James Fanshawe - Trainer in Focus - July 15th 2013
The "skeleton man" has built a reputation at the highest level, campaigning his horses astutely in Group and handicap company alike.
James Fanshawe has been training at Pegasus Stables in Newmarket since he first took out a licence in 1990, having previously been assistant to the legendary Sir Michael Stoute. The yard itself is steeped in history, having been built in 1884 by the legendary jockey Fred Archer, initially to house his hunters and coach horses. Although Archer never trained himself, many trainers have pursued successful careers over the last century, with the latest incumbent by far the most successful at all levels of the sport, flat and jumps.
Since starting out on his own, Fanshawe has sent out many Group 1, 2 and 3 winners, as well as remarkably (given he rarely has any jumpers), two Champion Hurdle Winners. When he took over the lease to the yard in December 1988 it was a very run down establishment, having been let for so many years. He was able to purchase outright in 1994 and set about the task to restore it to its former glory. The main yard, which houses the colts, has its original doors, which have been stripped, complete with original brass fittings. The cheaply 1960’s built breeze block yard has been replaced with a yard built to the same specifications as Archer’s original boxes. The most important aspect of these is the ventilation which was as vital for a horse’s well being in the nineteenth century as it is today.
The facilities at Fanshawe's base are top class and setting the standards for many at the top of the profession. As the man says himself on his excellent website... "Over the past twenty years, thanks to the efforts of my staff, my owners, their fast horses and Barclays Bank, not to mention my late Grandmother who financed the renovation of the central clock tower, we have restored much of Fred’s original stable block. Including a complete refurbishment of The Fillies Yard, the stables are now well ventilated as well as renewing much of the interior of the old yards. Pegasus Stables is also complimeted by a covered and padded state of the art sandpit, which the horses love to roll in. The west side of the yard is bordered by a five acre paddock which we have fenced into one large and nine small turn out paddocks, where after excercise the horses each have a good pick of grass".
These idyllic surroundings and modern training methods have helped produce some of the most punter friendly statistics, with Fanshawe remarkably showing an overall profit to a £1 wagered at SP on all of his runners in the last five years.
Fanshawe by numbers over the past 5 flat seasons...
WINS RUNS % 2NDS 3RDS WIN PRIZE TOTAL PRIZE £1 STAKE
2YO 9 81 11 6 5 £164,867 £216,962 +9.25
3YO 60 470 13 74 66 £206,998 £450,894 -50.35
4YO+ 65 338 19 54 39 £1,169,032 £1,823,374 +87.59
AW 58 286 20 42 37 £236,297 £296,491 +27.70
TURF 76 603 13 92 73 £1,304,601 £2,194,740 +18.79
Conclusion for punters...
As shown by the remarkable profits from backing all of James Fanshawe's horses at SP over the past five seasons, this is a yard that places it's horses very carefully and realistically. Handicappers are sparingly raced and targetted at specific races, while his Group runners almost always aquit themselves with credit when tried at the top level. He rarely has debutante winners and brings horses along steadily, with many boasting "quietly progressive" profiles as they make their way up the weights. Prolific winners this season like Levi Draper (completed a hat-trick at Yarmouth on July 4th), are a perfect example of his skills and this is very much a yard for punters to follow.