IN A COUNTY known for its jump jockeys and trainers one stable is aiming for the peak of the flat racing calendar.

Ed De Giles started his racing career with two years as assistant trainer to Nick Gaselee in Lambourn, winning the Grand National with Party Politics in 1992.

To fund his passion for horse racing De Giles worked in investment banking in London before changing his career and moving his family to Herefordshire after seeing the potential of Lilly Hurst Farm near Ledbury.

Starting in 2011 with 12 horses for both flat and jump racing he won 12 races in his opening season.

Now in his 8th flat racing season De Giles trains 35 horses and has claimed 150 winners to date, of which 143 winners were on the flat and eight were over jumps- claiming over £1m in prize money.

De Giles has also invested in the Little Marcle yard which includes private gallops made from an artificial surface, a circular gallop for different drills, a swimming pool to aid his horses recovery and a high speed treadmill.

"We had some facilities and have adjusted them accordingly," said De Giles.

"It's not far from the M5 so the location is very good but I am a flat trainer in jumping country. We now need to progress and have been going the right way and last year was respectable. It has been an investment but I've always wanted to do this and it's a way of life.

"I do set myself goals but that depends on what horses you have got and whether they are fully handicapped or not. I would love to have runners at Royal Ascot."

Bombero took the yard's first victory of the season 2018 season when the four-year-old ridden by Callum Shepherd took victory at Chepstow last month.

It was the second win of the horse's career but his first run over the one mile and four furlongs distance.

"I'm chuffed as he has been running over one mile and one mile and three furlongs at Kempton but he will run further. He won by five lengths so will now take a hammering by the handicapper and where we go with him I don't know," added De Giles.

"Bombero has ran four times this year and has finished in the top four on each occasion.

"We also have a nice horse in Sexy Beast who can only improve in time and we have a few other horses looking like potential winners. We train each horse slightly differently as every horse I have can go five furlongs or two miles.

"Every horse is different, some want soft ground if they have a daisy cutting low action and their legs don't come up high so want fast ground. Those that want soft ground have a higher knee action. Bombero wants it good or softer ground."