Richard Fahey, born on 2nd February 1966, started his career in horse racing with a mildly successful ten-year stint as a jockey. He rode over 100 winners in both flat and national hunt races during this time, whilst also sharing the conditional jockeys title in 1988/89.
He gave up life as a jockey because he felt he wasn’t good enough and moved on to a short stint running a livery yard. Buying and selling horses didn’t seem to satisfy his needs though and he turned his hand to training, with encouragement from several close friends.
He started off with just a few horses at Manor Farm, in Butterwick near Malton, in 1993. That first season as a trainer saw him saddle nine horses on the flat and fifteen over the jumps, with one winner in each code.
Fahey had his first taste of proper success when ‘Noyan’ won the Heineken Gold Cup in Ireland in 1997 and he continued to make steady progress in his chosen career. He had his first ever winner at Royal Ascot in 2002, with ‘Superior Premium’ winning the Cork and Orrery Stakes. Then, in 2003, he saddled over 50 winners in a season for the first time.
In 2005, after a somewhat successful twelve-year training career, Fahey moved to Musley Bank stables in Malton and that would prove to be the springboard to greater success.
A year later, in 2006, he broke the £1million barrier for prize money and went on to saddle over 100 winners in a season for the first time in 2008.
2010 would prove to be a defining year in his career, when he trained his first Group One winner. This milestone came when ‘Wootton Bassett’ won the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp in France. This would also be the first year that he exceeded over £2million in prize money for a season.
He had his first Group One winner in Great Britain when ‘Mayson’ won the July Cup in 2012 and has gone on to have 30 winners at the top level in four different countries. He then had his first winner at the Dubai World Cup in 2014, with the Dr Marwan Koukash owned ‘Gabrial’ being victorious. The same horse then won the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster, the flat racing season curtain raiser, in 2015.
That 2015 season would see Fahey have his most successful season, with 235 winners on the flat in Britain and earning a massive £3.8million in overall prize money. This surpassed his previous highest amount by about £1million and helped him finish runner up in the race for champion trainer.
His career has gone from strength to strength since 2008, with the trainer saddling over 100 winners every year since then. He has also surpassed £1million in total prize money every year since 2006.
He is a humble man that puts most of his success down to having a strong team behind him. Assistant trainer Robin O’Ryan, a dedicated team of office and yard staff, as well as jockeys including Tony Hamilton and George Chaloner have all added to a winning formula that he hopes will bring continued success for several years to come.
His most famous partnership with a jockey was the twelve years that two-time champion Paul Hanagan was stable number one. This came to an end when Hanagan left to become retained rider for Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum but their friendship remains and they still pair up on the course from time to time.
He has saddled some great horses over the years but one of most well-known has to be ‘Anna Pavlova’, the successful and versatile mare with an impressive roll of honour. She won nine of her 18 races, including victory in four listed races. She also provided Fahey with his first ever winner in France, when Frankie Dettori rode her to success at Longchamp in October 2007.
Richard Fahey is a determined and motivated trainer who seems to become more successful with every passing year. In the space of just over 20 years, he has gone from just another trainer with a handful of horses to one of the most successful trainers in Great Britain.
With over 200 horses on his books and having trained over 2,000 winners in his career, he has become one of the country’s major players in the world of horse racing. His uncanny knack of improving each and every year means that nobody knows just how successful Fahey can become, but as of now the sky is the limit for this modest and inspirational trainer.