Two former champion point-to-point riders are to become joint-licence holders.
Oliver Greenall, who was Britain’s men’s champion in 2007/08, is already well established as a licensed trainer at a yard in Cheshire, but he is to be joined in the role by Josh Guerriero, who won the novice men’s title in 2006. Two years later Guerriero made a bigger mark on the sport by winning Aintree’s Foxhunters’ Chase on the Phil Jones-trained Christy Beamish, and more recently he shared the champion hunter chase trainers’ title in the much-reduced 2019/20 season.
On a break from taking part in a training module on Zoom, Guerriero said: “Ollie and I are partners in the business, but we carry out separate jobs. I take care of the horses and the yard, while he handles the office, all admin, entries and declarations, and looks after the owners. He also keeps the owners’ app up to date.
“We will have 83 horses in when the season gets busy, and this will take some of the pressure off Ollie while I will gain some of the recognition.”
Guerriero looks back fondly on his time in saddle, and says: “Riding in point-to-points taught me my trade and got me to where I am now. I made a lot of friends through the sport and it’s where I met Ollie, and good mates like Will Biddick, Sam Allwood, Ed Glassonbury, Ian Popham. The sport gave us all opportunities.
“Looking back on that Aintree victory on Christy Beamish, I was young at the time and didn’t really appreciate it, which is a shame, but you never forget a win like that.”
Dual trainers’ licences are common in Australia, and were introduced in Britain last year. John Gosden now trains with son Thady, while Paul and Oliver Cole are among others who have teamed up. Now Greenall and Guerriero have to decide on the timing for their dual licence.
Guerriero said: “We’ve had 12 winners this season, and if we get another five or so it could be that we will delay putting my name on the licence. If we do we effectively start at zero, and it would be a shame to ‘lose’ the winners Ollie has trained in his name this season.”
At Worcester today the stable runs recent British pointer Coisa Blanco in the second division of the Read Kevin Blake On attheraces.com Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (5.10). The eight-year-old has still to win after 20 starts, but has shown he could be competitive in today’s race, which includes a number of riders who are familiar faces on Britain’s point-to-point circuit.
Greenall also hoped to run Go On Chez, who won at Tabley in Guerriero’s name during the latest point-to-point season, and scored at Uttoxeter last week, but he was withdrawn this morning following a poor scope.
The yard is readying some nice young ex-British pointers who won last season and are now ready for careers under Rules. They include the ex-Fran Nimmo-trained pair of Adjournment and Dondiam and the former Tom Weston-trained Blackwell Bay.