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Home Forums Archive Topics Celebrity Q&A’s MICHAEL BELL Q&A

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  • #12870
    • Total Posts 8992

    Derby and Oaks winning trainer Michael Bell has very kindly agreed to take part in our series of Celbrity Q&A sessions. Michael has trained many top class horses since setting up in 1989, including Derby winner Motivator and dual Oaks heroine Sariska.

    So, if you have any questions about Michael’s training methods, particular horses, his plans for the future, etc, now is your chance to have his ear. Just post your questions below and once we close the topic (next Friday) we’ll send the questions to Michael for a response.

    Ugly Mare
    • Total Posts 1294

    hi Michael,

    I hope you are not sick and tired of being asked this question so apologies if this is one too many, but I would like to know just when it was, if you can recall, when you felt almost sure you had a Derby winner on your hands with Motivator, and I’m hoping you don’t say ”after the race”, but more during his 2 year old days.

    I’m interested to learn how quickly trainers get an inkling of what they have to work with and what heights they may achieve with a particular horse.

    I would like you to know also that I have a large framed print of him with Johnny Murtagh aboard in a prominent position in my lounge. :)

    kind regards,

    I always thought he was good horse and was hopeful after he won the Racing Post Trophy

    • Total Posts 1537

    Will Hayley Turner ever get a crack at riding in the classics, and who decides who rides horses, owners or trainers ?

    I am sure she will in the future, the trainer decides but normally consults the owner.

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    Mont Agel looked a class animal when winning his maiden at the second time of asking. What route do you have in mind for him next season?

    Possibly the craven Stakes

    The Ante-Post King
    • Total Posts 8695

    Mr Bell,My question is this,Syrian looks a fine stamp of a horse,unfortunately he has a streak in him that is affecting his racecourse performances!His sire was of a similar disposition,but Hawk wing did manage to win a Group 1 every year he raced!Will you give Syrian the benefit of the doubt and hope he settles down or will he be getting a xmas present to remember (Gelded)! Tough call.what with breeding plans etc!
    Cheers, Gord. P,S whilst your here have a quick look at TAPK"s post under the title "Golden Jubilee" Its legendary!!

    Has been gelded!

    • Total Posts 4515

    Lombok looked quite promising when he won at Nottingham. Has there been a problem that has kept him off the track? Could he be a possible for a race like the Northumberland Plate next year?

    Could be a progressive horse next year.

    • Total Posts 8992

    Hi Michael –

    I was wondering when you’ve been most nervous before a race. Motivator’s Derby, Sariska’s Oaks , your first runner or something else entirely?

    Pass the peace in the Fred Darling in 1989

    • Total Posts 4825

    Hi Michael

    There is in my opinion an enormous contrast between the priority and time the big National Hunt trainers give to promoting their code in the media when compared to their counterparts on the flat. Do you think Newmarket’s most high profile trainers are doing enough to promote Flat Racing? I’d suggest not. Luca Cumanis seeming refusal to run Presvis even once in the UK during the Summer a case in point.

    This might be an awkward one but I’ll chance my arm anyway….Why as a multiple classic winning Newmarket based trainer dont you train horses for the bigger bloodstock operations, Chevely Park, Juddmonte, Ballymacoll, Sheikh Hamdan, etc…?

    Have you found the goingstick to be a reliable indicator of actual racecourse ground conditions come racetime (adverse weather changes excepted)?

    Despite racing being a leisure and entertainment sport the amount of horses in training plus the amount of racing these days would seemingly indicate that racing hasn’t been too adversely effected by the economic recession in relative terms. Is prizemoney as big an issue as a lot of people in racing seem to think it is?

    Where do you stand on the issue of sectional timing at racecourses. Do you use it as part of your training regime?

    Is your training business basically a year to year operation in financial terms, dependant on owner loyalty and hopefully developing a few good horses each year to maintain your profile, or can you plan over a longer period of time?

    Your continued support of Kieren Fallon is very much appreciated in these quarters. Wish you continued success. Thanks for your time.


    • Total Posts 2316

    Hello Michael

    How is Metaphoric? Given he graduated from the same class of juveniles as Binocular and Crack Away Jack, and looked a progressive animal over hurdles, do you think:

    a) he would be able to stand up to the rigours of a National Hunt campaign, following his setback?

    b) would a Jumps campaign figure at all in future plans, assuming he recovers?


    • Total Posts 17716

    Hiya Michael

    Do you think Motivator ran up to his best in his 3 races after his Derby romp and, if you had your time again, would you do anything differently?
    Thanks in anticipation.

    Just unfortunate that K fallon rode Oratario as no one else would have won on him in the Eclipse.

    • Total Posts 2215

    Hi Micheal

    Many thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Too few trainers communicate directly with the public, so this is greatly appreciated like many others, i am alwasy impressed by your candid communication

    which other trainer (s) do you admire and why?

    was any particular trainer a real inspiration?

    which other trainers do you not admire …ok forget that one!

    Rebecca Curtis is easy on the eye

    eddie case
    • Total Posts 1214

    Hi Michael,

    It must be great to have two jockeys such as Jamie & Hayley as stable jockeys. To have a jockey of Jamies quality readily available as No 1 and Hayley who has her own special attributes as great back up must be ideal.
    Yet I notice that some Highclere & Ascot horses don’t use Jamie when he is available, Syrian was mentioned in an earlier question and he looked an ideal candidate for Jamie’s hands to try and get him settled but he wasn’t used.
    Is this purely down to the preference of Harry Herbert or is there some other reason?

    eddie case

    Hayley is very popular with Highclere and has a good record for them.

    • Total Posts 4515

    Can you explain the jockey change on Secret Society? To me the horse looked tailor-made for Spencer and it seemed as if a listed win at the very least was a distinct possibility.

    It was Jamies ride when available but he was suspended.

    • Total Posts 1299

    Do you think the trainers who have been the most successful in this country have done so as a result of their skill with horses or their skills in attracting and retaining important owners?

    How important is the role of the vet in a training operation?

    Do you think there are some trainers who are currently abusing drug regulations and is "milkshaking" a problem in the UK?

    Very hard to get away with anything over here.

    • Total Posts 3140

    Dear Michael,

    I’m a fan of Allied Powers particularly when the mud is flying, how disappointed were you with the ride given to him earlier this season in Ireland by Declan McDonogh, I thought it was a shocker especially from a jockey so experienced.
    Anyway what are the plans for the horse, will he be kept in training next season?


    He stays in training and I agree it was not Declan’s finest hour.

    • Total Posts 17716

    Hi Michael,


    The current rules regarding banned substances

    I’m no expert but it seems to me anything outside of an asprin is regarded as a PED (performance enhancing drug) by the BHA. For example in a recent case the medicine tranexamic acid was referred to as a PED but I can’t understand the thinking behind saying a cure for bleeding makes a horse go faster.

    Do you think the current rules fair to owners who invest millions into racing and could end up with a horse who can’t run because certain medicines the BHA call PED’s are banned or should they be revised?

    Many thanks


    Think our rules are very sensible.

    • Total Posts 4491


    I think Allied Powers is being aimed at the Canadian International.

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