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Monday 3 December 2018

What Happened To John Fretwell? (Horse Owner)

Horse racing. 

Which horse racing silks stick in your mind? The royal blue of Godolphin. I'm sure everyone has their favourites. It may be due to a horse you love, a trainer with a small string you follow, or just that crazy quilt which somehow stands out from the crowd. 

One horse owner silks that many of you will know is the lime green of John Fretwell. 

He had a number of talented two-year-olds with a number of trainers. He didn't lack an opinion and all too often these once buoyant relationships parted company. The loss of Eoghan O'Neill hit the headlines in 2008, which saw the ambitious Irishman head to France and make this racing pay across the channel. It was good to see him return to Royal Ascot with Suits You, who was later sold to Hong Kong. Fretwell had a few Group winners when the partnership was flying high. They struck with Champagne Stakes (Group 2) winner Silent Times (2005) and Richmond Stakes (Group 2) winner Always Hopefull (2005). 

Fretwell was known to like a gamble but often complained that he struggled to get more than a grand on with bookmakers. Read this interesting thread to learn more. He was also a keen seller of two-year-olds to Hong Kong and America. For that reason, he liked to have his juveniles primed to win on debut, realising that an easy winner would fetch a lot more money on the open market. 

In recent years, he has had horses in training with David Brown. 

In 2017 he had 83 runners, varying slightly with the previous year of 93. However, 2018, at the time of writing, he had just 38 runners with four winners. The helicopter-flying businessman appearing at racecourses fewer times than ever before and not interviewed by Racing UK, who loved the softly spoken but opinionated man. It is interesting to note that his best ever season was when he partnered Eoghan O'Neill back on 2005 with 28 winners from 161 runners. Total earnings over £300,000. 

Related stories: Shock Split As Fretwell Withdraws Horses From O'Neill Yard

Related stories: Whatever Happened To Eoghan O'Neill 

Relates stories: John Fretwell: ''I Started With Nothing...''

Watch the 2018 Champagne Stakes (Group 2) WINNER Too Darn Hot