Hugo was granted a licence to train in 2011. Starting out with just 11 inexpensive horses that he syndicated, the yard has seen a steady stream of success in a short period of time. Making Eyes provided the highlight of 2012 by becoming the stable’s first stakes winner winning the listed Prix Jaques de Bremond in France. Each of Hugo’s four seasons has brought more success that the last, and in 2013 the team tasted their first success at big festival meetings when Ascription (now owned by us!) won at Glorious Goodwood, and Short Sqeeze won at York’s Ebor Meeting. Making Eyes then added a second listed win at Newcastle, and then the team scored a double on Doncaster’s St Leger Day to make it a special year.
The total prize money won has more than doubled each year. 2014 saw a significant advance when Aktabantay won the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown. This was the first Group winner for the team, and they did not have to wait long for the second - just five days later New Providence won the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury.
2015 broke new ground for the yard. Covert Love was the stable star, winning five times - twice at the highest level. Victorious in the Irish Oaks, the stable's first Classic, and the Prix de l'Opera; one of the highest rated fillies in the world. Her supporting cast included Group 2 winner Galileo Gold, Group 3 winners New Providence, Hawksmoor and Gifted Master and Listed winner Home Of The Brave. Together, their exploits saw the stable break the £1m in UK prize money barrier for the first time.
An admirable strike rate, particularly with two year olds, and these high profile winners have led to Hugo being regarded as one of the country’s most promising young trainers. A significant proportion of the horses in the string are still owned by syndicates, and there are options to suit all pockets, however added to them there are now horses owned by some of the world’s leading owners.
Kremlin Cottage Stables were built in the 19th century as a stud for Prince Soltykoff who lived at his house called The Kremlin near the Severals trotting rings in the heart of Newmarket. Nearly 150 years later the original stables have been immaculately restored and the stabling has been extended to accommodate a very modern training yard.
Here's an insight from Hugo, in conversation with Oli Bell, at the 2020 Virtual Henry Cecil Newmarket Open Weekend: