Preston trainer Eric Alston tells CRAIG SALMON that Trevor Hemmings will leave huge void in the world of horse racing

Three-time Grand National winner Trevor Hemmings will be sorely missed across the horse racing fraternity, says Preston trainer Eric Alston.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 4:45 pm

Hemmings passed away on Monday at the age of 86, his death coming as a huge shock to everybody connected to the sport.

Although he was the owner of Preston North End and created a huge personal fortune as a successful businessman, arguably it was his exploits in horse racing which he is most known for across the country.

He owned nearly 100 horses, with his first National win arriving in 2005 courtesy of Hedgehunter, ridden by Ruby Walsh.

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Trevor Hemmings pictured with Gran National winner Ballabriggs

He later went on to witness Ballabriggs, ridden by Jason Maguire, win the sport’s most prestigious race at Aintree in 2011 and then Many Clouds, ridden by Leighton Aspell, followed suit six years ago.

Alston, whose stable is based in Chapel Lane, Longton, has been a trainer for half-a-century and remembers training several horses owned by Hemmings.

“I trained two or three of his horses who were flat runners,” said Alston. “We are basically a flat yard.

“I didn’t train any of his which went on to be winners.

Trevor Hemmings, right, celebrates Many Clouds winning the Grand National in 2015

“But the link-up came about through Mick Meagher who rode winners for me in jump racing. Mick was Trevor’s racing manager.

“He was a lovely man was Trevor. He would come and visit, come in, have a cup of tea and a chat. He was one of life’s gentlemen.”

Astute in his business life, Alston revealed that Hemmings was likewise when it came to purchasing horses.

“He knew a lot about the sport and exactly what he wanted,” said Alston.

“Like I say we are a flat yard where as most of the racers he bred were jumpers.

“He wasn’t one for spending massive amounts of money to buy his jumpers, he bred a lot of them and bought them as youngsters. These days you can spend £300,000 on a pointer-to-pointer, but he wasn’t like that was Trevor.

“He was very shrewd with the way he bought his horses.

“He will be a very big loss to the sport – jump racing particularly but racing in general.

“From the dealings I had with him, he was great to work with and I have not heard anybody, who trained for him, say any different.”

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