Welcome to our profile of Classic winning British Flat Trainer Andrew Balding:
Name – Andrew Balding
Date of Birth – 29 December 1972
Birthplace – London
Racing Yard – Park House Stables, Kingsclere, Berkshire
Big Wins: 2000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, Coronation Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Futurity Stakes, British Champions Sprint, Cheveley Park Stakes, Dubai Sheema Classic, Canadian International Stakes, Hong Kong Vase, E. P. Taylor Stakes.
Andrew Blading – Trainer Profile
Horses and training are very much in his blood so there was a certain inevitability about him succeeding his father Ian Balding at Kingsclere. Ian will be forever associated with the great Mill Reef, winner of the 1971 Epsom Derby, Eclipse Stakes, King George and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Andrew’s Uncle is former Royal trainer William Hastings-Bass and his sister is BBC Sports Presenter Clare Balding.
Ian passed the reins at Kingsclere over to Andrew in January 2003 with Classic success immediately following in the Oaks with Casual Look.
Balding trained Phoenix Reach to record top-flight wins in Canada, Hong Kong and Dubai and Kameko provided the yard with a second Classic success in the 2020 2000 Guineas.
Andrew Balding – Key Trainer Stats
Balding has enjoyed a steady increase in quantity and quality over the years.
From a solid base of 54 winners in his first season in 2003, he recorded his first century in 2014 and has been regularly in and around that figure ever since.
His best year numerically was in 2019 with 126 winners and he is on course to eclipse that total in 2021.
Balding acknowledged how fortunate he was to train a Classic winner in his first season and won’t have been at all surprised that he had to wait 17 years for another. He had high hopes for Futurity winner Elm Park, a son of stable flagbearer Phoenix Reach, but he ultimately disappointed in the 2015 Derby.
Kameko won the 2020 2000 Guineas in the same colours as Elm Park, recording a record time for the race in the process.
Andrew Balding’s Big Race Wins
Phoenix Reach won the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse before finishing third to Brian Boru in the 2003 St Leger. He then landed his first Group 1 victory in the Canadian International at Woodbine. It was the first of several successful forays abroad for the horse. He later added the 2004 Hong Kong Vase and Dubai Sheema Classic.
Balding has never been afraid to send his horses across the globe in search of riches. It has been a policy that has brought rich rewards with the likes of Passing Glance and later, his son Side Glance. The latter landed the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington in 2013.
As well as Classic success, Balding has enjoyed Group 1 victories in Britain including the Sussex Stakes with rank outsider Here Comes When (2017) and the British Champions Sprint with Donjuan Triumphant (2019).
Alcohol Free has been the latest stable star at Kingsclere, the filly winning the 2020 Cheveley Park Stakes and the 2021 Coronation Stakes.
Andrew Balding’s – Most Famous Victories
Casual Look was a very promising two-year-old, notably when second to the brilliant Soviet Song in the 2002 Fillies’ Mile. Her pedigree suggested that she would come into her own at longer distances and there was plenty of encouragement in her sixth place finish in the 2003 1000 Guineas. Starting at 10-1, she was driven out by Martin Dwyer to win the Epsom Oaks by a neck from the well-backed favourite Yesterday.
Here Comes When’s 2017 Sussex Stakes win occurred in appalling conditions when this well-known mudlark held off the odds-on favourite Ribchester by a neck. The gelding was eventually retired at the age of 9 with 9 career victories and almost £900,000 in prize money to his name.
Kameko was an emotional 2000 Guineas winner for Sheikh Al Thani and Qatar Racing. They had lost their champion Roaring Lion to colic the previous year.
Andrew Balding is certainly not one to tilt at windmills and is very astute at placing his horses.
The yard remains on a steady upward curve and look set for even better things in the years ahead.