It has been just over a year since Kayley Woollacott’s husband Richard, a top British jump trainer took his own life at the age of 40, leaving his wife and young daughter Bella behind.
Kayley is embarking on her first full season as National Hunt trainer. With the support of owners like David Statton and the online wagering company Betway, who came on as a sponsor, things are looking brighter for the Woollacott yard.
Statton and other owners have stayed loyal to the family and the stable star Lalor will be in action at Cheltenham in the Arkle Chase (G1) on March 12.
The seven-year-old gelding won the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (G1) last April, just three months after Richard’s death. He also won the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase (G2) in November, his first over the jumps. He is the current second choice in Ante Post betting at Betway at odds of 6-1 for the Arkle Chase.
“It’s been a very difficult time since my husband Richard passed away, but we’re focusing on the future and Richard always loved Lalor. Let’s hope he can go right to the top again this season,” Kayley said.
Kayley Woollacott EP2: Starting Out Over Fences
“We consciously had a break in the summer which did all of us really well. We’re excited to get going again and get some of the new horses out.”
“If there is anything Richard could have done it would be to make sure this horse continues to show what he was, and it would be a big proud moment for him. He always maintained this is the best horse we have ever had,” she added.
“When I started my business, I started from nothing,” Statton explained. “And there were people that helped me when they might have been backing a loser, and so I appreciated their help, and I know she has appreciated my help.”
— Kayley Woollacott (@k_woollacott) February 1, 2019
Things did not go as planned in Lalor’s last start in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (G1) at Sandown in December where the gelding checked in third.
“We had a lot of rain,” Kayley said. “It was just one of those things that did not work out. He didn’t enjoy the ground.”
As we get closer to the Arkle Chase, confidence is growing that Lalor will get the job done. “You can only get him 100% fit and I have every faith she can do that,” Statton predicted.
Click here to watch Kayley Woollacott EP1: Lalor and Her Husband’s Legacy.