Consistency is the hallmark of success in any sport and since taking out a licence to train on his own in 2012 Harry Fry has been turning out winners with metronomic regularity.
Fry was just 25 when he started training by himself, the realisation of a dream he had had since he was a young boy. Since then, he has been making huge strides and is regarded as one of the sharpest and most able jumps trainers around.
His strike-rate is impressive and has been from the very start. His horses operate at a success rate of one winner from every four runners and he passed 50 winners in a season for the first time in the 2015-16 season.
However, before even training for himself Fry was showing his prodigious talent as a trainer. Having ridden with some success in point-to-points as a youngster, Fry joined champion trainer Paul Nicholls as his pupil assistant trainer at Ditcheat in 2006.
Fry’s attention to detail and knowledge of the sport persuaded Nicholls to put him in charge of a satellite stable. It was from this yard that Fry would prepare Rock On Ruby to win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for Nicholls in March 2012.
Later the same year Fry would start training from that base at Seaborough in Dorset with Rock On Ruby transferred officially to his care. The pressure never once told on the young man and over the next three years he would only finish outside the first three once and run numerous honourable races in victory and defeat over both hurdles and fences.
What marks Fry out from many other trainers is how often his horses go to the races with a strong chance of winning or finishing in the places.
The percentage of his runners who finish in the first four when sent to the races has never dropped below 60 per cent, while during the last two seasons two thirds of his horses have returned from the races with a finish in the first four. He has raking in over £1.8 million in win and place prize-money for his owners during that period.
The ability to plot races and find the best opportunities for horses in Britain and in Ireland has never been better illustrated than by Fry’s handling of Unowhatimeanharry.
Bought as a seven-year-old with one bumper win to his name, Unowhatimeanharry was hoped to be a fun horse for his 40-strong syndicate with regular trips to the races and the chance of winning.
But in the hands of Fry, Unowhatimeanharry blossomed winning all five of his races in the 2015-16 season including a Grade 2 hurdle at Cheltenham in December and then the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Regarded as a cool customer, Fry’s passion for racing and winning big races shone through as he roared and chased Unowhatimeanharry up the final punishing hill at the Cheltenham Festival. His hoarse interviews conducted immediately after the race told their own story as the trainer beamed at landing his maiden Festival victory in his own name.
The Coral Champions Club have also benefited from Fry’s skills as a trainer, and hospitality as a person, since joining forces in 2014.
Using his contacts and horseman’s eye, Fry was able to identify and secure Template for the Coral Champions Club for a small outlay. Over the next two years Template would race ten times for the Coral Champions Club winning twice at Market Rasen and Huntingdon, at odds of 8-1 and 5-1, and finishing in the first four on another four occasions. He scooped nearly £15,000 in win and place prize-money in the process.
Fry’s careful and considerate handling of Template, matched with his efficient placing of the horse, ensured the maximum was gained from him during his time with the Coral Champions Club.
In Harry Fry, the Coral Champions Club have partnered with a trainer who cares about his horses and cares about his owners. The statistics prove horses are only sent to the races when they have a realistic chance of running well and they are primed to do their best every time.