Has Bill Gredley ever won a British Classic?
Property tycoon William ‘Bill’ Gredley, who also owns Stretchworth Park Stud in Newmarket, has been an influential figure in British horse racing, under both codes, for decades. Most recently his familiar racing silks – yellow, black and yellow striped sleeves, white cap – were carried to victory by Allmankind, whom he owns jointly with his son, Tim, in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree in October, 2021.
As far as British Classics are concerned, Gredley has won not one, but two, with the same horse. In 1992, the Slip Anchor filly User Friendly, whom he bred and owned, won her first six starts, including the Oaks, Irish Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks and St. Leger. Trained by the globe-trotting Clive Brittain, User Friendly was subsequently beaten favourite in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and the Japan Cup at Tokyo, but was, nonetheless, named European Horse of the Year.
Down the years, Gredley has also tried, and failed, to win the Derby on more than one occasion. In 1991, for example, Environment Friend won the Dante Stakes at York and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown either side of finishing only eleventh, beaten 41 lengths, behind Generous in the Derby at Epsom. Gredley said later, ‘…he just didn’t fire at Epsom.’ Likewise, Chancellor, who won the Sandown Classic Trial in 2001, was barely sighted behind Galileo at Epsom, trailing in tenth, beaten 15½ lengths.