Wednesday 12 April 2017

Amanda Perrett: Boss Lady

Amanda Perrett, née Harwood, is the daughter of Guy Harwood – trainer of 1986 European Horse of the Year Dancing Brave, to name but one – and took over the training licence at Coombelands Stables in Pulborough, West Sussex when he retired in 1996. Amanda is married to former jockey Mark Perrett, who was closely associated with her father throughout his riding career and rode many winners for Stan Mellor and Martin Pipe. Perrett now fills the role of assistant trainer.

Prior to taking out a training licence, Amanda was an accomplished amateur jockey, riding 54 winners under Rules and another 40 in the point-to-point sphere. She also had the distinction of being the first female jockey to ride in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, finishing eighth, beaten 21 lengths, on Vagador, trained by her father, in 1990.

Amanda saddled her first winner as a trainer, Hoofprints, in a median auction maiden stakes race at Lingfield in October, 1996, back in the days of the original Equitrack all-weather surface. She trained her first Group winner, Indian Ridge, in the Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket in April, 2000. In fact, Indian Ridge was far and away the best horse she trained for a few years, winning eight races, including Group 1 successes in the Emirates Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and the Prix de la Foret, also at the Paris course, in 2000.

That same year, Amanda also won the Tote Chester Cup with Bangalore, the Tote International Stakes with Tillerman and the Tote Ebor. She reached her zenith two years later, finishing the 2002 Flat season with 60 winners and nearly £807,000 in total prize money. Highlights that year included victories for Bangalore in the Foster’s Lager Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, Tillerman in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood and Welsh Diva in the Premio Sergio Cumani at San Siro, Italy.

Tungsten Strike was another good moneyspinner for the yard, winning eight races, including the World Bet Exchange Henry II Stakes at Sandown and the Woodcote Stud Sagaro Stakes at Ascot, between 2004 and 2008, and earning just over £287,000 in win and place prize money.

More recently, Amanda has enjoyed further high profile successes with Astronereus, in John Smith’s Silver Cup at York and Zhui Feng, in the £200,000 Tattersalls Millions Median Auction Trophy at Newmarket, in 2015 and the same two horses, in the Al Raayan Stakes at Newbury in 2016 and the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot in 2017, respectively.

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