Death of Jodami’s Yorkshire trainer Peter Beaumont

PETER Beaumont, the last Yorkshire trainer to saddle the winner of the blue riband Cheltenham Gold Cup, has died. He was 85.

Winning partnership: Yorkshire trainer Peter Beaumont with Gold Cup winner Jodami. Picture: Johnston Press.

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One of the great gentlemen of racing, Jodami powered to victory in 1993 under Mark Dwyer.

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Jodami – the horse that Beaumont likened to a “prize fighter” – came agonisingly close to defending his title the following year before being narrowly denied by The Fellow.

Popular: Peter Beaumont was the last Yorkshire trainer to win the Gold Cup.

A horse who also won three successive Irish Gold Cups, what made Jodami so special was that Beaumont was a farmer at heart who was steeped in point-to-point racing – the grassroots of the sport.

He had to be persuaded to take out a training licence at his Brandsby farm near Easingwold and was able to win such illustrious races – Young Kenny won a Scottish Grand National and Hussard Collenges won a RSA Chase at Cheltenham for the Bannister family – with just a handful of select horses that he purchased astutely and with a knowing eye for a staying steeplechaser.

While it is a decade since he relinquished the training reins, his proudest moment on a racecourse had, in fact, come in 1991 when J-J Henry won the Topham Chase over Aintree’s unique Grand National fences.

The horse was ridden by Beaumont’s daughter, Anthea Farrell – now Morshead – who was becoming the first female jockey to ride a horse to victory over the National course. Now the respected clerk of the course at Kelso and Cartmel, as well as racing manager at York, she was at her father’s bedside at when he passed away peacefully in his sleep at Springhill Court, Easingwold, on Monday morning.

Beaumont, who is also survived by his son Stuart and grandson Henry, spoke about Jodami in an interview with The Yorkshire Post two years ago to mark the 25th anniversary of his Gold Cup win.

The trainer and his daughter had found themselves at the Army Barracks on the Curragh examining the strapping steeplechaser in the making with breeder Eamon Phelan and his brother Pat. “I knew Pat Phelan and I knew his brother Eamon, who became stallion manager at Coolmore,” recalled Beaumont.

“The day we went to look at him there was no one there. We got him out, walked him up and trotted him up. That was enough. I know one very good trainer had seen him and turned him down, but we were confident of a good run.”

Morshead’s memories are more vivid. “Pat said ‘just have a look at this young horse’,” she said. “He was stood in his manger with the food overflowing and munching his way through it.

“Dad just liked him and his qualities. He was going to be an old-fashioned chaser, but he had a very good pedigree. When dad got him, he rang all his owners and said ‘I’ve got this young horse, never raced, but I really like it’. John Yeadon was the third or fourth owner that he rang. ‘If you like him as much as that, go get him’. Thankfully, the rest is history.”

It was Yeadon, a Kirkby Overblow pig farmer, who came up with the horse’s distinctive name Jodami, which is, in fact, derived from the first two letters of his Christian name and those of his sons David and Michael.

Yet, even though good luck messages lined the streets when Beaumont and his late wife Margaret left the Wolds to drive Jodami to Cheltenham, the burden of near-favouritsm was not a heavy one. “The whole day was remarkable,” he told The Yorkshire Post. “We expected him to go well, but I would never say that we expected to win. I wouldn’t say I was confident, but we were confident of a very good run.”

In her own tribute on Facebook, Morshead desribed her father as “the kindest of men”, She added: “He was a wonderful father to my brother Stuart and I, and a fantastic grandfather to Henry.

“He gathered friends everywhere he went, and had time for everyone. A true stockman and horseman, he extended that kindness and patience to the horses in his care, which paid dividends throughout his career. He leaves a massive hole in our lives, and will be sorely missed.”

Among the first to pay tribute was 2013 Grand National-winning trainer Sue Smith who said: “He was always a grand old fella – a proper gentleman. He worked hard and was lucky enough to get horses to run and win at Cheltenham – and he did a great job with them.”