Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Quickfire Questions….

We hope you will enjoy our new series of ‘Getting to know’ our team more closely…starting with the boys, and first up we have Phil & Tommy who are probably a little nervous of what I might ad in here that is EXTRA to their interview….


Favourite Film The Green Mile 

Favourite Song The Gambler 

Favourite all time TV ShowPrison Break

Best Racing ProgrammeLuck on Sunday Other Sport you like Like watching? – Boxing, football, snooker, and if I am really trying to annoy Pippa, Darts

Favourite drinkBeer but champagne after a winner! 

Best dinner – Steak n chips, onion rings

Best subject at school : PE

Favourite Sweets – coltsfoot rock

Favourite  Restaurant – Currently ‘The Heifer’ at Scorton, can’t wait to go back! (does this mean he is sick of my cooking 🤣)

ketchup or brown sauce?  Brown Sauce

Macdonalds or KFCKFC

Current Car Volkswagen Amarok

Dream car – Bentley Bacalar…

Winter or summer?Summer, I like being warm

Pet Hate People being late

Flat or jumps? no preference , I am happy training a good horse for either 

Favourite sales venue Goffs UK at Doncaster 

Horse I would have liked to train the most on the flat Frankel on the flat,  Sprinter Sacre over jumps

Cheltenham or Aintree as a track to have runners?   Aintree

Most memorable Winner – Amazing King at Yarmouth, a small race but a career changing moment, he won at 6-1

Amazing King in retirement at Green Oaks

 Most exciting WinnerLady Buttons in the Mares Chase at Doncaster last season beating La Bague au Roi & Happy Diva

Photo by Nigel Kirby

Most disappointing 2nd  Lady Buttons at Aintree when beaten in a photo in the Mares Bumper Final

Most frustrating horse not to reach full potentialPlatinum, one brilliant year but he broke down in the Cesarawitch and we couldn’t get him back to race

Biggest relief Winner Danehill Sundance at Hereford. He had fallen at Sedgefield when well backed by his Owner. It was a recovery mission and he only just did it. 

Best night out after a winner Pennine Cross, a top night out in Bedale

Best night out after a loser Rayna’s World after her 3rd at 100-1 at Cheltenham

Most surprising winner – Andorn at Sedgefield over hurdles. Although very talented he hadn’t been back in work that long and we thought he would need the run….

Biggest priced Winner 80-1 Man of Verve took us all a bit by surprise

One to watch for the next jumps season  Show Promise, only 1 run over hurdles but a ready winner despite novice jumping

Best value Horses bought at auction:

Hard to split on the flat, Stargazer (£8000) rated 104, Platinum (£2000) went to 95 and December Second (£7000) now 92 and won 2 bumpers

Over Jumps – Nautical Nitwit (£6000 at Ascot) won the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle & Golden Jess (claimed for £6000) Won the Class 2 Cartmel Crystal Trophy 

Family and pets…

yes he does like the dogs really…

Fav holiday destinationWe’ve had some top family holidays in Portinatx, Ibiza 🏖

Fascinating fact we don’t know about   We got married at Gretna Green and only told my brother & his partner, telling our Parents afterwards. It was some surprise!

Favourite kids ponyBrandy 

Best dog ever Bindy

 Best CatIt has to be Top Cat 

And now the section I asked his Mum…

Did Phil show any early business skills: Yes, as well as walking the Greyhounds at home he had a paper round when he was at Junior school. Once he was a teenager he used to buy and sell all sorts, mainly from auctions. The selling didn’t always go to well though,  Pam telling me about several boxes of pens that had no ink in them…..and a One Arm bandit with no key that he couldn’t get into to operate…

This progressed to a flock of sheep that broke out and resulted in a lot of searching by the family. Most were recovered and sold…but some lucky ones got away!

The final straw was buying 3 bullocks which he left with his Mum and Dad when he moved to Ferdy Murphy’s. Pam tells me they escaped too, several times…🤦‍♀️

I am dubiously happy to report that Phil has kept up these buying and selling habits, a favourite of his being the online auction ‘The Saleroom’ .  There is rather more buying that selling going on though as he doesn’t seem to have managed to work Ebay selling yet.

Annoying Habits: I feel I am best qualified to report on these. There are 3 that stand out…

A caveman in the house and NEVER cooks or washes up 😳

Secondly he always thinks he is right (he will proudly confess to this) 

And lastly putting the phone down quickly while you are still talking to him, it drives me crazy 🤯

A hidden talent :

Dog agility?

Another: Phil hides his rare showing involvement quite well but amongst some brief but notable moments over the years he led up our homebred Coloured Colt at The Great Yorkshire Show last summer  and took the Championship. Getting in the old Jacket beforehand tho proved tricky ( we bought a new one) but Phil has since lost 2 stone! 



Favourite  dinner Sunday roast

Favourite  drink – coffee first thing on a morning

Favourite filmLegend

Favourite Sweets – not into sweets but like a Twix

Favourite tv programmenone!
Ketchup or Brown Sauce? ketchup
Cheltenham or Aintree? Cheltenham

Best subject at school PE
The Cheltenham Gold Cup or the NationalThe National

A fascinating fact we don’t know ? None I’m open about them all 🤣
Favourite holiday destination Ibiza
Dream holiday destination travelling around Thailand

Curent CarVolkwagon Amorak
Dream car no interest in a fancy car, Mercedes pick up

First race ride (points)  – Jumpin Johnie – Tommy in the blue

First Licensed ride – ‘Snooker’ at Kelso

Favourite racecourse to ride roundHexham

Little Bruce winning at Hexham

Most satisfying Winnervery hard choice… Little Bruce in the Cambridgeshire National  Huntingdon

Biggest relief winnerLady Buttons in the Grade 2 Doncaster Mares Hurdle

Most frustrating loserTop Ville Ben  – Rehearsal chase 

Worst habit too many to list he says… (we’ll ask his Mum that question at the end of the section)
Hidden talentyou’ll have to make one up 🤣…His Mum tells me he is a very good speller and organised with money

What profession would you want to do if not a jockey?  Joiner/Electrician/Plumber/Farrier…

Biggest priced Winner Desaray Girl in the Listed Hurdle at Haydock-  66’s the morning she won

Dark Horse to follow – Lord Buttons

Bad Habit….His Mum says taking mugs and leaving them all in his car, and also that he is very messy.

Good Points..She says although he appears tough he is an animal lover & loves his dogs.Judging by this photo he also won a fair bit in the show ring prior to being a jockey…

Yard Joker

 Tommy will confess he loves to wind people up. I am just one of many who have been taken in by his prank phone calls, but there has been many and not only that, he likes to quietly take your phone and text something incriminating if he can! 

Her also enjoys winding up his long suffering Mum, Traceyshe gets the chance to get her own back now…

Childhood talent: (Rather like Phil, it sounds as though Tommy was very much into buying and selling)

His Mother’s words…‘Tommy was always ‘money driven’ . He used to  sell eggs to ladies in OAP bungalows who always gave him more money because he smiled nicely at them and was polite! At Secondary school he ran a tuck shop from his bag, selling cans of pop he bought in multipacks and sold them singly for a profit. He then bought 2 Shetland ponies for £250 and doubled his money. He used to iron his money!

When I asked Tommy about this he added that he used to keep his Ironed money in a briefcase 😆


Clearly Phil & Tommy have a fair few things in common in their childhood….

We’ll see how Simon and Victor fair in their questions and if we can get some beans spilled on their childhood exploits or embarrassing moments too…We can also look forward to Joe and Nick’s fact file in the coming days

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