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Horses that race on the flat and over jumps require different skills and most trainers focus on one type of racing. However, a small number are dual purpose in that they have flat horses and jumpers under their care.
The trainer devises and implements a training programme for the horses and decides the races in which each horse runs. In a big yard the trainer must delegate many functions to an assistant or other employers within the structure. The information is fed to the stable staff who feed and care for the horses in a yard. Stable staff work horses in gallops, which are used to make horses as fit as possible for their chosen races.
The two main connections associated with a horse are the owner and trainer. The owner pays the training and other fees associated with running racehorses and the trainer prepares the animal. Some trainers are proactive in finding owners and others, with an established reputation, are approached by owners. It’s common for a trainer to buy horses at the sales and then identify potential owners. Training racehorses is a business and the trainer must have a variety of skills.
The betting public will bet on horses if they trust the trainer. The high profile trainers in Britain and Ireland for the flat and jumps racing win the best races. A horse with a well known trainer will be backed ahead of a horse with similar form trained by someone less well known. Trainers influence betting markets and if they report a horse is fit and ready to run in a race the betting public react accordingly.
Mick Channon has had a successful career as a trainer but before moving to horses, he was a professional footballer, representing Southampton and Manchester City, among other clubs, as well as winning almost 50 England caps.
After retiring from football he became a trainer in 1990 and has seen his horse win in six different countries, with his first Classic winner coming in 2012, when Samitar was victorious in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.