John Gosden is one of the world’s leading trainers, enjoying more than 3,000 winners in Britain and 600 in the United States.
The five-time British champion was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list at the end of 2016 in recognition of his services to horseracing.
The QIPCO 2000 Guineas has eluded him but he has won all the other British Classics, at least once, with Benny The Dip (1997) and Golden Horn (2015) landing the Derby for him. He has won numerous other significant prizes at least once, including the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, Coral-Eclipse, Gold Cup, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Breeders’ Cup Classic.
In February 2021, he ticked another box when his Mishriff won the $20 million Saudi Cup – the world’s richest race. The colt had won the French Derby the previous year.
“I enjoy training horses, being around horses,” Gosden said on the eve of QIPCO British Champions Day in 2018, where he would go on to enjoy a glittering treble. “It’s a passion, it really is. I’d feel a bit weird if I woke up in the morning with nothing to do. I’d certainly drive my wife mad if that was the case.
“To me, it [the Championship] is very much a stable thing. It’s not about a trainer, it’s about the whole of the team in the yard from the top assistant down to the guy who is mucking out. We are stockmen and women. It’s seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year, the horses are there and you’ve got to attend to them. Early mornings, long days, travelling back from the races – there’s a lot of work people put in.”
The brilliant horses he has trained, over all distances, is endless.
Golden Horn is perhaps the best colt he has guided – he won the Derby, Coral-Eclipse, QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and Arc in 2015 – and Enable has undoubtedly been the best filly/mare. She won 11 Group 1 races, including a record three King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes.
Enable was also only the eighth horse in history – and first trained in Britain – to win back-to-back renewals of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. She was retired at the end of 2020.
Benny The Dip, Taghrooda, The Fugue, Dar Re Mi, Oasis Dream, Ravens Pass, Nathaniel, Cracksman, Too Darn Hot, Roaring Lion, Stradivarius and Kingman have been just a selection of other household names he has trained.
Gosden is also recognised as one of the sport’s most articulate communicators. “I could listen to him all day” is a common refrain on social media.
He is the son of trainer “Towser” Gosden, who trained in the USA between 1980 and 1988 before returning to England. He never considered doing anything else.
He studied at Cambridge University. A keen sports fan, he supports Ipswich Town, while his wife, Rachel Hood, is a qualified lawyer and chairwoman of the Racehorse Owners’ Association.
Gosden, 70 in March (2021), has trained more winners of QIPCO British Champions Series races than his counterparts in each of the past three seasons and will not be short of candidates to continue his stranglehold in 2021.
He enjoyed eight Series wins in 2020 having chalked up 11 in 2018 and a dozen in 2019. Most have been ridden by Frankie Dettori, his No 1 jockey.