James Bethell to Retire, Transfer Licence to Son Ed

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James Bethell | Racingfotos.com

After training for 46 years, James Bethell will retire on Jan. 1, Racing Post reported on Sunday. The licence will pass to his son Ed, who will continue to train at his father’s old yard of Thorngill Stables in Middleham. Listed winner Moss Gill (Ire) (No Nay Never), who ran third in the G1 Nunthorpe S. this August, will be among the 30-odd horses in work next term.

“I think younger people can work with all the technology and modern communications better than us older folk and I thought it was a good time to do it,” the 68-year-old told Racing Post. “Edward has had a good grounding, he’s been to Gai Waterhouse in Australia, he did a stint in America, he’s had spells with Charlie Hills and with Robert Cowell, and he’s been assistant here.

“We did look at becoming joint trainers but I think it’s better to have it in his name so he gets all the credit if there’s credit to be had. It should work, we get on very well together and he can come to me for advice.”

The elder Bethell, who was an assistant to Bruce Hobbs and Arthur Budgett before training in his own name, celebrated his biggest wins as a trainer with group winners Rich Ground (GB) (Common Grounds {GB}) and Strawberry Dale (Ire) (Bering {GB}).

Added Ed, “I’ve wanted to train all my life, despite Dad’s best efforts to put me off. It’s daunting, especially with what’s going [on] in the world. But as someone said the other day, there’s never a right time to start training racehorses.”

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