On the gal­lops

We get to go be­hind the scenes with Linda Per­ratt at her sta­bles

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - An­drea O’Neill

First Lady of Scot­tish Rac­ing Linda Per­ratt in­vited the Re­former to her state-of-the-art horse train­ing fa­cil­ity re­cently and told us all about her plans for ex­pan­sion.

Hav­ing been born and bred in Burn­side, she now trains horses at her home near East Kil­bride.

With the flat rac­ing sea­son in full swing, the Re­former caught up with Ruther­glen race­horse trainer Linda Per­ratt at her pur­pose­built farm just out­side East Kil­bride.

Known through­out the sport as the First Lady of Scot­tish Rac­ing, Linda is a for­mi­da­ble pres­ence on the rac­ing scene.

Carv­ing out a hugely suc­cess­ful ca­reer for her­self, the 51- year- old has more than 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a trainer and has spent a life­time with horses.

But the mod­est for­mer showjumper, who took over North Aller­ton Farm from her par­ents in 2008, in­sists her cov­eted ti­tle is purely down to hard work... and a bit of luck.

Burn­side-born Linda, whose fam­ily

owned Ruther­glen-based Per­ratt’s Dairy which de­liv­ered milk through­out the area un­til the firm was sold in 1990, Scot­land’s first fe­male flat trainer, quipped: “I think they’ve al­ways said that but I don’t re­ally know why!

“Prob­a­bly be­cause I was at the most pres­ti­gious yard that had been there for about 100 years and was very male­dom­i­nated. Ob­vi­ously there’s not so many women in this sport but there’s a lot more start­ing up now – I was just lucky I think.”

Showjump­ing from the ten­der age of eight, Linda got her ap­pren­tice jockey li­cence at 24 and went on to be­come a top qual­ity am­a­teur rider, pi­lot­ing 10 flat race win­ners.

“I’ve showjumped and bred mares and my par­ents and my grand­par­ents have had race­horses at the farm – its been in the Per­ratt fam­ily for quite a long time”, said Linda.

“Af­ter about 20 years at Cree Lodge in Ayr I did a stint at Bel­stane Rac­ing Sta­bles then got this place from my par­ents – I’ve been very lucky.”

Linda re­vealed plans to ex­pand her state-of-the-art train­ing fa­cil­ity, which can hold up to 45 horses, are on course, adding: “I have 24 horses just now and I’m try­ing to ex­pand.

“The way for­ward is wee syn­di­cates so I’m al­ways look­ing out for new own­ers and new busi­ness all the time. At the mo­ment it’s quite a nice num­ber – we try to keep it friendly so own­ers can come in and see the horses.”

Ca­reer- minded Linda added: “You ac­quire horses over the years but I don’t have any pets, they’re too ex­pen­sive to keep just for a hobby. My horses are here to race – it’s very much a busi­ness.”

With meet­ings at Ayr and Mus­sel­burgh in the next fort­night, Linda ex­plained how she se­lects the best jockey to ride her prized race­horses, say­ing: “You use the best avail­able jockey you can get. The top ones want to ride the most fan­cied run­ner, but jock­eys can feel loy­alty to­wards you and will ride for you if they can.

“At the start of the sea­son we were at a pretty high strike-rate but we’ve gone a wee bit qui­eter again – it’s kind of peaks and troughs. The win­ter can re­ally mur­der your hand­i­cap and it takes a few runs to get back down off your win­ning weight again. The horses can’t stay at their peak all the time.

“The weather’s been a bit strange as well, they don’t re­ally know where they are. I think horses pre­fer a bit of sun on their backs and faster ground. You just need to go with the flow.”

When asked which is her favourite Scot­tish course, Linda joked: “The last one I had a win­ner at usu­ally! But Mus­sel­burgh is lovely and al­ways a good at­mos­phere.”

And Linda’s big tip for race­go­ers: “It’s just luck at the end of the day – keep your money in your wal­let!”

Train­ing day Linda on the gal­lops at North Aller­ton Farm


At work Young sta­ble girl Leanne Fer­gu­son washes down Blue Sonic af­ter his morn­ing gal­lop while Linda looks on

Horse power Linda Per­ratt, who grew up in Ruther­glen, is one of the most suc­cess­ful race­horse train­ers in Scot­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.