In May 2020, Simon and Ed Crisford became the first racehorse Trainers in the UK to become joint licence holders. This was a natural progression for the duo, as it was six years previously that Simon was granted his first Trainer’s licence and Ed filled the role as his Assistant.
Simon launched his training operation in October 2014 and Ed came on board having graduated from the Irish National Stud Course as well as spending time with Trainer Eoin Harty in California and the previous four seasons with John Gosden. Simon and Ed’s original base was Calne Stables, a yard, and additional boxes within Carlburg Stables on the Bury Road. They enjoyed a successful opening season from there with 22 winners from 88 runners including their initial Group winner - First Selection winning the Group 3 Solario Stakes.
In January 2017, Simon and Ed moved their fledgling team to Kremlin House Stables before they then eventually settled at Gainsborough Stables on the Hamilton Road in May 2019. This last move preceded them becoming joint licence holders and the duo hit the ground running when Century Dream won the Group 3 Diomed Stakes before going on to Group 2 glory in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood in August. The season was far from over when there was further success at the same level when four-time Group 2 winner A’Ali won the Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh later in the summer.
The fillies began to leave their stamp on Gainsborough Thoroughbreds with three of the highest rated two-year-old fillies in Europe in 2021 basing themselves at Gainsborough Stables - Flotus, Fast Attack and Daneh.
Flotus, in particular, soon became synonymous with Gainsborough Thoroughbreds when breaking her maiden at Goodwood in May 2021 by almost five lengths, before going on to take the Listed Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy. It was the third time in four years that the Crisfords had won this race.
Flotus followed on from this victory to finish a strong second in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket and signed off her two-year-old campaign as the second highest rated two-year-old filly in the UK. She subsequently sold for one million Guineas at Tattersalls December Sales to Mr Katsumi Yoshida. Flotus recorded her first Group victory for her new owner in the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival, on the same weekend that Without a Fight won the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes.
Simon and Ed recorded a 1-2 in the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood when Jadoomi was challenged for top spot by stablemate Finest Sound. This was the second occasion the training duo have won this race and in just over two years training as a partnership, Simon and Ed have sent out more than 180 domestic and international winners.
Gainsborough Stables as a yard has all the modern specification facilities such as an equine swimming pool, spa, treadmill, and sea walker as well as an indoor school and spacious outdoor trotting rings. The 100-box yard is situated on the Racecourse Side of Newmarket Heath which comprises 2,500 acres of maintained training grounds including fifty miles of turf gallops and fourteen miles of artificial tracks.
The Gainsborough team also have a satellite yard, Millennium Stables, at Dubai’s Meydan racecourse from where they send out a team of runners during the Dubai World Cup Carnival every year. In 2022 Algiers won the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile, and both Finest Sound and Without a Fight finished very creditable seconds in their respective Group races on Super Saturday. Algiers further impressed in 2023 when winning both rounds of the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge before finishing second in the G1 Dubai World Cup.