Skip to Content

Ex-Trainer Bill Ratcliffe swops Hong Kong and China for Newmarket

23 April 2012

SINGAPORE, Hong Kong, China and back to Newmarket again for ex-trainer Bill Ratcliffe, who has swapped his job in the Far East for a new role at the British Racing School.

Just over 12 months ago Ratcliffe packed in training and headed out to work for a company supplying equine equipment to Asian racing associations, citing low prize-money and the constant struggle of a small trainer as his reasons for calling it a day.

However, after failing to settle in Singapore and turning down opportunities to restart as a trainer in his new location, Ratcliffe returned to Britain, where he is now responsible for the management of the 70 horses stabled at BRS - including a couple of old friends.

"I went to manage a company that supplies racing horseshoes, feed, bedding and hay to the Singapore Turf Club, Hong Kong Jockey Club and Macau, and I spent a lot of time in Brunei and Hong Kong and China - everywhere really," Ratcliffe says.

"I had some good experiences but it's only when you get there that you realise how far away it is. My dad was ill while I was away, we couldn't get our animals out there and my son didn't settle and missed his friends; it was never an option to settle there long term. I was always coming home and then this opportunity came up.

"I got back in February and my new role here is training operations manager, which involves managing the yard and the students who come on the nine-week foundation course, and working with Richard Perham, who works with the young jockeys. Two of my old horses, Bel Cantor and Colorus, are here too."

Having turned his back on training and resisted the temptation to restart abroad, Ratcliffe is enjoying the extra time he has in his new role and considers it unlikely that he will take out a licence again soon.

He says: "Never say never, but coming back herewas all about quality of life and when you're training it's seven days a week and long hours. There's nothing better than training a winner but I enjoy time with my family and my weekends."

Back to News