The former lives of some of Britain’s racehorse trainers would undoubtedly qualify as film-script material, but Conrad Allen must be the only one to have already served his time in front of the cameras. Anyone hooked on TV ads during the Sixties would have seen Allen eating Rice Krispies, scoffing Smarties and Jaffa Cakes, having his blond locks shampooed with Vosene and rolling around in the mud in order to be hosed down with Persil.
As the son of an actor, his stint as a cute tiny-tot star was perhaps inevitable, but, despite a small part in the movie Smashing Time he did not progress to the silver screen, opting instead to join a London bank, Williams and Glyn. It was thanks to the manager there that he switched to a career in racing. “I had been learning to ride at a school in Enfield and I was keen on racing [his grandfather had been a White City bookmaker] and he suggested that as I was the right size, I might make it as a jockey.”
A career in the saddle brought four winners from 60 rides, but his time as a trainer has been markedly more successful.
Conrad joined the training ranks in 1987. Since then, he has consistently turned-out winners for his owners. Although he has not enjoyed the patronage of the bigger stables, he has already produced many top-class horses that have won races on EVERY Group 1 track in the UK. His stable punches well above its weight and he is well known for getting the best from his horses.