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In 2012 Mark celebrated 1000 winners...Mark's Office Manager, Phil, wrote the following article in June after Mark's 1,00th winner:
Astroscarlet - The one who did it
Mark and Phil having some craic
A thousand winners. What a milestone. What an achievement.I am proud to have been involved with the Guvnor for the last 600 or so of them, and Iain Williams has been around for many more than that. We were both here on those marvellous days when Bob’s Return won the St. Leger and a great Mark Tompkins treble was landed at Ascot’s Festival of Racing.
Phil, Iain and Mark
Another stable star, Even Top, so agonisingly touched off in the 2,000 Guineas (right), went on to become the Guvnor’s 500thwinner (left). The 1,000th, Astroscarlet, is clearly a useful performer in her own right but perhaps a slightly less illustrious character. The fact is, every winner over the years has been a source of joy.
That’s a great thing at our yard – every horse, whatever its ability, is treated with exactly the same level of care, kindness and professionalism. Apart from the Guvnor’s obvious expertise, it’s one of the main reasons why 1,000 winners have been sent out from here.
I think I can allow myself a small personal comment here. Behind that sometimes bluff and forceful exterior there is an extraordinarily kind man in Mark Tompkins. I have experienced it many times. He demands loyalty from his staff and, if he gets it, returns it in more than full measure.
That same loyalty is evident among our owners – many have been with us for years and that speaks volumes. It was appropriate that the 1,000th winner should be owned and bred by Mystic Meg, who is so hugely supportive. Looking back there were the likes of the sadly departed George - Mark’s own much-loved father, Angie's very dear father, Bill, Jeff Sutcliffe, who owned the Guvnor's first winner, Timmatemma, Lady Nelson of Stafford, Benny Schmidt-Bodner, John Bull, Sam Ellis, Ben Allen, Peter Riseborough, John Ellis, Robert Kalman, Dave Latter, Nick Fuller and the indomitable "Mother Bowring" among others, all marvellous people with whom to be associated, as are our owners of today.
Then there was the late Johnny East, head lad here for so many years. What a great knowledge and work ethic Johnny had. He was the only person I ever knew who actually won a bet against the Guvnor, but that’s another story.
Johnny and Mark George Tompkins
Apart from Bob’s Return and Even Top, the names of other brilliant horses come to mind. There was Halkopous for instance, perhaps one of the Guvnor’s favourites, his first Group winner Debach Delight, Astrocharm, Franklins Gardens, Babodana, Steenberg, Staunch Friend, Smokey Oakey, the home-bred Topatoo and a whole host of other pattern race winners.
That is enough of reminiscences though. The Guvnor is one who always looks forward, illustrated by the fact that over the years his operation has spread far beyond the yard with Dullingham Park Stud growing into a hugely successful unit providing a succession of home-bred winners, and the ‘northern branch’ at Garrowby in Yorkshire where the youngsters are sent as weanlings to mature and strengthen into winners and older horses go for a break away from the hectic racing scene here in Newmarket.
I know every one of our present staff, from the newest recruit to Iain, who must have clocked up at least a million miles visiting every racecourse in this country and many beyond, our long-established assistant trainer and valued right-hand-man Steve Avery, feed man Darren Donkin, David Woodley the stud groom at Dullingham, and Alan and Tina Ridger who run the Garrowby operation, will join together to offer congratulations on this remarkable achievement.
WELL DONE GUVNOR!
Mark Tompkins has been training in Newmarket since 1979. He was an assistant trainer, gaining great experience from Walter Wharton at Melton Mowbray and, finally, from Ryan Jarvis in Newmarket before branching out on his own.
Mark has always tried to give something back to racing. He has been Chairman of the Newmarket Trainers' Federation since 1997. He is on the trainers' committee of the British Racing School and he is a trustee of the Astley Club.
2010 Pattern race winners Ted Spread and Brushing
Year on year Mark sends out top-class horses to reap rewards on the racetrack:
2010 - The winners flowed throughout the year with over a third of the runners finishing in the first four. The homebred colt, Ted Spread provided the highlight of the season, when winning the Group 3 Chester Vase. He later ran in the Derby, where he did not like the firm ground but ran really well to finish fourth in the Group 2 Voltigeur at York. Our other flag bearer was Brushing, who after winning the Cumberland Plate went on to win the famous Galtres Stakes, Listed at the York Ebor meeting.
The year was memorable for the significant successes of Dullingham Park homebreds, who provided the stable with 12 winners, most notably Ted Spread and Brushing. In addition there were the multiple winners Astrodonna (pictured right), who won two, and has retired to the stud as a broodmare, and Kathleen Frances, who won three times and looks a high class prospect for this coming season - this is her below.
Mark loves to be out with his racehorses every morning all the year round. His knowledge of the training grounds allows him to make optimum use of all the gallops that Newmarket has to offer.
You will always see Mark Tompkins on the gallops supervising his horses whatever the weather.
2009 - Mark had runners all over the country and approximately half finished in the first four home. Just some of the winners to mention are Marvo (bred at Dullingham Park and winner of three races this season), No Rules (winner of three races), Inchpast (the marvellous eight-year-old that has also won twice this season), Mystery Star (winner of the opening race of the season at Goodwood) and two notable 50/1 victories with Outland and Brushing.
Theola winning the Investec Cesarewitch Trial
2008 - Mark won the curtain-raiser of the season with Smokey Oakey in the Lincoln Handicap. They were victorious again in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown for owners Judi Dench and Bryan Agar. And, in June, Mark went on to celebrate his 900th winner. He continued having winners through in to December and maintained his strike-rate of approximately one in three runners being in the first four home.
2007 - Group 3 Middleton Stakes, York – won by Topatoo (Also in the same year: Second in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes; Fourth in the Listed Gala Stakes; now retired as a broodmare based at Dullingham Park Stud)
2006 – Group 2 Duke of York Stakes, York – won by Steenberg (bought by Mark for 12,000gns and earned over £220,000 prize-money for his owners; Also Won: Listed Wentworth Stakes; Second: Group 2 Duke of York Stakes twice, Group 3 Gladness Stakes twice, Group 3 Jersey Stakes; Third: Group 3 Prix de Ris-Orangis, Group 3 Chipchase Stakes, Listed City of York Stakes; Fourth: Group 1 Sprint Cup, Listed King Charles II Stakes, Listed Sovereign Stakes)
2005 – Mark’s 800th winner – St Petersburg (also Listed-placed that year in the Betfred Mile and Leicestershire Stakes), as were Trew Class (in the Listed Virginia Handicap) and Diamonds & Dust (in the Listed International Trial Stakes)
2004 – Group 3 Lily Langtry Stakes, Goodwood – won by Astrocharm (A further six career wins as well as being placed twenty-one times including Third: Group 3 Lily Langtry Stakes, Listed Pinnacle Stakes, Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes; Fourth: Listed Grand Cup Stakes, Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes)
Franklin's Gardens Babodana
2003 – Group 3 Lingfield Derby Trial – won by Franklins Gardens (Bought by Mark and earned over £200,000 prize-money for his owners; also Won Group 2 Yorkshire Cup; Second: Group 2 Lonsdale Cup, Group 3 Jockey Club Cup, Group 3 Sagaro Stakes; Fourth: Group 3 Lancaster Stakes, Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes; now retired to stud)
2002 – Mark’s 700th winner – Connect (Also placed a further 39 times in his career; he won over £120,000 in prize-money)
2001 – Gp 3 Chipchase Stakes, Newcastle – won by Volata (also won Listed Weatherbys Stud Book Stakes; Bred by the owners, Mark then achieved a sale to the Far East; 'Firebolt' became Champion Sprinter in Hong Kong)
Highlights from the last Millennium:
Gp 1 St Leger (1993) won by Bob's Return (bought by Mark as a wedding anniversary present for the owner's wife and their first horse in training; he also Won Group 2 Great Voltigeur, Group 3 Lingfield Derby Trial, Listed Zetland Stakes; Second: Group 1 Eclipse Stakes, Group 2 Harwicke Stakes; Fourth: Group 1 Prix Ganay; now retired at stud)
Second in the 1996 Classic 2,000 Guineas Group 1 with Even Top (he also won Listed Tattersalls Stakes, Listed Strensall Stakes; Second: Group 1 Racing Post Trophy, Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes; Third: Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, Group 3 Scottish Classic; Fourth: Group 1 Champion Stakes, Group 2 Prince of Wales Stakes). In the same year Musical Pursuit was Second in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes.
Group 3 Gladness Stakes was won by Cool Edge in 1997 (purchased by Mark for approx. £750 and went on to win over £100,000 prize-money; also Won Listed Spring Trophy; Second: Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes, Group 3 Concorde Stakes; Third: Group 3 Concorde Stakes, Group 3 Criterion Stakes; Fourth: Group 3 Desmond Stakes, Listed John of Gaunt Stakes, Listed Strensall Stakes).
Further training triumphs continue over hurdles. Mark trained Halkopous to win the Grade 2 Bula Hurdle, Grade 2 Yorkshire Hurdle, Grade 2 Fighting Fifth Hurdle; Second: Grade 1 Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Grade 2 Bula Hurdle; Grade 2 Top Novices' Hurdle; Third: Grade 1 Champion Hurdle; Fourth: Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle. He also trained hurdlers such as Staunch Friend, winner of the Grade 2 Bula Hurdle, Grade 2 Scottish Champion Hurdle and Listed Punchestown Champion Hurdle, Second: Grade 2 Four-Year-Old Hurdle and Grade 2 Gerry Fielden Hurdle.
His success combined with his astute purchases of yearlings have led to recognition and reward. Please look at the 'report on Mark's selection process' at the bottom of the 'Horses for Sale' page.
"I try to bring out the best in every one of my horses. In some ways I am just like a school teacher, who has to place them in races so they can fulfil their potential. To be placed in Group and Listed company, like many of these horses named above, they have a natural talent but they also have heart, that strength to battle and the will to win. My owners and I have had some tremendous days and I hope to have many more for them in the years ahead."
As well as his training yard, Mark runs two studs at Dullingham just outside Newmarket, and at Garrowby in Yorkshire. For further information please see the 'Facilities' and the 'Stud' pages.
To be part of the success story, ring Mark on 01638 661434.