John Sutcliffe, Coach of Top Miler Right Tack, Dies Aged 81 | Horse racing news
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John Sutcliffe: trained a crowd of big race winners
John Sutcliffe, who scored numerous wins in major races during a 31-year training career at Epsom, passed away peacefully at the age of 81 on Saturday.
Sutcliffe was renowned as a coach to watch in big handicap awards and won the Royal Hunt Cup three times, as well as the Ebor, Wokingham and Ayr Gold Cup.
By far his best horse was Right Tack, who developed into a top miler in 1969 when he won the 2000 British and Irish Guineas and then the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Only Rock Of Gibraltar (2002), Henrythenavigator (2008) and Gleneagles (2015) have achieved these rare highs since.
In the same season, he trained Jimmy Reppin to win the Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and other important court horses include Mummy’s Pet, The Brianstan, and Hard Water.
Sutcliffe’s father, also known as John, coached 1971 Grand National winner Specific, and a number of top jumpers came from his Epsom base, including high-class hurdles Elan, Sky Pink and Kildavin.
Sutcliffe coached a total of 690 winners with his final victory in October 1993. He then moved to Shrewsbury and lived with his partner Jude Leighton. From there he ran a racing advisory service.
Before starting training in 1962, he was a successful rider and amateur jumping champion in the 1958-59 season. He rode 58 winners in total.
He died at home after a short illness. He is survived by his daughters Nichola, Kate, Melanie and Julia and seven grandchildren.
His daughter Nichola said: “He totally loved running. There are a lot of references to him being a pretty astute trainer and a great character.
“He was the best man at Lester Piggott’s wedding and trained for Albert Finney, Robert Sangster and many others. He was great friends with Geoff Lewis, who would ride for him.
“He had a lot of great achievements. I also remember he had the favorite for the Derby one year, but the horse had a nosebleed the day before and didn’t run. It was a nightmare.
“He was dearly loved and will be sadly missed – he will always be remembered on the Downs with the dogs.”
Last name and first name John Robert Earnshaw Sutcliffe
Born January 3, 1940
Father John Sutcliffe senior (coach of the Grand National winner Specify)
First winner as a rider Palissy, Hurst Park, February 8, 1957
Champion NH amateur rider 1958-59 (18 victories)
Total wins as a runner 58 including 1957 Coronation Hurdle sur Palissy
Stables as a trainer Woodruffe House, Epsom 1962-93
First winner as a coach Little Smokey (ridden by Fred Winter), Huntingdon, October 20, 1962
First winner on Flat Capricious couscous, Kempton, May 11, 1963
Classic winner Right tack (1969 2,000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas)
Winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes Right turn (1969)
Winner of the Sussex Stakes Jimmy Reppin (1969)
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Winner Jimmy Reppin (1969)
Winner of the Middle Park Stakes Right Turn (1968)
Other group wins Hard Water (1968 Duke of York Stakes), Jimmy Reppin (1968 Hungerford Stakes, Goodwood Mile, 1969 Hungerford Stakes, Prix Perth), Right Tack (1968 Imperial Stakes), Mummy’s Pet (1970 Norfolk (Flying Childers) Stakes, 1971 Temple Stakes ), The Brianstan (1971 Duke of York Stakes), My Drifter (1973 Craven Stakes), Oscilight (1978 Temple Stakes dead-heat), Tender King (1981 Richmond Stakes)
Winner of the Cheltenham Festival Elan (1964 Gloucestershire Hurdle, Div 2)
Other notable victories on the jumps Sky Pink (1964 Mackeson Hurdle), Elan (Schweppes Gold Trophy 1965), Kildavin (Imperial Cup 1965)
Notable Flat Handicap Winners Tempest Boy (1972 Royal Hunt Cup), Le Johnstan (1972 Wokingham), Jumpabout (1974 & 1975 Jubilee Handicap), Anji (1974 Ebor Handicap), My Hussar (1975 William Hill Gold Cup, 1977 Royal Hunt Cup), Il Padrone ( 1976 Extel Handicap), Last Tango (Gold Cup Ayr 1976), The Adrianstan (Victoria Cup 1979), Tender Heart (Royal Hunt Cup 1980), March Bird (Mille d’or 1990)
Last winner Gadge, Tattersalls Sales Nursery Final, Newmarket, October 14, 1993
Most wins in a flat season 32 in 1970
Most wins in a jump season 23 in 1963-64
Total wins as coach in Great Britain 690 (603 Flat, 87 jumps)
Compiled by John Randall
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FIRST PUBLISHED AT 11:00 AM, SEPTEMBER 21, 2021