Tag Archive for: Les Eyre

‘It’s all been good’ – Les Eyre bows out from the training ranks

The career of Ebor-winning trainer Les Eyre has come to an end as he sent out his last runner on Saturday.

Based in Catwick near Beverley in East Yorkshire, Eyre has held a licence since 1988 and initially trained National Hunt horses.

Success came when switching to the Flat code, though his homebred mare Celestial Choir proved to be useful in all manner of races when winning on the all-weather, on the Flat on turf, over hurdles and over fences – landing the Dipper Novices’ Chase in 1998.

Prior to that victory Eyre enjoyed a famous ‘local’ triumph in the 1997 Ebor with Far Ahead, whom Tyrone Williams rode to victory at 33-1 in the valuable handicap contest at York.

Nigrasine, winner of the Listed John of Gaunt Stakes in 1998, was another high-quality horse Eyre handled throughout his career, which was punctuated by a 12-year stint in Mijas, Spain.

Whilst in warmer climes Eyre trained a winner of the Mijas Cup before returning to Yorkshire in 2014 to resume his career on the domestic front.

Recent highs have been provided by Just Frank, winner of the £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes at Newmarket in 2020 and now in the care of Tim Easterby, and horses like Bedford Flyer and Fame And Acclaim, both of whom will now be trained by Mick Appleby.

“There have been so many good days, the obvious one is when we won the Ebor but I’ve had many a good day when we’ve won a small race at Pontefract or Beverley,” Eyre said.

“They were less salubrious but just as good, I’ve always enjoyed trying to make people happy and a small owner was always just as important to me as a bigger one.”

Celestial Choir lives on at stud and is still happy and well at the ripe old age 33 having produced three winners from four foals.

Far Ahead (left) winning the Ebor at York
Far Ahead (left) winning the Ebor at York (John Giles/PA)

Eyre said: “She was unbelievable, she retired to an old owner of mine called Lady Jennifer Green and she sent me a photo only last week and she’s still going strong at 33 years of age.

“She went to Cheltenham favourite or second-favourite over both hurdles and fences.

“I think just about everything she’s bred has won, she was marvellous.”

Of more recent successes and of the support he has received from owners both old and new, Eyre added: “Just Frank won the big sales race and Bedford Flyer won at York and broke the track record at Lingfield.

“I have had some very loyal owners, similar owners since 1990s time, and then I’ve had newer owners come along with new ideas and new horses – it’s all been good.”