Who is Milton Harris?

Nowadays, Milton Harris is a dual purpose trainer based at Sutton Veny, near Warminster, Wiltshire. Harris sent out the first winner in his name – Quick Response, in a maiden hunters’ chase at Folkestone – from his original base in Paxford, near Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, in September, 2001. In his first stint in the training ranks, he held a licence until June, 2010 and saddled 139 winners, amassing over £1.3 million in the process.

However, in the middle of what was, at that stage, his most successful season so far, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) objected to him holding a licence on the basis that he was not a ‘fit and proper person’ to do so. He was found guilty of deliberately concealing business debts and judgements against him from the regulatory body and, having declared himself bankrupt, was not permitted to take out a licence again until 2018.

In the meantime, Harris moved to his new home, in the Wylye Valley between Salisbury and Bath and, when he restarted his training career, did so with just two staff and a dozen or so unremarkable horses. Having saddled just six winners in each of the 2018/19 and 2019/20 National Hunt seasons, he increased his seasonal tally to 18 in 2020/21. In 2021/22, he emjoyed by far his most successful season so far, with 56 winners and just shy of £600,000 in prize money. Knight Salute, who has won six of his seven starts over hurdles, including the Grade 1 4-Y-O Juvenile at Aintree im April, 2022, has proved to be his standard-bearer. For all his success, Harris maintains a realistic outlook. He said, ‘I’m under no illusion, we haven’t made it, but we’re on the path.’