Anthony Honeyball, Potwell Farm Stables, Mosterton, Beaminster
Anthony Honeyball, together with his partner, assistant trainer and fine NH rider Rachael Green, ticked all the right boxes for joining the Owners for Owners trainer roster, and we are delighted to welcome them aboard for next season. The key contributing factors in their selection were their depth of National Hunt racing experience, readiness to invest in excellent facilities, achievement of a great track record with younger horses that they have bought themselves since setting up in 2006, and their encouragingly high strike rate on the track. But there are two other, less definable reasons: Anthony’s really committed personal style and the regard in which he is held by a number of shrewd judges in the racing world. He is a trainer to follow.
Four reasons why he is one of our NH trainer team:
- NH racing experience: Anthony’s father was Master of Taunton Vale Hunt, his mother a talented show-jumper, while he was an amateur rider for Richard Barber and had 45 winners as a
- conditional for Paul Nicholls. Rachael Green was head girl at Richard Barber’s, and rose to prominence as national P2P champion with 100+ winners before similar success under rules.
- Excellent facilities: they have 30+ boxes (and are building new ones), a covered walker, six turnout paddocks, ready access to a stiff, modern 5f gallop and also a huge indoor school that has been a massive asset in recent bad winters.
- Buying policy: several trainers have achieved considerable success buying their own horses for very reasonable prices: Jeremy Scott (Empiracle, €22,000), Harry Fry (Oscar Rock, €18,000) and Rebecca Curtis (At Fishers Cross for less than £30,000). Anthony does the same. Regal Encore cost £20,000 and is now the joint top rated English bumper with Oscar Rock.
- High strike rate: over four years in bumpers it averages 23%, hurdles 15% and chases 40%, giving an overall average strike rate of one in four. This reflects shrewd race planning, realistic race selection and an ability to sense when a horse is ready to win.
It is always encouraging to look in Timeform and see comments about horses such as “open to further improvement”, “shows considerable promise”, “seems an encouraging prospect”, “bound to improve with time” and “definitely one to follow”. We feel exactly the same about Anthony Honeyball, and look forward to similar comments appearing in the commentary on our first horse with him.