Stable stalwart Loco set to undergo career change following retirement

Chris and Carole, Billy Lord, Sergiy Barvinko, Bernie and Jane Westley with Premio Loco. ANL-141217-122424002
Chris and Carole, Billy Lord, Sergiy Barvinko, Bernie and Jane Westley with Premio Loco. ANL-141217-122424002

One of punters favourite Newmarket-trained racehorses is to undergo a career change at the age of 10 after a decision has been taken to retire him.

Premio Loco, winner of 16 of his 50 races, will swap his box at Induna Stables, the yard of trainer Chris Wall, to take up a new residency with his regular race jockey George Baker.

Under the care of Baker, who rode the son of Prized in 43 of his 50 races, and his fiancée Nicky, the Bernie Westley owned gelding will be re-schooled to take part in showing and dressage events.

“We are all delighted that George and his fiancée Nicky are going to look after Premio Loco in retirement,” said Wall.

“George said that Premio played a big part in his career and he was keen to have him now and give him an honourable retirement.

“He was a kind and sensible horse at home and he could wind himself up at the races and often sweated up but that was usually a good sign.

“He has been the stable stalwart at Induna for the last six years and it will be strange seeing another horse have his head over the stable door Premio Loco has been in for so long.

“Hopefully he will get on well in his new career and we shall follow his progression.”

Having just the one run as a two year-old the 19,000 guineas purchase got off the mark at the third time of asking when capturing mile maiden at Lingfield in 2007.

From that initial success Premio Loco added a further 15 victories to his name including five at Group Two level amassing more than £750,000 in prize money in the process.

“For me there are three stand out performances,” said Wall.

“They are when he won the Summer Mile at Ascot when George (Baker) squeezed him up the rails to win, winning the Celebration Mile at Goodwood when he was headed and got back up, and coming back to win the Winter Derby a year after he was beaten a nose in it.”

Wall is not the only one who will fondly remember his long serving stable flag bearer with Westley, who has another horse in training with the Fordham Road handler, also possessing many moments to look back on.

“Winning the Winter Derby and Celebration Mile were great but it was his final win at the July Course last year that was special,” said Westley.

“He was giving weight away to the favourite Sovereign Debt but he would not let him by. He had the biggest cheer at the racecourse that year as everyone felt a bit of an allegiance to him.

“It is great he is going to go with George as the horse really put him on the map. If the other horse I have is a quarter as good as Premio Loco I would be happy.”