Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes preparing for life at Bedford House Stables as King Ottokar strengthens Derby credentials
Trainer Charlie Fellowes is hoping that his impending move to Bedford House Stables will show the horse racing world that he means business.
Fellowes confirmed over the weekend that he had purchased the historic stable on Bury Road from Luca Cumani, who retired from training towards the back end of 2018.
It proved to be a happy home for Cumani for more than 40 years, during which time he enjoyed two Derby victories, and Fellowes is hoping that he can experience similar success in the long term.
“It is a very, very special yard and it is not lost on me how lucky I am to be there,” said Fellowes, who is planning to start moving horses from his current St Gatien Cottage Stables base on Vicarage Road to his new home after this week’s Craven meeting.
“We have run out of boxes where we are but at Bedford Lodge there are 120 boxes, which gives us room to expand at a steady rate.
“It is a home for life and I am never going to have to move yard again. I am very lucky in that sense because other trainers sometimes have to move four or five times.
“And perhaps most importantly it gives me the chance to prioritise quality over quantity. I do not want to be someone who trains 250 horses – I could not do it.
“I want to train 120 to 140 really nice, beautifully-bred horses and this is the dream yard for me to achieve that.
“Hopefully this signals to the big owners in this country and across the world that we really mean business.”
Given Bedford House Stables’ Derby-winning history, it is somewhat fitting that Fellowes’ last winner before the announcement of his move was King Ottokar.
Fellowes has long viewed the three-year-old as a contender to run in this year’s Classic and he went a long way to justifying his trainer’s belief by winning a competitive Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup British EBF Conditions Stakes at Newbury on Friday.
Nevertheless, while a trip to Epsom remains the dream scenario, Fellowes is planning to be patient with the son of Motivator.
“I went into Friday thinking that if he finishes in the top three or four I would have been delighted,” added the chairman of Newmarket Open Weekend.
“I have always believed he is very good but my very good and John Gosden’s very good are two different things. You do not know just how good a horse is going to be until you get them on the track.
“After winning on his debut last year he was in the Racing Post Trophy and we came away from that a little disappointed that he was not closer to the leaders.
“But he has wintered very well and ended up cruising through the race to be honest.
“There are two options now; either he will go to Chester for something like the Vase or we will go straight to Epsom for Breakfast with the Stars and he will have a gallop.
“He is not a horse that wants over racing and the ground is going to be key.
“He does not want it rattling quick and so if there is no rain at Epsom, we will look at the French Derby.
“It is all about showing some patience with him because there is no point whatsoever in risking him. The rain we all want for him will come eventually.”
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More by this authorLiam Apicella