Was Richard Fahey once a jockey?
Nowadays, Richard Fahey is a highly successful trainer based at Musley Bank, near Malton, North Yorkshire. Fahey turned his hand to training, at nearby Butterworth, in 1993, but in his earlier years enjoyed a moderately successful career as conditional jockey to the late Jimmy Fitzgerald at Norton Grange Stables, also in Malton. Indeed, on June 3, 1989, he rode Wisconsin, trained by Michael Chapman, to victory in the final race of the 1988/1989 season, the Dove House Hospice Mares Only Novices’ Hurdle at Market Rasen, to secure a share of the conditional jockeys’ title with Derek Byrne and Stuart Turner.
Fahey continued to ride winners after losing his claim, but the last of them was Gymcrak Gamble, trained by Peter Easterby – whose daughter, Leila, he had married three years earlier – on May 20, 1992. Reflecting on his riding career, Fahey said, ‘I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t enjoying it and couldn’t see a future in it, so I gave it up before it gave me up.’
Fahey began his training career modestly enough, saddling just ten winners in his first three seasons and not breaking into double figures for a season until 1996. Thereafter, his record was one of steady improvement, season-by-season. He saddled 50 winners in a season for the first time in 2003 and 100 winners in a season for the first time in 2008. He enjoyed his most successful season ever, numerically and financially, in 2017, with 235 winners and £3.85 million in total prize money.