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Fax: +44 (0)1638 668107
The Mark Tompkins success story began more than a thousand winners ago. He won his first Group race very early in his career and has maintained this standard ever since. With horses bought from a variety of budgets, his top class winners have been over all distances, ranging from the six-furlong Duke of York Group 2 to the two-mile plus Yorkshire Cup Group 2. He is brilliant at getting the best out of every horse and puts his heart and soul into finding the right opportunities for them to perform at their peak. His handling of his Classic-winning St Leger Group 1 horse, Bob's Return, is a perfect example of this.
Mark is chairman of the Newmarket Trainers' Federation and has been since 1997, he is on the trainers' committee of the British Racing School and he is a trustee of the Racing Centre. He is highly repected for his common sense and passion for all racing matters.Mark 's trains at Franklands Lodge. A modern well built yard which has great facilities including two turn out paddocks, a boarded lunge ring and a horsewalker.
Mark attracts owners who love the individual attention and the friendliness of this family-run yard. Mark has always prided himself on being very open and approachable. He believes that racing is a great sport which must be fun and enjoyable for owners, but equally that his role is to run a very professional yard. It's a seven-day-a-week obsession with 5.30 starts and the day doesn't end until after evening stables when every horse gets checked over. His car clocks up 40,000 plus miles a year going to race meetings, and his two horse-boxes are constantly on the go in this country and travel abroad when required.
Mark has always displayed great astuteness in the sales ring and many of his purchases have gone on to win their purchase price more than 10 times over in prize-money. He is highly respected in the business for his "eye" when buying horses and his success has led to recognition and reward. It doesn't have to break the bank to buy a horse to have in training with Mark. He is extremely aware of buying value for money which is essential in these times. So whether you are a single owner or thinking of joining one of Mark's very successful syndicates, you can rest assured there will be no stone left unturned in finding you the right one.
Mark at Tattersalls
Mark's big race successes have included the following, and many were purchased for very reasonable sums:
Bob's Return (Bought for £14,500 by Mark for one of his owners to give his wife as a wedding present, and went on to win prize-money approaching half-a-million): Won St. Leger (G1), Great Voltigeur (G2), Lingfield Derby Trial (G3), Zetland Stakes (L); second in the Eclipse (G1) and the Hardwicke Stakes (G2); fourth in the Prix Ganay (G1).
Bob after winning the St. Leger
Even Top: Beaten a short head in the 2,000 Guineas (G1); won the Tattersalls Stakes (L) and Strenshall Stakes (L); second in the Racing Post Trophy (G1) and Winter Hill Stakes (G3); third in the Lockinge (G1) and Scottish Classic (G3); fourth in the Champion Stakes (G1) and Prince of Wales Stakes (G2).
Cool Edge (Bought by Mark for £750 and earned £100,000 prize-money): Won Gladness Stakes (G3) and the Spring Trophy; placed in seven other Group and Listed races.
Ted Spread (Home-bred): Won Chester Vase (G3); fourth in the Great Voltigeur (G2).
Ted Spread wins the Chester Vase
Brushing (Home-bred): Won the Galtres Stakes (L) and the Cumberland Plate.
Brushing an impressive winner of the Galtres
Astrocharm (Bought by Mark for under £10,000): Won Lily Langtry Stakes (G3), had six other career succcesses and was placed 21 times including five Group or Listed races.
Babodana (Bought by Mark for £15,000 and landed more than £220,000 prize-money): Won the Ben Marshal Stakes (L), the Lincoln; second in Betfred Mile (G2), Ben Marshal Stakes, Midsummer Stakes (L), Hambleton Stakes (L); third in Betfred Mile, Badener Muile (G3), Darley Stakes (G3), the Lincoln; also placed in 11 other Group and Listed races.
Babodana wins the Lincon
Topatoo (Home-bred): Won Middleton Stakes (G3); second in Dahlia Stakes (G3); fourth in Gala Stakes (L).
Steenberg (Bought by Mark for 12,000 gns. and earned over £220,000 prize-money): Won Duke of York Stakes (G2) and Wentworth Stakes (L); second in Duke of York twice, Gladness Stakes (G3) twice, Jersey Stakes (G3); third Prix de Ris-Orange (G3); fourth Sprint Cup (G1) and placed in three other Group or Listed races.
Smokey Oakey (Bought by Mark): Won Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3) and Lincoln Handicap. Still in training.
Franklins Gardens (Bought by Mark and winner of more than £200,000 prize-money): Won Yorkshire Cup (G2) and Lingfield Derby Trial (G3); second in Lonsdale Cup (G2), Jockey Club (G2), Sagaro Stakes (G3); fourth in two other G3 races.
Franklins Gardens wins the Yorkshire Cup
Volata: Won Chipchase Stakes (G3) and Weatherbys Stud Book Stakes (L). Sold to Hong Kong, renamed Firebolt and became champion sprinter there.
Halkopous: Won Magnet Cup, Bula Hurdle (Grade 2), Yorkshire Hurdle (G2); placed in five other Grade 1 or 2 races including Champion Hurdle.
Staunch Friend: Won Bula hurdle(G2), Scottish Champion Hurdle (G2), Punchestown Champion Hurdle (L); second in two other G2 races.
"I try to bring out the best in every one of my horses." Mark feels that, "in some ways I am just like a school teacher, who has to place them in races so they can fulfil their potential. To win or be placed in Group and Listed company, like many of these horses named above, they have a natural talent but they also have heart, that strength to battle and the will to win. They can't all be stars but whatever level a horse competes at they all have to want to achieve. My owners and I have had some tremendous days and I hope to have many more for them in the years ahead."
He has a natural affinity with horses and watches his charges very carefully. He knows the individuals so well that he can quickly recognise if there are any changes in their demeanour, their physical well-being or their work.
He has excellent, experienced and highly efficient staff who are vital to the success of the yard. The team works hard and cheerfully, and above all they love the horses.
Mark is a great thinker and carefully plans each of his horses' campaigns. He studiously watches the various stages of their development, assesses what their future achievements are likely to be to, and so brings the best out of every one of them. His aim is to maximise their potential.
Mark's success with homebreds, particularly in more recent years, has come through horses bred at the beautiful Dullingham Park Stud, run principally by his wife, Angie, with the support of the Guvnor himself and a dedicated staff. The stud has gone from strength to strength, producing the winners of Group and Listed races and other horses who have recorded multiple wins through their careers.
"Newmarket is unique," says Mark. "It has everything and there is simply no finer place to train horses. Indeed all the facilities at racing's HQ are unrivalled. Apart from the miles of manicured grass gallops and all-weather surfaces, we have the best equine vets in the world here, along with highly respected farriers, the world's leading sales company, Tattersalls, and all the other ancillary racing industries that you can think of." Mark loves to be out with his string on Newmarket Heath every morning all year round, rain or shine, supervising his horses. His knowledge of the hundreds of acres of gallops and all-weather canters available to trainers in Newmarket is second to none and allows him to make optimum use of them all. He is completely dedicated to his work and each individual animal is important to him.
Mark recognises that he could not have a better group of owners. "I am very fortunate to have such great people to train for," he says. "They are knowledgeable, patient when they have to be, and we have all enjoyed some tremendous days together." (One such was the day of his famous treble at Ascot's Festival of Racing.) "We shall have many more moments to cherish in the years ahead, and I am so grateful for the support my owners give me."
Mark is always very welcoming to owners who visit the yard and the stud. He wants them to understand how the horses are progressing and be involved in the planning of their careers. His positive thinking and cheerfulness are infectious, but the serious work and concentration on his racehorses are paramount to him. Mark will always try to make owning a racehorse a fun and enjoyable experience for you and your family.
It is worth noting that Mark always does his utmost to guarantee a happy retirement for the horses he has trained when their racing days are over. Some go on to a career in the show ring where one or two have been highly successful, others take up eventing, show jumping, or dressage, and some are just happy as riding horses. It is a measure of Mark's care for the horses he handles that they will always be well looked after while they are in training and beyond. Some of these horses are shown on the "Where are they now" page on this site.
Mark out with his horses at Newmarket