Monday 5 June 2017

David Simcock: Onward and Upward

Nowadays, David Simcock has over a hundred horses in his yard at Trillium Place, Newmarket and, in 2017, saddled 64 winners and amassed over £1 million in total prize money for the fourth season in a row. His highlights that year included Bless Him in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot, Breton Rock in the Qatar Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and Lightning Spear in the Grosvenor Sport Celebration Mile Stakes, also at Goodwood. Simcock has also made an excellent start to 2018, saddling 10 winners from 67 runners, so far, and collecting just over £125,000 in total prize money.

However, winners have not always come quite so easily for the 45-year-old, who learnt his trade with Ian Balding (father of Andrew Balding), Major Dick Hern and Luca Cumani before taking out a training licence, in his own right, in 2004. In his first three seasons, he saddled a total of just 23 winners but, thereafter, his numbers started to steadily improve. In 2009, he trained 44 winners and exceeded £500,000 in total prize money for the first time, thanks in large part to the 3-year-old Darley Sun, runaway winner of the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

However, his breakthrough year was 2010, when he saddled his first Group winner, Bushman in the Investec Diomed Stakes at Epsom and his first Group 1 winner, Dream Ahead in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville. Indeed, Dream Ahead also won the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket later that season and, in 2011, was named Cartier Sprinter of the Year after winning the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock and Qatar Prix de la Foret at Longchamp.

Simcock has never been afraid to campaign his horses internationally and landed his first Grade 1 success in North America with I’m A Dreamer in the Beverley D. Stakes at Arlington Park, Chicago in 2011. Three years later, in 2014, he landed a memorable double with Sheikhzayedroad in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes and Trade Storm in the Ricoh Woodbine Miles Stakes at Woodbine, Toronto on the same day in September.

Just over a month later, Ryan had his biggest payday ever, at least so far, when Madame Chiang won the Qipco Champion Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot. The following season, he saddled his first winner at Royal Ascot, Balios, in the King Edward VII Stakes and, the one after, won both the Doncaster Cup and the Qipco Long Distance Series Cup at Ascot with the aforementioned Sheikhzayedroad.

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