Training stalwart Milton Bradley dies at 88: “He was different class.”
Following his death at the age of 88, tributes have been paid to the “remarkable” trainer Milton Bradley and his unique ability to transform inexpensively purchased horses.
After more than 50 years as a license holder, Bradley retired in 2021. He was best known for his ability to turn cheap racehorses into prolific winners and top performers.
After the sprinter won at Catterick in 2002 and went on to win the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot two years later, Bradley bought The Tatling for £15,000.
From his farm in Sedbury, Gloucestershire, near the Welsh border, the trainer produced more than 1,000 winners in both codes. Other cherished horses include Brevity, Sooty Tern, Grey Dolphin, and Offa’s Mead.
His enthusiasm for racing has been passed down to his granddaughter Hayley, who is involved in a training operation in Essex with her husband, Charlie Wallis. At one point, he had as many as 90 horses in his yard.
Wallis said: “There aren’t enough words to appreciate how wonderful he was. He was a great man who gave everybody a chance, including a lot of the jockeys. I rode a few winners for him and trained some for him too which I’m very proud of.
“As a trainer he was different class, he was a very good horseman. I’d always be on the phone to him twice a week as I had a couple to train for him and he’d give me advice and fill me with confidence if ever we had a bad run. He’ll be a massive loss to me and my wife. We’re all heartbroken.”
Since Bradley’s first jumps horse was owned by Eddie Hayward OBE in 1977, the pair maintained a close friendship for more than 40 years.
“He was a remarkable man,” said Hayward. “His knowledge of racing was incredible, right from being a youngster. He went from riding horses to training them and together we’ve had well over 200 winners. Many of them didn’t cost much too, not everyone can do that.
“He’d have a go at every race and one of the comical things he’d usually say is ‘Yes, the horse is 20-1 but he doesn’t know that’. We’ve been close friends all the way through for over 50 years.”
At the 2019 Welsh Horseracing Awards, Bradley was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the sport.
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