Legendary horse trainer makes comeback aged 76 and admits 'people will think I'm mad' | The Sun

Legendary horse trainer makes comeback aged 76 and admits 'people will think I'm mad' | The Sun

November 6, 2023

HENRIETTA KNIGHT, best known training legendary triple Gold Cup winner Best Mate, will return to the training ranks in the new year.

She will train out of West Lockinge Farm in Oxfordshire, where she was based from 1989 to 2012.

Having originally retired from the sport in 2012, the 76-year-old plans to return with a team of around 30 horses.

Knight told Telegraph Sport: "People will probably think I’m mad starting again when most people are stopping.

“But I like doing things and I miss the buzz. Everything, all the facilities including the schooling field, is still here at Lockinge."

Knight is best known for training Best Mate, who became the first horse since racing icon Arkle to win the Gold Cup three times.

She also tasted Cheltenham success with Champion Chaser Edredon Bleu and getting back to the Festival is Knight's main goal.

She said: “Cheltenham’s where I love and I can’t wait to get back there.

"I hardly ever had a runner in the National. The emphasis will be on trying to find a few chasers to take me back to Cheltenham. I’m very excited and want to get going.”

Knight worked as biology and history teacher before becoming a prominent figure in the eventing world.

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She took out her training licence in 1989 and married former champion jump jockey Terry Biddlecombe in 1995.

They trained together until 2012, when she quit in order to look after her husband, who was in poor health.

Knight has remained very active in racing despite her 2012 retirement, most recently being racing manager to late owner Mike Grech, purchasing last season's Irish National winner I Am Maximus.

She also sourced Grade 1 winner Brandy Love and will be flanked in her new training venture by former trainer Brendan Powell, who will become her assistant.

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