About Rae Guest

Rae Guest has a lifetime’s experience of working with racehorses, first as a jockey and then a trainer in Newmarket, the headquarters of British racing.  He is probably best known for his record in training fillies.  Group 1 winning two year old Serious Attitude (Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes 2008 and Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine Canada in 2010) and dual Group 1 winner My Emma (Yorkshire Oaks, Prix Vermeille) lead the charge, supported by multiple Stakes winning sprinters Millyant and her son Mirza, Group winners Yomalo and Miss Anabaa; 1,000 Guineas placed Aldbourne; Cape Factor and high class stayers Moments of Joy and Marakabei.

Not known for making a fuss, Rae can train any kind of horse and he takes a pride in getting the best out of every animal who sets foot in the yard.

The Guest Family

Rae is the eldest of six. He has four sisters, who are all involved in the business but it is younger brother Richard who is best known for his heroics in cajoling Red Marauder around the Grand National in 2001.

Rae's Father Charlie was a jump jockey and trainer in Holland and Germany; Uncle Nelson was another jockey and trainer and Uncle Joe was fearless over fences. The wider family includes Richard Rowe, the trainer and cousins Eddie, Gordon and Jimmy Guest, all former jockeys.

The early days

Born in Wantage, Rae started his riding career as an apprentice to Sir Gordon Richards at Whitsbury for whom he had his first rides.  Then, aged 18, he got the call from uncle Nelson who was training in Denmark. He asked the young Rae to ride for him. This was the start of Rae's successful riding career in Scandinavia, where he rode eight classic winners.

The International Connection

Rae was always in the top three jockeys in Denmark, and rode in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, Norway and Italy.

Rae spent many of his winters riding in India, as did many of the top European jockeys, at the time. There he was extremely successful, winning no fewer than nine classics, and his services were in demand as he began to develop a reputation as a fine horseman, particularly talented with difficult animals.

Back to England

In 1979, Rae returned to England to ride for the Italian trainer Luca Cumani, as a jockey and work rider. Luca is unstinting in his praise of Rae: "He's essential to me. He's been instrumental in making all our good horses and can teach them more or less to do anything".

While Rae was with Luca he helped prepare good horses like Tolomeo (Arlington Million), Commanche Run (St Leger) and Capricorn Belle; Then Again; the hard pulling World Leader; Bairn; Celestial Storm and Free Guest.

This experience of seeing a World class trainer preparing World class horses inspired Rae to strike out on his own.

Rae's Training Career

Rae first took out a licence in 1988 and trained his first winner in Run Free on 10 March 1989 at Market Rasen, fittingly ridden by younger brother Richard, the last jumps winner Rae would have for 22 years as it turned out!

Rae's training highlights are in terms of the horses that have been through his hands.  The best include:

Serious Attitude

Rae trained Serious Attitude in 2008 – 2010 for owner Derek Willis. She outperformed all expectations (being a 7,500 guinea yearling by the unfashionable sire Mtoto).  She was unbeaten at two, graduating from a maiden at Windsor to winning the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. She was a leading fancy for the 2009 1,000 Guineas but failed to stay the mile. She went on to win the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York at three but had arguably her finest hour at four, winning the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine, Canada, and in the process making herself worth the $1.85 million that Shadai Farms paid for her at Fasig Tipton November sales a month later.  A fairytale horse for her owner and trainer.

My Emma

Rae’s first Group One winner came in 1996 in the form of middle distance filly My Emma, by Marju, whom he trained for owners Matthews Breeding and Racing.  She was lightly raced, running only once at two and just eight times in her whole career. She won the Prix Vermeille in 1996 to Rae his first Group 1 winner at 28 -1.

My Emma crowned that achievement in the Yorkshire Oaks (Group 1) the following year, beating the Oaks winner, Reams of Verse. My Emma’s first foal to race was the high class stayer Moments of Joy, also trained by Rae at the yard. My Emma was eventually sold for 1.3 million guineas to Coolmore Stud.

Aldbourne

Every trainer needs a good horse to put them on the map and Rae's was the Alzao filly Aldbourne. Aldbourne won two Listed races and was placed in both the English and Irish Guineas. She also won a $250,000 race on the Breeders Cup card at Atlantic City in the U.S.

Millyant

Millyant was a shrewd purchase at only 18,000 gn as she was a half sister to sprint sire Prince Sabo. She was Rae's very first Group winner, landing the Molecomb (Group 3) at Goodwood for owner Chris Mills.  Rae rode her at home all the time and she will always be one of his favourites.

Millyant won numerous Group races - often in France - the Prix Hampton (Listed); the Prix de Petit Couvert (Group 3) twice; and the Prix du Gros-Chene (Group 2). Millyant passed away in 2014 but her Group 3 winning son Mirza has continued her legacy, winning the Prix de Petir Couvert in successive years in the same way as his celebrated dam.

Rosa Grace

In 2008, Rosa Grace won a Listed race at Newbury and ran second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga Springs, USA.  She was bought by Rae for Eamonn Duggan for 30,000 guineas in 2006 and sold to race in USA in 2008.  

Bahia Breeze

Dual Listed winner and perpetual bridesmaid in top company, she was the most fantastically tough and consistent horse, seemingly running into good horses (many Group 1 winners) wherever she went, recording multiple placed efforts in Group 3 and 2 races and achieving an official rating of 111.  She was bought by Rae for just 5,000 guineas.

Moments of Joy

Moments of Joy warrents special mention as the homebred first foal of My Emma and the winner of the Listed Gladness Stakes and fifth in the 2003 St Leger, Englands oldest Classic. A royally bred Darshaan filly, she was eventually sold for a sale topping 1.6 million guineas.

Miss Anabaa

Rae trained homebred star sprinter Miss Anabaa for owner Chris Mills. Miss Anabaa came into her own as a four year old when she won a Listed race and the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes at Cork within a fortnight.

Although Rae's emphasis is usually on fillies, that's for good business reasons.  They usually represent better value and are cheaper to buy. This policy has yielded nine Group wins, including four at the highest level, seven Listed wins, two Classic places and numerous Group and Listed places; all of which add tremendous value to the fillies concerned (and their progeny) when they go to stud.

That said, the exploits of such hardy perennials as Montecristo (winner of 18 races over a mile and a half), Gallery Artist (six races), Mousehole (winner of 13 races over 5 and 6 furlongs) and Sir Desmond (eight races) are hard to match, and give huge satisfaction to the owners and everyone in the yard.

In an expanding yard, Rae can train whatever type of horse his owners send him. Rae's record shows that he takes pride in getting the best out of every horse, whatever their talents.

What The Papers Said

"Ridiculous though it may sound, not every small trainer can handle an outstanding horse. Where Guest went right, and others go wrong, is that he recognised My Emma's ability as a two year old and nurtured it. In a small yard the temptation is to run and run a horse who can win. Instead he resisted the seduction of early success and played patience, a quality Guest has in abundance"
Marcus Armytage, The Daily Telegraph

"Guest is the epitome of the true racing professional. Not many around in these instant days of posing in front of the television cameras"
Raceform Update

"Rae Guest has a thoroughbred racing pedigree and his performance in eight years with a trainer's licence matches the breeding. When Guest says something take note. After My Emma won her maiden at Newmarket last summer he said 'She will win the Arc next year'."
The Daily Express

"Not the gushy type, he appeals to the 'what you see is what you get' approach. As one seasoned professional said: 'If you want a clown you go to Billy Smart's, with Rae you get a straightforward deal - and of how many of them can you truthfully say that?'"
Alistair Down, The Sporting Life

 What the Owners said…..

Quotes about having a horse in training with Rae Guest:

"Good communication, good value for money, well organised and professionally run yard, good public relations"

"I think Rae trains the horses very well with their well being paramount and he is able to get wins from only average horses. He places very well. He is very trustworthy"

"Always welcome. Patient and correct trainer"

"Rae's knowledge and expertise; because you are down to earth and genuine; the care and attention given to the horses is second to none, to name but a few"

"Good facilities, friendly atmosphere, excellent accommodation and good placement (and welfare) of horses"

"I believe Rae is a very good trainer"