We are delighted to present an Interview with Grand National winning trainer Sue Smith. The National Hunt trainer based at Craiglands Farm in North Yorkshire for 30 years tells us about the early years and her hopes for the season ahead….
You started training in 1990, how many horses did you start with back then?
We only started with three or four horses
And how many do you currently have in the yard to date?
We have 55 in training and some young horses in the fields
Winning a Grade 2 quite early on must have given you a real boost. Did more owners come on board following that success?
Not immediately as I only had a permit licence to begin with.
How has training horses changed since you first started?
For us it hasn’t changed, our routine is the same and how we train the horses is the same, although we have changed our feed. It is all the paperwork and rules and regulations that have changed and you have to keep up with.
Is it difficult to attract new owners?
We are lucky to have very loyal owners, many who have been with us for many years. We don’t actively search for new owners but we seem to manage to get new ones every year.
Winning the Grand National with Auroras Encore, was that a race you always wanted to train a winner for?
Yes, of course.
The grand national aside, which race would be top of the ‘would love to win’ race?
It would have to be the Gold Cup.
Is routine the best way to train horses or do they all have individual training programs?
We stick to the same routine we always have had but the horses get plenty of variety of work within this so they don’t get bored and fed up, we do lots of hacking all over the moor as well as lots of long steady cantering and plenty of turn out.
Trevor Hemmings is a big supporter of National Hunt racing, with Vintage Clouds a fans favourite.
Are we likely to see another tilt at the Grand National from him again this season?
All being well, yes.
Cracking Find(Below Right) was very consistent last season, is he likely to stay in handicaps or push up to Graded Level?
He will start off in Handicaps and we will see how well he progresses before we think about graded races.
Would you say that Midnight Shadow(Above left) is a horse our readers should keep an eye on throughout the coming season?
Most definitely, we are really looking forward to him this season.
We would like to wish sue and the team all the best for the future and the season ahead.
Interview by Rich Williams
Pictures – Auroras Encore(Pinterest) Sue Smith(Racing Post) Sue Smith Racing Logo(Twitter Account).
Vintage Clouds, Cracking Find & Midnight Shadow(Sue Smith Racing Website)