Irish handler Gavin Cromwell has set himself up nicely, with a strong group of owners backing him and some talented jockeys working for him. Initially, Cromwell had hoped to become a jockey and spent time in Ireland, England and Australia in a bid to do that, but when he arrived back home from Australia, it was time to take his career in a different path.
The trainer made his Grand National debut in 2017, with Raz De Maree running in the race, ridden by Ger Fox. However, the pair didn’t get very far, as their race ended at just the sixth fence.
Gavin Cromwell Grand National Wins
Gavin Cromwell has never trained a horse that has won the Grand National.
Their best finish to date was in 2023 with Vanillier ridden by Sean Flanagan who came 2nd.
|2018||Raz De Maree||10||£5,000||Robbie Power|
|2017||Raz De Maree||Fence 6 -||-||Ger Fox|
Cromwell worked as a farrier on return but took out his trainers license alongside this, something which was approved in 2005. Two years later, with some horses in his own yard to train, Cromwell landed his first winner when Dodder Walk won a handicap hurdle at Cork. Cromwell struggled to get enough horses together for one code, so they set about creating a yard that would house both jump and flat horses.
The Irishman would have to wait until 2014 before he won what can be described as a big race under either code, and this came when he won the Irish Cambridgeshire in August of that year with a horse named Sretaw.
Two years later, in May 2016, Cromwell would land his first Grade One over jumps, with Jer’s Girl winning a Grade One mares’ novice hurdle at Fairyhouse. A month later, the same horse won another Grade One event at the Punchestown Festival, with Barry Gerraghty picking up both rides.
Back on the flat, Cromwell would take his first flat Group race in October 2018, winning the Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp with Princess Yaiza. Elsewhere on the flat, Cromwell would land his first Royal Ascot success in 2021, and this actually came with a two-year-old horse, Quick Suzy. If anything else was needed to show the quality and versatility of Cromwell, this win did that, winning with a two-year-old over a sprint distance at the biggest flat meeting in the UK.
Bigger than all of those, though, was a victory for Cromwell at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. Enjoy D’Allen was the horse that delivered, and this one was a Grade One Champion Hurdle win at the biggest jump meeting in the UK. Sadly, we would never see the horse showcase any further ability as after a summer break, the horse suffered an injury at home and had to be put down, prevented Cromwell from coming back and dominating racing with a superstar.
Flooring Porter Doubles Up in Stayers Hurdle
The win of Enjoy D’Allen will be remembered, but another horse, Flooring Porter, flew the Cromwell flag for two years at the Cheltenham Festival and also did it in a big feature race at the meeting. Although not quite at big as the Champion Hurdle, Flooring Porter won the Stayers Hurdle for two years running, in 2021 and 2022, a Grade One feature contest at the meeting.
The first of those wins in 2021 came as part of a double for the yard and a Grade One double at that. Vanillier was the other horse to win, landing the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the same meeting.
With the likes of Enjoy D’Allen and Flooring Porter leading the way, amongst others, it is clear that Gavin Cromwell has the recipe for success, even at the highest level in racing, and is a man that needs respect.
Famous Horses Trained by Gavin Cromwell
Here are some of the most famous horses trained by Gavin Cromwell.
- Flooring Porter
- Jer’s Girl