Sunday, 14 October 2018

Ron Boss: A Welshman in Newmarket

ron boss
I was lucky enough to celebrate 35 years in racing last year and one man I remember fondly from the early days of my ‘career’ is former Newmarket trainer Ron Boss. Ron hails from Barry, in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, as do I. Coincidentally, the gentleman who introduced me to racing all those years ago, Bruce Barnes, knew Ron personally, so I had the pleasure of speaking to him few times during, and after, his career.

A quiet, unassuming man, Ron is probably best remembered, if remembered at all, for saddling Olywyn to win the Irish Oaks in 1977. Thought good enough to contest the Criterium des Pouliches at Longchamp as a two-year-old, the Relko filly lined up at the Curragh a maiden after nine races, having been beaten in the Pretty Polly Stakes, the Warwick Oaks, the Oaks proper, the Lancashire Oaks and a maiden race at Bath, at long odds-on, just for good measure.

However, Ron clearly knew the time of day because, forcefully ridden by John ‘Kipper’ Lynch, Olwyn was never headed and held on to win in a blanket finish with Sassabunda and Nanticious. Ron later recalled, “I thought after Epsom that we had the best staying filly even though she only had one pace. She was a long-striding filly and I knew the course at Epsom didn’t suit her, but that the track at The Curragh would.” 

Ron enjoyed two victories at Royal Ascot, Cramond in the 1976 Queen Mary Stakes and Emboss in the 1977 Norfolk Stakes and won the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket two years running with Mon Tresor in 1988 and Balla Cove in 1989. He retired back to Barry in 1997 after 25 years at Phoenix Lodge Stables in Newmarket and later described the victory of Captain’s Wings – who was backed from 50/1 to 13/2 – in the 1978 Lincoln as one of his “best highlights”.

17 comments:

  1. What a great trainer - Ron Boss. Many fond memories of his horse especially Balla Cove and the wonderful Mon Tresor. He was excellent with horses on their second start. Good read.

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  2. I looked after havard what a horse

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  3. Kipper John Lynch isn't 'late' at all. Although very badly injured in a horrific road accident a few years ago, he lives with his wife Carol at a livery yard in kentford just outside Newmarket

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    1. Apologies, I will update the article!

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  4. I worked for Mr Boss and what a great man he was. Looked after Riberetto Messanger of peace and Durandel

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  5. Worked for Mr Boss and what a great man he was.
    Looked after Riberetto Durandle and messenger of peace . Loved riding work for him

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    1. That's fantastic. I bet you have many a memory from those times. Good to be involved at that level rather than just a spectator like most of us!

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  6. To the person who posted this artical. My name is Toby. Ron is my grandfather. Now at the grand Old age of 83 He is still enjoying retirement in Barry with his wife Gloria

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    1. Hi Toby. I would love to be In contact with your Grandad as I have so many great memories. He was a pleasure to work for. Don’t know how we go forward from here?

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Reply to Toby . Is your dad Adrian ? He taught me to drive the horse box to the races and travelling head lad. Would love to be in touch , and tell you about lots of memories. Work riding with Greville Starkey Paul Tulk Bruce Raymond and Kipper lynch. Got many 2 year olds ready for big day . Your Granddad would remember Arija Blue Sign etc ect

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    2. Hi John, if you post your email address I'll be sure to forward Toby's details to you. It will be posted in the moderation queue rather than publicly so only I will see it!

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  8. Thank you for your help. Have spoken to Toby through Facebook. When this virus allows us to get back to normal we will meet up and catch up on our memories. . I will keep you posted so you can update the blog . Regards John

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    1. That's fantastic to hear, John. I'd certainly be more than happy to hear back and post an update. Great that such connections can be made in these tough times!

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  9. For a horse racing enthusiast with a limited budget Ron was ideal always looking for reasonable costing yearlings with something in their pedigree that hinted as maybe springing a surprise as they matured. Sprinters were his strong point as he himself would regularly challenge his stable boys to hectic sprints over very short distances...which he inevitably won! Nice bloke, good company who I am glad I got to know.

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    1. Thanks for your contribution. It's clear from the comments that Ron was one of a kind, and I believe that one or two people, including family members, are primed to share a pint due to reconnecting here. Thanks for your contribution!

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