John Waugh, Newmarket trainer and stud manager, passed away at 91

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John Waugh, 91, the fourth generation of his family’s trainers, has passed away in Newmarket.

In 1886, James, his great-grandfather, came from Scotland to begin training in Newmarket. Before the first world war, both his grandfather and father trained for Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Waugh’s own career included stints as Alec Waugh’s assistant, the trainer of Kelling, the Cambridgeshire winner in 1950, George Colling, and later Reg Day. However, his relationship with Sir Robin McAlpine became his most significant accomplishment; both as manager of Wyck Hall Stud and as a private trainer at Fitzroy House.

By the time Waugh was appointed, McAlpine’s bloodstock fortunes had declined from the heights reached in the 1950s by horses like Infatuation, Ratification, and Marsolve. However, Waugh did send Pardoner to win the 1962 Newbury Spring Cup.

In 1970, McAlpine sent most of his horses to France to be trained, but Waugh made even more of an impact at Wyck Hall. In 1993, half-brothers Beneficial and Jeune won the King Edward VII Stakes and the Hardwicke Stakes, respectively, at Royal Ascot.

Circus Plume, a 1984 Oaks winner, was purchased as a foal to carry McAlpine’s tartan silks. However, Golden Fez, her dam, had been bred at Wyck Hall before being sold, and her family can be traced back to Zabara, a 1952 1,000 Guineas winner.

In addition to Wyck Hall, Waugh had stewarded three other notable studs by the time McAlpine passed away in 1993, less than four months before the famous Ascot double; Stanley House and Woodlands Stud, Sommeries Stud, and Lord Derby’s nurseries The following year, Waugh left his job.

Waugh’s wife Sue passed away before him, and he is survived by their three kids; Harry, Sally, and Alec, a racing manager for the Wildenstein family for a long time who has run his own Normandy-based Jedburgh Stud for more than 25 years.

The funeral for John Waugh will take place at St. Mary’s Church in Newmarket on February 21 at 12 p.m.

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