We are delighted to bring you the BIG Interview with Julie Camacho.
The flat trainer talks to us about her career as a trainer, which started over 20 years ago. We look at the BIG winners, her thoughts on racing & also look forward to the season ahead….
How long have you been training?
I took over from my Dad Maurice in 1998.
If you were not a trainer, what career path fo you think you may have chosen & Why?
From being a child all I ever wanted to do was train, I left school at 16 to work with my Dad who trained at the time- so I never considered doing anything else!
“we are certainly hoping for our best season yet”
When you started training, how many horses did you have in the yard compared to today?
I started with around 20 horses and we now have a full yard of 50 horses.
How have your training facilities changed since you started training?
It’s the same yard that my Dad trained at, so I’ve never moved. A lot of it is the same, but it has grown and been updated whilst I’ve been training!
We’ve built 25 new stables since and another horse Walker. We also have an indoor school but that was here when Dad trained. It’s been a case of maintaining and improving what was already here.
Can you remember your first win as a trainer and how much of a relief was it?
I can- it was my first winner and Elite Racing Club’s first homebred winner, who we still train for now. The horse was called Stately Favour and she won a maiden at Southwell ridden by Lindsay Charnock.
How has racing changed since you started training and are there any changes you would like to see in the future?
I would say it is more competitive than it was but the main change is an improvement in the welfare of the horses. The vet care now is so advanced!
In the future, prize money needs to improve hugely, which was highlighted by the dominance of the Irish at Cheltenham! I’d also like to see compulsory gaps in the season so everyone can have a break.
Who, if anyone, has influenced your training style?
Mainly my Dad, but I train with my husband Steve who was hugely influenced by his time as pupil assistant at Luca Cumani’s. So it’s a mix of the two!
What has been the best advice anyone has given you?
The best advice I’ve got is that when things are going wrong not to doubt what you’re doing and have confidence to carry on!
In terms of training the horses I always think “if in doubt, don’t”- if you’re not sure on something whether it’s the ground, the horse’s well-being etc, I rarely regret not running them.
Are there different training methods for sprinters & middle distance horses?
Yes. We do more fitness work with the middle distance horses and keep the sprinters much fresher, especially leading up to a race.
And do they have individual training routines?
Yes they do. We have one basic conditioning plan which every horse does to build up their fitness for 6-8 weeks, but when it comes to their fast work after that, it’s completely different for each individual.
They all take work differently and have different needs.
Who has been your favourite horse to train & why?
It has to be Judicial. He has taken us to places we never thought we’d go! He has been so rewarding since he came after having lost his way in his behaviour.
What has been the most memorable day as a trainer?
Judicial winning the coral charge at Sandown, that was our first group win.
Lorton winning the Tattersalls sales race at Newmarket was exciting, there were 29 runners that day!
Are syndicates and Racing clubs the future of owning race horses alongside single owners?
I would say they probably are. They open up racing to the public which is vital for the sport to keep going. We are lucky to train for Owners Group, which is massively popular and it is great to see the amount of enjoyment every shareholder gets out of the horses for a fraction of the price. Since we have trained for OG, it has only got more popular, alongside our long standing relationship with Elite Racing Club, who own Judicial. It’s amazing that one horse can make so many people happy.
What are your aims for the season ahead?
We’ve got a bigger team of horses this year and we also feel as though they are of a better quality so we are certainly hoping for our best season yet in terms of both winners and prize money.
How do you relax away from racing?
Steve coaches football for York City and I enjoy taking the dogs walking with friends. In winter we love to go on a hot holiday with the family.
If you could TRAIN any horse PAST or PRESENT, who would it be & why?
Frankel. We saw him winning the Juddmonte at York, he was such an imposing individual and amazing to watch. He has to be the best of our generation.
It was great to watch the relationship he had with Sir Henry.
Could you give our readers a horse to follow for the season ahead please..
Lazyitis- she improved with every run last year and has really strengthened up over the winter so we hope she’ll continue on an upwards curve!
We would like to thank Julie for her time & her daughter, Sam for helping with this interview. We wish Julie & the team all the best for the future & the season ahead, we are in no doubt, you will be seeing plenty of Julie’s horses in the winners enclosure….
You can contact the team through their social Media accounts….
Twitter – https://t.co/59favhH8J3
Interview by Rich Williams
Photos – Julie Camacho – Except Frankel (File)