Rebecca Curtis – Trainer Profile

Rebecca Curtis
License: UK and Ireland
Date of Birth:
Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales
UK and Ireland
Notable Horses:
O’Faolains Boy, At Fishers Cross
Titles Awarded:
Champion Trainer (2004, 2006, 2009)
Biggest Wins:
  • £85,425: RSA Chase (Grade 1) – Mar 12, 2014
  • £68,340: Albert Bartlett Novices´ Hurdle (Registered As The Spa Novices´ Hurdle Race) Grade 1 – Mar 15, 2013
  • £56,270: John Smith´s Sefton Novices´ Hurdle Grade 1 – Apr 5, 2013

About Rebecca Curtis

Based near Newport, Pembrokeshire, in south-west Wales, Rebecca Curtis has built a big reputation in a relatively short space of time and is already considered one of the most talented trainers amongst a batch of young and ambitious jumps trainers making a significant impact on the sport in Britain and Ireland.

Curtis, together with her partner, bloodstock agent Gearoid Costelloe, has built a quality team of around 50 horses at her American-style barn situated close to the beach where her horses are often seen enjoying light exercise and a therapeutic swim in the cool waters of the Irish Sea. Like so many young British girls Curtis loved ponies and rode from an early age, and after her studies joined local trainer Peter Bowen at Welshpool where she began to learn her trade in the racing industry.

In search of an even broader education as a potential racehorse trainer, Curtis went to the United States and enjoyed spells with top US Flat trainers Richard Mandela and Dan Hendricks, before returning to Britain in 2008 and talking out a license to train from her father’s dairy farm. She saddled a respectable eight winners during her first campaign (2008/9) then took a big leap forward in sending out 25 winners the following season.

Year by year Curtis has built her reputation and in 2012 sent out her first ever winner at the Cheltenham Festival when thorough stayer Teaforthree landed the marathon National Hunt Chase. The stable standard bearer went on to finish runner-up in the 2012 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow, then ran a brave third behind Aurora’s Encore in the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree, the “world’s greatest steeplechase”.

With the yard on the map, bigger owners started to arrive at Curtis’ door including leading National Hunt owner JP McManus whose At Fisher’s Cross became Curtis’ first Grade 1 winner when landing the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival, then remarkably followed up three weeks later in Grade 1 company at the Aintree Festival as well. Many trainers go a lifetime without winning at the Cheltenham Festival, the Olympics of National Hunt racing, but Rebecca Curtis made it three years running when her O’Faolains Boy sprang a 12/1 surprise in the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the 2014 showcase meeting, firmly establishing his handler as a trainer for the big stage.

Curtis has struck up a fine relationship with legendary champion jockey Tony McCoy who has ridden 82 winners for the yard over the last five seasons at a fine strike rate of 28%. Also for betting purposes, Aidan Coleman is definitely worth following when riding for the yard having a 33% strike rate from relatively few opportunities, whilst Will Kennedy 29%, and conditional rider Patrick Corbett with 25 winners for the yard at 18%, are also noteworthy.

Local track Ffos Las has provided the Curtis team with 40 winners over the last five seasons at a fine strike rate of 24%, but the yard has an even better winning percentage at Worcester, Wincanton, and Fontwell (31%), Uttoxeter (30%), and Bangor-on-Dee (27%) [1].

Another young trainer worthy of following is Dan Skelton with an impressive over 40% strike rate with just a few years as  a traineer.