Thursday 9 March 2017

Dean Ivory: Welcome to the Real World

Dean Ivory enjoyed his best season ever, monetarily, in 2017, earning £903,291 in total prize money. He also trained his first Group 1 winner, Librisa Breeze, in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.

Librisa Breeze had also contested the same race the previous year, after displaying an astonishing turn of foot to win the totescoop6 Challenge Cup, over 7 furlongs, at Ascot two weeks earlier. At that time, Ivory – who had trained Sirius Prospect to finish third in the Champion Sprint Stakes in 2012 and Tropics to finish second in 2014 – said of Librisa Breeze, “This might just be the one. I always thought he was going to be a real good horse, but what’s surprised me about him is the speed and how he finishes off his races.”

On his first attempt, on good going, Librisa Breeze could only finish a never dangerous sixth, beaten 3¼ lengths, behind The Tin Man. However, back on soft going, he reversed the form in no uncertain terms, keeping on stoutly under pressure to beat Tasleet by 1¼ lengths, with Caravaggio third, Cartier Sprinter of the Year Harry’s Angel fourth and The Tin Man only fifth, beaten 3½ lengths.

Dean Ivory is based at Harper Lodge Farm, a private training establishment covering 115 acres in Radlett, between St. Alban’s and Borehamwood in Hertfordshire. Ivory Jnr. took out a training licence in 2002, when his father, Ken, retired to Spain. However, his previous experience of owning a moderate horse called Ivory’s Grab Hire – named after his transportation company – provided an insight into his future career. He later remarked, “Relationships with owners are important to me because as an owner, I learnt that this personal liaison makes so much difference.”

Ivory, 45, saddled his first major winner, Miss George, in the Fleur De Lys Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield in 2004, but really started to climb the training ranks from 2011 onwards, courtesy of the aforementioned Sirius Prospect and Tropics, who won seven races at Listed or Pattern level between them. More recently, Librisa Breeze and Lancelot Du Lac, winner of the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood in 2017, have continued to fly the flag for the yard. On the yard celebrated its 400th winner when Hello Girl hacked up, at odds on, in a novice auction stakes race at Wolverhampton. At the last count, Ivory had saddled 421 winners and earned nearly £2,750,000 in total prize money.