its been very satisfying to have provided several jockeys with their ‘firsts’ Willie Supple rode his first winner on British soil on Domino Flyer, Willies Brother John, Amateur Chris Wilson and apprentice Rowan Scott all rode their first flat winners for me. Having my first ever runner in a Group race win when Melody of Love scored in the Firth Of Clyde was a big day. Apparently Bold Edge’s first juvenile winner was trained me and I am told Kodiac’s for juvenile to reach a rating of 100 was our “Alaskan Spirit”. Training 21 two-year-old winners in a season was very satisfying too for a yard of our size. Being hidden by security and BHA staff at Newcastle races then chased across the car park by paparazzi when news of George and my ‘affair’ broke was memorable too. We still laugh about it now 23 years later! Ironically in a blog back in August 2016 I referred to a tale of someone else’s shenanigans that was going on at the same time but the press were not aware of it, they were interested only in chasing me and George around but one owner who owed us a lot of money and who I was embroiled in a battle with to get paid sent me an email asking me to “Recall the blog”. I didn’t understand what he meant so he sent me a link to the blog in question. It turned out he that he had his own dirty secret and thought I was writing about him and he didn’t want his wife to see it! I never did take the blog down because it wasn’t about him but it just shows you how things can come back to haunt you! It all happens in racing you know………………….