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Teddy Grimthorpe steps down from Juddmonte role

Teddy Grimthorpe is stepping down from his long-standing role as racing manager to Juddmonte Farms after 22 years.

In a position he took over in 1999, Grimthorpe managed all of the late Khalid Abdullah’s horses in Europe, overseeing such greats of the Turf as Frankel and Enable.

He said in a statement: “I have always felt that the time for me to stand down from Juddmonte would be when Prince Khalid was no longer involved. It has been a huge privilege to work for the Prince and his family, and with the outstanding Juddmonte team, which has been so successful for so long.

The mighty Frankel was one of the horses managed by Teddy Grimthorpe
The mighty Frankel was one of the horses managed by Teddy Grimthorpe (PA)

“Of course I am sad to leave. But, with the Prince’s death two months ago and over 20 years as his Racing Manager, now is the right time. I leave an organisation in great shape, which is supreme at what it does, and I have no doubt Juddmonte will continue to thrive and produce top-class homebred thoroughbred horses competing at the highest level on racecourses across the world.”

Douglas Erskine Crum, chief executive of Juddmonte, said: “On behalf of Prince Khalid’s family and all of us past and present at Juddmonte, I thank Teddy for all he has done to help the organisation be at the very top of its game year after year.

“He will be sorely missed, and we wish him the very best of good fortune for the future.”

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Grimthorpe – who was chairman of York Racecourse for nine years and remains on the board there – envisages spending more time in Yorkshire in the future, but intends to stay involved in the racing industry in some capacity.

He said: “I’ve just had the most tremendous time. It’s been an absolute honour and privilege to have worked for Prince Khalid and his family.

“This just seemed right (time to leave). I still want to remain active in the industry, and there are some things I want to pursue back in Yorkshire. Life will go on.

“Obviously I’ve given it a great deal of thought and I haven’t taken the decision lightly. I’ve been unbelievably lucky, I really have.”

A host of brilliant horses have worn the Juddmonte silks throughout Grimthorpe’s tenure, with sprinters such as Oasis Dream, milers like Kingman and Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Workforce all sporting the colours with distinction.

Two horses stand out for him, though.

Enable has been one of the most successful horses of modern times
Enable has been one of the most successful horses of modern times (Nigel French/PA)

“When Prince Khalid died and we looked back at the big moments, there were so many extraordinary horses who had won serious Group One races who hardly got a mention,” he said.

“I think in terms of special moments, though, Frankel looms over everything. Seeing him develop, Sir Henry (Cecil) became a very close friend, as did all the Juddmonte trainers, but it was just the story around Frankel with how ill Henry was.

“Obviously I’m biased, but the day at York with him was very special – it was a day lot of people remember. Prince Khalid was there, Henry was very ill – and the crowd were beyond belief.

“I was waiting for Prince Khalid to arrive – and normally at York when there is a big crowd a lot of it is coaches – but this wasn’t, this was a case of people getting in their car to go and see the horse.

“I’ve never seen the paddock as crowded – it was like Cheltenham – and of course his his performance was outstanding. People still come up to me to talk about that day.

“Then of course, we’ve had Enable the last few years. She had the most remarkable personality, and her relationship with Frankie (Dettori) was something special too, which all added to the story.”

John Gosden, who trained the likes of Enable, Kingman and Oasis Dream for Abdullah, told the PA news agency: “Teddy Grimthorpe has been a superb racing manager for Juddmonte over the last two decades.

“He has overseen the careers of equine legends, such as Frankel and Enable, as well as the inevitable less talented horses. His detailed knowledge and astute intuition concerning the Juddmonte horses has been invaluable to the organisation.

“I have known him since the 1980s when he represented the BBA (British Bloodstock Agency) in California. His charm, well-known sense of humour and light touch have ensured that he is a rightly popular and valued member of the international racing fraternity.”

Juddmonte colours will continue to grace the racing world

Juddmonte Farms is to operate as normal after the death of its founder Khalid Abdullah.

The Saudi prince owned and bred some of the greatest equine names the sport has ever seen – with his famous green, pink and white silks carried by the likes of Frankel, Dancing Brave and dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable.

Abdullah’s colours have been carried to victory by more than 500 stakes winners, of which he bred over 440 – including 118 Group or Grade One winners, breeding 102 of them.

Abdullah had stud farms in the UK, Ireland and North America and has been a major force in the breeding and racing industry for over 40 years.

And Douglas Erskine Crum, chief executive of the Juddmonte Group, said the family were committed to keep the operation going despite Abdullah’s death on Tuesday at the age of 83.

“No change. The family has been for some time and still is very committed to keeping Juddmonte as it is, going, focusing on the broodmare band, focusing on the home-bred operation,” he told ITV Racing.

“One of the last decisions in which the prince was involved was the matings for this year, in other words where his 200-odd broodmares are going to go. Whether they are going to go to Frankel, Kingman or some of the great stallions across the world.

Enable was another Juddmonte flag-bearer
Enable was another Juddmonte flag-bearer (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“And those horses will be born next year and will race as three-year-olds in 2025 so if we have a champion in 2025 you will be able to say the prince was actually involved directly in the decision making.

“Juddmonte will continue. Continuity is key for any breeding and racing operation.

“Of course things change and indeed the prince made some fairly substantial changes in the number of broodmares six or seven years ago, but those changes are necessary to keep the business running and also necessary to make sure that essential continuity of the broodmare is enhanced.”