Sunday, June 2, 2024

Newmarket stalwart James Eustace to retire and hand son Harry the reins

Newmarket (Photo by EduMark under CC BY-SA 3.0)

James Eustace will hand the keys to his Newmarket base over to son, Harry Eustace and step down from his role as head trainer in 2021.

Having spent the last 30 years training horses at Park Lodge Stables, James Eustace has decided the time is right to retire. Eustace, who turned 60 earlier this year, will now hand over the reins to his son, Harry, who’s spent the last four years serving as assistant to Classic-winner trainer, William Haggas.

“I’ve had a wonderful time with William and Maureen Haggas but have decided the pandemic was not a good enough reason not to start training,” Harry Eustace told the Racing Post when the news broke.

“I went to Australia to work for Lee Freedman and Peter Snowden before enrolling on a course at the Irish National Stud. I was then assistant to Chris Wall and spent two years with Jeremy Noseda before going to the US to work for Christophe Clement where I ran a barn in Kentucky.

“It’s been long in the planning to take over from Dad and I’m very much looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Harry has plenty to live up to, as he plans to take control of his father’s successful operation early next year. James Eustace trained multiple pattern-race winners during his time at the helm, both here in the UK and on the global stage.

Eustace was thrust into the spotlight at Royal Ascot in 1998, when Refuse To Lose won the Royal Hunt Cup under jockey James Tate. Refuse To Lose would go on to claim black-type at Wolverhampton the following season, winning the Listed Wulfrun Stakes.

Rapscallion handed James Eustace his first Group winner in 2001, collecting the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury during a prolific juvenile campaign. Rapscallion’s younger brother, Orcadian claimed the St. Simon Stakes in 2004, before going on to represent Eustace at the Cheltenham Festival, finishing 13th behind Noland in the 2006 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Australian-bred War Artist took Eustace and his team to some huge flat racing festivals across the world. After placing in the 2008 running of the July Cup at Newmarket, War Artist powered to victory in the Goldene Peitsche out in Germany, before travelling to France to win the Prix de Petit Couvert.

War Artist went on to score at the 2010 Dubai World Cup meeting, winning the Group Three Al Shindagha Sprint under Olivier Peslier, before being moved to Alain De Royer-Dupre’s stable in Chantilly.

“All my owners have been informed and they are staying on board and are very positive about it.” James Eustace said, when he revealed his decision to the press.

“I know Harry has had other offers to set up in Australia himself after taking Addeybb over there this year but I’m delighted he’s sticking to the plan. Frankly, it’s his time.”

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