Andrew Balding

Andrew Balding Horse Trainer

Andrew Matthews Balding, born in London on December 29, 1972, has made a steady rise towards the upper echelons of the training game in the UK since taking over the reins from his father back in 2003. Ian Balding had trained at Kingsclere Stables from 1964, saddling over 2000 winners including 125 Group races. He was also crowned Champion Trainer in 1971 when he sent out the great Mill Reef to win the Epsom Derby, the Eclipse Stakes, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes the the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He still plays a key role in the operation at Kingsclere, riding out on a daily basis.

Andrew Balding’s rise towards the top of the game can be highlighted in his results over the last 15 years. In 2018, he enjoyed his highest number of winners (123) with a remarkable place rate of 56%, and also topped his previous tally for prize money in a single season with a total of £2,847,509 won.

Andrew is well known as an outstanding trainer when sending horses on their travels. Phoenix Beach was a standout international horse for the Balding team, winning the Canada International (2003), Hong Kong Vase (2004) and Dubai Sheema Classic (2005).

Side Glance was another exceptional horse outside of the UK, claiming the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington in Australia in 2013 and placing in the Woodbine Mile, Dubai World Cup, the Cox Plate and the Arlington Million.

Andrew is also the younger brother of well-known sports broadcaster and journalist Clare Balding, who was Champion Lady Rider in 1990.

Andrew Balding Best Horses

Casual Look stands out as one of Andrew Balding’s best horses during the early stages of his training career, taking the Epsom Oaks during Andrew’s debut season in 2003. It was a remarkable training performance considering she had only won a maiden race prior to that Group 1 success and didn’t manage to get her head in front again in her career.

Elm Park - a horse bred by the Kingsclere team - had a stunning juvenile career in 2014, taking the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket and following that up with a bloodless success in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Blond Me was a more recent globetrotter for the Balding team, winning the Group 2 Topkapi Trophy at Veliefendi in Turkey in 2016 and backing that up a year later to cap a brilliant career by winning the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in Canada.

Here Comes When was a shock 20/1 winner of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in 2017, beating four-time Group 1 winner Ribchester in horrendous conditions.

2018 also saw the likes of Beat The Bank, Morando, Maid Up and Horseplay claim Group success in the UK during another successful season for Andrew Balding.

Stables used by Andrew Balding

Andrew Balding trains out of Kingsclere Park House Stables in Newbury, having taken over from his father in 2003. He had previously been assistant trainer for four years prior to that. The yard itself was built in the 1860s and currently has 223 boxes split between nine yards.

Kingsclere was one of the first yards to build an equine swimming pool and also boasts an equine treadmill, several all-weather gallops (polytrack and fibresand) and grass gallops. Starting stalls can be used for inexperienced Flat horses while they can also school National Hunt horses over hurdles and fences.

A little further away, Kingsclere also offers downland gallops at Watership Down, which are used regularly for faster work. The turf has been laid for over a hundred years and consequently provides softer ground for the horses, including National Hunt campaigners.

King Power Racing, founded by the late former Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, have plenty of horses with Andrew Balding and tend to use retained rider and three-times champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa whenever possible. David Probert also picks up a lot of rides for the Balding team, as does Oisin Murphy.

Andrew Balding Horses in Training

Beat The Bank (5yo): This five-year-old made a successful seasonal reappearance in April 2019, seeing off Sharja Bridge to win the Group 2 Bet365 Mile before disappointing in the Lockinge Stakes. He tends to save his best racing for Goodwood, winning twice in three starts at the Sussex track with a close-up fifth in the Sussex Stakes his sole defeat. While he may not peak at the Royal meeting, you can be sure that come Glorious Goodwood, Beat The Bank will be firing on all cylinders.

Bangkok (3yo): A three-year-old with plenty of potential, Bangkok looks another one to follow for the King Power Racing team. He improved out of all recognition on seasonal reappearance, beating the Dante winner Telecaster in a maiden before backing up in the Doncaster Classic Trial at Sandown. Never a threat during the 2019 Epsom Derby, he looks like he may be a better horse over the 10-furlong trip and could be worth backing if he returns to the scene of his Group 3 success in the Sandown Coral Eclipse in July.

Fox Premier (3yo): This looks like a brilliant training performance from Andrew Balding. Having initially struggling as a two-year-old, Fox Premier won on seasonal appearance off a mark of 79 and backed that up with a commanding victory at Sandown in May, despite a 6lb penalty. He is now rated 96 but that mark looks fully justified and he appears to be a horse who is improving fast. Definitely one to watch in the valuable three-year-old handicaps towards the end of the season.

Symbolize (2yo): Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum wouldn’t traditionally send too many horses to Andrew Balding, but looks to have a precocious two-year-old on his hands in Symbolize. The Starspangledbanner colt sprinted clear late in the day to win a Salisbury maiden in May 2019, with several highly-regarded horses in behind. If the Royal Ascot meeting comes too soon, he also has an entry in the Two Year Old trophy at Redcar which could be a more realistic target at this stage of his career.

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