Beer Goggles, who gave Richard Woollacott his biggest victory when winning the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in December, has moved stables.
He has left Woollacott’s yard, where the late trainer’s wife Kayley has taken over the licence, and joined permit-trainer Nicky Martin who, with partner John Simpson, also owns the horse.
Beer Goggles beat Unowhatimeanharry and Thistlecrack at odds of 40-1 when recording a memorable and emotional success for Woolacott, who was found dead at his yard days before the horse was to have his next start in last month’s Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Beer Goggles, who is entered in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle, finished fifth at Cheltenham but will spend the rest of the season with Martin near Minehead.
‘It was a very difficult decision’
She said on Thursday: “I’ll be training him now for Cheltenham or Aintree but haven’t decided which yet. Richard had always planned to run him at Cheltenham, and after what happened we made the decision to bring him home.
“It was a very difficult decision because Richard was a friend of mine for 25 years. We used to work together and train pointers together. Richard found us the horse with Tom Malone and it was because of Richard the horse was there.”
Kayley Woollacott said: “We completely understand and support Nicky’s decision to take Beer Goggles home. She has a trainer’s licence and who wouldn’t want to train a horse like Goggles. We’ll certainly miss him but we’ve been privileged to have him and we’re happy for Nicky to continue Richard’s great work.”
Martin is in her fourth season operating with a permit and has horses with other trainers, including Colin Tizzard, Philip Hobbs, Charlie Longsdon and Ben Pauling under hers and Simpson’s Bradley Partnership.
“With Beer Goggles we’ll carry on with the programme Richard and ourselves discussed,” added Martin. “The horse is absolutely fine. He’s having a bit of a quiet time, it was only ten days ago he ran, and we’ll get back on course next week.
“He came out of the Cleeve fine and ran a cracker. He hung a little bit to the right; he’s had a little tweak done to his back since but he still ran a good race.”