Alan King

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A big name in the UK horse racing sphere, Alan King has repeatedly produced top-quality horses that have taken him to the big meetings, with some of them being good enough to win. Always in the discussion as being one of the top trainers in the UK, it’s probably fair to say that King has never actually been considered the very best. Still, he’s always stood up well to the powerhouse yards of Nicholls and Henderson.

With over 2000 winners to his name, both on the flat and over jumps, King has been a mainstay of the sport at the top level. Those wins include Group One level on the flat and Grade One level over jumps, with plenty of big prizes going home with him over the years.

Despite winning many races over the years, King is yet to taste success in the Grand National. His first runner was in 2000 when Call It A Day would finish sixth under Barry Geraghty, and to this day, that is actually the closest that Alan has come to winning the race, one that hasn’t been particularly kind to him.

Although he’s achieved plenty over the years, the Alan King story is far from over, and more big race wins are expected to come for the yard, which continues to go well at the top level.

Alan King Grand National Wins

Alan King has never trained a horse that has won the Grand National.

Their best finish to date was in 2000 with Call It A Day ridden by Barry Geraghty who came 6th.

Full Results

Year Horse Result Prize Money Jockey
2021 Canelo Fence 15 - Fell - Thomas Bellamy
2021 Talkischeap Fence 26 - Pulled Up - Tom Cannon
2015 Godsmejudge Fence 29 - Pulled Up - Wayne Hutchinson
2014 Walkon Fence 29 - Pulled Up - Wayne Hutchinson
2012 West End Rocker Fence 2 - Fell - Wayne Hutchinson
2011 West End Rocker Fence 6 - Brought Down - Robert Thornton
2008 D'Argent Fence 27 - Unseated Rider - Robert Thornton
2007 Kandjar D'allier Fence 8 - Fell - Robert Thornton
2007 Tikram Fence 1 - Unseated Rider - Wayne Hutchinson
2004 Bear on Board 8 - Robert Thornton
2001 Listen Timmy Fence 16 - Pulled Up - Tony Dobbin
2000 Listen Timmy Fence 17 - Pulled Up - Tony Dobbin
2000 Call It A Day 6 £7,500 Barry Geraghty

Route to Training for Alan King

Alan King

It is fair to say that King picked up a wealth of experience as a young man on his way to becoming a full-time trainer and got a leg up in the racing world from one of the greats.

The story for King would begin in his native land of Scotland, where he would start working for John Wilson in Ayr. During the time he was there, Wilson trained Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Harry Hastings, a first star for King to work with.

A big move would come next, away from Scotland and down to Gloucestershire in England, but it would shape the career of King as he moved to work with David Nicholson as a stable lad. A year in, Alan King became the assistant trainer to Nicholson, and it was a big year for the yard as David trained Charter Party to win the Gold Cup.

In the period from 1986 until 1999, Nicholson was Champion Trainer twice, he won races including the Queen Mother Champion Chase, King George Chase, Christmas Hurdle and Scottish Grand National, all while giving King a glimpse into how a big yard operates.

At the end of 1999, Nicholson decided to retire from the sport, with King taking over his yard, and just four days into the change, on December 4, King had his first winner at Towcester. At the end of the same month, King would land his first Grade One success, with Anzum winning the Long Walk Hurdle.

It was clear from these very early stages and throughout his time with David Nicholson that King was destined to become one of the biggest names in British racing.

Alan King’s Big Race Wins

With a Grade One winner in his first month training full-time, the racing world was always going to have to keep an eye on what King did next. In 2002, King would land both his first-ever flat winner and also his first winner at the Aintree Grand National festival, the first time he’d tasted success at a big UK festival.

Two years later, in 2004, King would grab his first Cheltenham Festival winner, with Fork Lightning winning the William Hill Handicap Chase.

A further two years forward and King would kick start a run in 2006 that saw him win three of the four Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time in the space of three years. In 2006, first came the Stayers’ Hurdle, with My Way de Solzen landing that race, then a year later, it was the Champion Chase, which was won by Voy Por Ustedes.

The last one to come was the biggest, and that was the 2008 Champion Hurdle, won by Katchit. The horse didn’t stand out, small in size, but with the heart of a lion, and that was on show as he gamely battled up the Cheltenham hill to land the big prize.

So far, the Cheltenham Gold Cup has eluded King, but if he wins that, then he will be a trainer that has completed the four-timer across all four Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival.

On the flat, King has had smaller success but has also won at Group One level, with Trueshan winning the Group One Goodwood Cup in 2021.

Famous Horses Trained by Alan King

Here are some of the most popular horses trained by Alan King.

  • Katchit
  • My Way de Solzen
  • Voy Por Ustedes
  • Trueshan
  • Sceau Royal
  • Edwardstone