Ashforth’s Angles: Doctor who knows how to train
Dr Richard Newland won the Grand National in 2014 with Pineau De Re
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Doctor who knows how to run a training operation
By David Ashforth 6:00PM 16 NOV 2016
IN 2006 one racing doctor died, aged 86, and another came alive. Doctor Arthur Jones, a GP from Swansea, had once trained a small string of not very good horses. The stable stars were Phred, Moss Way and Call Me Morlais. They didn't win any big races.
That November, at Leicester, Overstrand gave Doctor Richard Newland his first winner as a trainer. Newland was also a GP with a small string but his stable proved to be very different.
Newland, now 53, was a GP but is now a medical entrepreneur, the sole director and shareholder of CHS Healthcare Holdings Limited, with over 100 staff working in the residential and nursing home sector. He is chief executive of Newbridge Care Systems, involved in the treatment of eating disorders, and the major shareholder in The London Foot and Ankle Centre.
At various times he has also been active in The Birmingham Prostate Clinic and Newhall Medical Practice. Whether it's your feet, your stomach, your prostate or your age, Newland's got it covered.
Newland is bright and has successfully applied his enthusiasm and business acumen to training racehorses, often buying soundly in the second hand market.
It didn't take long for him to make an impression. He bought Overstrand as a seven-year-old in October 2006 for 10,000 guineas. Four months later Overstrand had won the Listed William Hill Hurdle at Sandown, the Betfair Hurdle at Ascot, finished third in a Grade 2 Champion Hurdle trial and second in the Totesport Trophy at Newbury, winning over £120,000. His handicap rating had risen from 120 to 141.
A month after Overstrand won the Betfair Hurdle, Burntoakboy won the Coral Cup at Cheltenham. For those who hadn't noticed, in 2014 Newland hit the jackpot when Pineau De Re, acquired from Ireland the previous year as a ten-year-old, won the Grand National.
Not all Newland's purchases have been successful, something impossible to achieve in racing, but many have and many have shown improvement.
In October 2014 Newland bought Ebony Express, a decent Flat handicapper, for 27,500 guineas. Within five months Ebony Express had won three hurdle races, culminating in the William Hill Imperial Cup at Sandown, and over £46,000.
Hassle, bought as a six-year-old for 20,000 guineas a year ago having failed to win in four hurdle races, has won four times this year, most recently a Listed hurdle at Market Rasen worth £19,932.
During the last five jump seasons Newland's strike rate has hovered around an impressive 23 per cent.
I don't know how Newland's training operation just north of Worcester works – the facilities, the staff, the methods – but whatever he is like as a doctor, Newland certainly knows how to run a racehorse training operation.
His Market Rasen runner Duke Street (2.05), bought for £46,000 in September 2015, won a juvenile hurdle worth almost £26,000 at Newbury in April and ran a decent second off today's mark of 133 at Kempton just over a week ago. Like many of Newland's runners, Duke Street is not easily dismissed.