Andrew Balding – the brother of TV racing presenter Clare Balding – followed in his father Ian’s footsteps to become the horseracing trainer at Kingsclere in 2003. In the last four seasons he has trained 170 winners and won over £1.8m in prize money including the £200,000 Tattersalls Millions Auction Trophy in September 2010 with I Love Me. He talked to weighedin.tv about the big win:
Q: Andrew, you enjoyed your highest quota of winners last year, since taking over the yard. Your stats reveal a 15% strike-rate, you must be more than pleased with that?
YES… We’re very pleased with last year’s form… and happily we’ve managed to keep our better horses
Q: Are you a trainer who sets targets in terms of numbers?
Yes, we looked to achieve 70 winners if possible and a million pounds in prize money.
Q: I guess the Tattersalls Millions win with I LOVE ME – 50/1 – was one of the highlights of last season?
As far as prize money goes.. yes,.. she scooped a very large pot [£100k +] so.. yes, very pleasing win.
Q: Was the victory a shock for you or did you expect such a good performance?
No.. it was a shock.. as the quality of the race considering it was her first run.. I was really pleased with the start she made to the race. We didn’t expect to win.. but she’s a talented filly and could be anything.. so.. we think very highly of her
Q: Kirsty Milczarek, the horse’s jockey, dominated the race from start to finish. Was that the game plan?
NO! That’s the first time Kirsty rode for me.. she was the best jockey available who was able to do the weight.. full credit to her.. she did her own thing.
Q: Talking of talented jockeys… would you agree.. the likes of Kirsty, Hayley Turner, Cathy Gannon have really raised the bar for female jockeys. Can you foresee a time in the not too distant future when a female wins a Group One race?
Very much so.. the girls you mention are as good as most of the boys.. so.. yes.. i can see a female winning a Group One race in the very near future..
View the full interview at weighedin.tv