Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Brandsby trainer Rebecca Menzies on course to make racing dreams come true
REBECCA MENZIES is counting down the minutes to the day she can have her first runner.
The 24-year-old, who took over the lease at Gold Cup-winning trainer Peter Beaumont’s Brandsby yard last month, is hoping to become the youngest female trainer in the country.
Subject to meeting the final criteria to obtain a professional trainers’ licence from the British Horseracing Authority, Menzies will saddle up a race runner – a little earlier than she first expected – sometime in the autumn.
“This is something I’ve wanted since I rode my first thoroughbred and I’ve been working towards it and saving ever since,” she said. “It’s just come a little sooner than I anticipated.”
Having turned down a place at university to pursue her racing dreams, Menzies has worked for West Witton’s Ferdy Murphy since leaving school, most recently as his assistant.
But the legendary jump handler’s imminent move to France gave Menzies a chance she couldn’t refuse – the opportunity to become a fully-fledged trainer in her own right.
“I have been very lucky,” she said. “I went to look around a lot of places and, obviously, Foulrice was head and shoulders above the rest.
“It wasn’t on the market when I was looking but someone who knows me also knows Peter and that’s how it came about.
“The facilities are brilliant. The gallops ride beautifully and Tim (Walford, Sheriff Hutton trainer) has also been very helpful to me.”
Menzies will not be alone when she starts her big adventure.
Some of Murphy’s owners have come along for the ride as well as a number of syndicates and her own Premier Racing Partnerships, which has enjoyed winning success with Vuvuzela and Samson Collonges.
Menzies will initially be joined by a team of three, including conditional jockey Tony Kelly, and amateur Catherine Walton, while Beaumont will remain living on site at Foulrice Farm and his son Stuart will oversee the gallops and paddock maintenance.
Kelly, in particular, looks an exciting addition to the team. He has ridden 26 winners to date with 14 coming over hurdles and 12 in chases.
“It was amazing how many people have come forward to help me, particularly people I never expected,” added Menzies. “I have someone looking after my accounts, another person sorting my website.
“It’s a great foundation to have in place and it means I can concentrate my efforts within the yard. I’m thrilled with the team of horses I have and am very much looking forward to the upcoming season.”
Menzies’ joy, however, has been tempered by the recent loss of her long-term mentor and friend, Walter Gott.
“I worked for him all through my school years from when I was eight until I was 18. He’s responsible for getting me involved in racing,” she explained.
“He had so many classy horses like Granit D’estruval and Addington Boy and he told me he’d send a horse as soon as I set up.
“One of Walter’s favourite sayings was “ten, ten, do it again” and I’ve reserved the name ‘Tentendoitagain’ with Weatherbys.
“When I find a young horse worthy of it, I’m hoping to set up a syndicate for his close friends.”
For now, Menzies’ aim is to get the very best out of each horse in her care. “Having horses healthy, happy and fit to ensure they perform to their full capabilities is what I’m aiming for, keeping things simple and hopefully achieving the best possible results for horse and owner,” she said.
“I have only applied for a jumps licence and we will see how that goes. I am interested in the Flat but I want to have a year doing what I know before I see whether I want to take the next step.
“I have 13 in at the moment and two more coming over from Ireland. If I can keep at around that number all year then I will be really happy.
“I would like to think that most, if not all, of the horses I have in are able to win and to see some of the horses that I have broken in myself go and win would be very rewarding.
“I have got a couple of really nice horses like Balding Banker and Chavoy, who are a couple of nicely rated handicappers, and I am very lucky to be starting off like that. I am really looking forward to getting started.”
For more information, log on to www.rebeccamenzies.com
Comments are closed on this article.