Veteran trainer Eric Alston continues to roll back the years!

He may not be far away from being an octogenarian, but Longton racehorse trainer Eric Alston is still going strong and celebrated his third winner of the season at Haydock Park last week.

By Nick Seddon
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 10:50 am

The 78-year-old has trained at his Lancashire base for more than four decades and has achieved some great success over the years from his Edges Farm Stables on Chapel Lane, contesting some of the top races around the world.

And while he may not have the numbers in his yard that he once did he certainly hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to training, saddling Boudica Bay to a 14-1 success in the opening race last Thursday – an apprentice race over five furlongs.

Alston has built up a reputation as being something of a dab hand at training sprinters over the years, saddling Reverence to two Group One victories in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and the Sprint Cup at Haydock Park respectively in 2006. And he revealed after the race that he still very much enjoys his trade.

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Trainer Eric Alston (right) talking to Stewart Machin of Racing TV in the winners’ enclosure at Haydock (photo: The Jockey Club/Grossick Photography)

He said: “Boudica Bay is a smashing mare, she’s won nine races now and has been great fun. On her day she’s very good and I think the ground was perfect for her.

“I’ve always trained at Longton and have nine horses in training now, which is a lot less than we used to have. I’m still enjoying it though, I took out my full license in 1981 so I’ve been going for over 40 years now.

“We’ve had some great days over the years and I still have Tedburrow with me at home. He was a fantastic horse and won the City Wall Stakes twice around Chester and then went out to Dubai and places. He’s 30 now and loving life too – he’s still fitter than me! We used to have quite a few two-milers at one time, but recently people have sent me sprinters it’s as simple as that. I’m still enjoying it though and having winners always helps.”

Boudica Bay’s victory was her second of the season and a third from 33 runners overall for her trainer in 2022, though he admitted that he has considered winding things down. He said: “Winners are always hard to find but we’ve got there and we’ve had a few seconds as well this year, so we’re doing all right.

“I don’t know how long I’ll carry on to be honest. My wife isn’t very well these days, but I’m still enjoying it and Haydock isn’t far to come.”