Sad news broke overnight that triple Grand National winning owner Trevor Hemmings had passed away at the age of 86. I was fortunate enough to meet him on a number of occasions at various racecourses, including Aintree and Haydock, which were two of his favourite tracks, and on each occasion he was a pleasure to speak to. He always made an effort and found time to have a chat regardless of whether it was Grand National day or a run of the mill midweek meeting. Trevor was a proper fella and, even though he was born in Woolwich, London, I always classed him as a northerner with his Lancashire accent. He enjoyed tremendous success as an owner tasting Cheltenham Festival glory with the likes of Albertas Run, Cloudy Lane and Trabolgan, plus three 'Hennessy' wins for the last named and, more recently, Many Clouds and Cloth Cap last winter. The likes of Donald McCain, Paul Nicholls, Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Nicky Richards, the late Malcolm Jefferson and Peter Beaumont, Jonjo O'Neill, Sue Smith, Alan King, Tim Easterby, Venetia Williams, Henry Daly, Oliver Sherwood, Henrietta Knight, Nick Alexander and Michael Winters amongst others have all trained for the billionaire businessman.
I regularly speak to Trevor's racing manager Mick Meagher - I rang him during the summer as part of my research for One Jump Ahead and three of his string are featured in the Top 40 Prospects this time around - and it is easy to see why he has held the role for so long. He is very good at his job and Trevor has always been extremely loyal. They have been a great combination and it is hoped Trevor's family decide to continue their interest in horseracing. Admittedly, they cut back the string over a year ago but they are still responsible for some very promising horses. It would be fitting if the green, yellow and white silks are carried to more big race glory this winter. I texted Mick on Tuesday morning and his reply was 'he was some man.' It is impossible to argue with that - the former champion owner was a class act and will be sorely missed.
All orders for One Jump Ahead received by lunchtime on Tuesday have been sent out - those received later in the day will be posted on Wednesday am. A couple of pieces of news regarding two featured horses - the one included on page 46 will reportedly make his hurdles debut at Ascot on Saturday 30th October. The second horse mentioned on page 52 is entered over hurdles on Sunday (17th October) for his new connections. He therefore appears most unlikely to continue in bumpers for which he is quoted in the ante-post lists for the Cheltenham Festival championship event. If anyone has backed him for the Festival, I strongly suggest 'cashing out' before the layers realised.
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