Hughie Morrison initially forged a career outside racing. After graduating with a degree in business studies, he worked for a healthcare group as well as pharmaceutical and lighting companies as an unusual grounding for a career in racing.
“Anyone who has run a lighting business in Manchester in the depths of recession can cope with stress,” he said.
The lure of horses saw him spend two years as assistant to Paul Cole before he bought Summerdown Stables at East Ilsley in Berkshire in September 1996 and began training the following spring. Before that he had ridden five point-to-point winners and served as a steward at Newbury,
His first major success came over jumps at the 2002 Cheltenham Festival when Frenchman’s Creek, whom he also bred, won the William Hill Chase.
He has enjoyed more than 900 winners under both codes in Britain with many big Flat successes among them, led by victories for Pastoral Pursuits (2005) and Sakhee’s Secret (2007) in the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket. Other flagbearers include top stayer Alcazar, winner of the 2005 Group 1 Prix Royal Oak at Longchamp.
In more recent years, Marmelo, Nearly Caught and Telecaster have shone for him and he still has the odd jump horse. For instance, his Not So Sleepy is a Champion Hurdle hope for 2021.
He came close to a first British Classic success when Shirocco Star was the neck runner-up in the 2012 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs, in the Fillies & Mares category of the QIPCO British Champions Series. Shirocco Star also finished runner-up in the final Fillies & Mares race on QIPCO British Champions Day, when she found Irish raider, Sapphire, too strong.
Telecaster was also a leading fancy for the 2019 Investec Derby but failed to figure.