It is appropriate that trainer George Boughey has planned his first serious attack on Royal Ascot this week from a converted office in the corner of his Newmarket stable which started life as a metal shipping container.
It sums up a no-nonsense, pragmatic approach that has delivered 45 winners so far this season, as well as a second in the Oaks at Epsom with 22,000gn purchase Mystery Angel in only his second full year with a trainer’s licence.
‘The only problem is it gets a bit hot in the summer,’ says the 29-year-old, who will be hoping to turn up the heat at the season’s biggest Flat meeting.
Trainer George Boughey (centre) has planned his first serious attack on Royal Ascot this week
Boughey could have 10 runners at the royal meeting, not bad for someone who 23 months ago started out with four horses.
They include Cotton Club, once bought out of a selling hurdle at Newton Abbot for £6,000, and Three C’s, who ‘cost five grand and was owned by a syndicate of 10, me and friends’.
The latter gave Boughey his first winner, at Lingfield in August 2019.
The fact Boughey now has 50 horses in his Saffron House Stables, with another 25 housed elsewhere, demonstrates how well he is doing in this results business.
‘My philosophy was people just want winners,’ he says. ‘They want to have horses with people who train winners.
Beautiful Sunshine (above) is part of the Boughey-trained Amo Racing team bound for Ascot
‘I thought if we buy moderate horses and win with them people will notice that and they have.
‘If the horses are fit, healthy and well I am very happy to keep running them.
‘Horse welfare is paramount but it is an entertainment business. People want to go racing, especially at the moment after they have been locked up for so long.
‘We now train for people that I would not have dreamed we would be training for within two years of starting training.’
Those owners include football agent Kia Joorabchian, whose Amo Racing colours, have been a growing presence on British racecourses.
Beautiful Sunshine, a two-time winner heading for Wednesday’s Queen Mary Stakes, and Superior Force, who runs in Windsor Castle Stakes on the same day, are two of the Boughey-trained Amo Racing team bound for the royal meeting.
They will be joined by Albany Stakes-bound Cachet, a debut maiden winner Newmarket in the Highclere Thoroughbred colours.
Kia Joorabchian’s Amo Racing colours have been a growing presence on British racecourses
Oscula, who won the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom’s Derby meeting for Nick Bradley Racing, is another Albany Stakes candidate while Navello, third in the National Stakes at Sandown, goes for Thursday’s Norfolk Stakes.
‘Beautiful Sunshine is very exciting and I can’t fault her work,’ says Boughey. ‘She goes there a 10-1 to 12-1 shot which is about right but I think Cachet is my best chance.
‘She was very impressive on her debut and has been good since. She has been working with Beautiful Sunshine and working as well over five furlongs so she has a hell of a lot of speed.
‘She will also stay the six furlongs up the hill really well and will probably end up being a miler.’
Boughey will be represented at the first day of the meeting in the Ascot Stakes by Hollie Doyle-ridden Lostwithiel, a late-maturing, lightly raced horse he believes will be suited by the step up to the two-and-a-half mile distance.
Oscula won the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom’s Derby meeting and is an Albany Stakes candidate
Boughey’s roots are in jump racing Dorset country – his farmer father owned the stallion Riverwise who sired only six winners but they included 2003 Champion Hurdle winner Rooster Booster.
His foundations in Flat racing were built in a stint with trainer Gai Waterhouse in Australia and during six years as assistant trainer to Hugo Palmer in Newmarket when he was given the responsibility to have confidence to strike out on his own.
The Royal Ascot stage beckons but Boughey remains pragmatic.
‘People say to me you could have a few winners but if we had one there would not be a happier person on planet Earth that day than me,’ he says.