"I'm Tom Dascombe and my mission is to make Manor House Stables the most successful flat training yard in the country. I believe that our fresh and innovative approach, the abilities and experience of our staff and jockeys, together with the investment from my partners, Michael Owen and Andrew Black, will enable this vision to be realised.
I seek to provide a really top-class service to my owners but also believe that ownership should be as enjoyable and memorable as possible That's why it really pleases me that there has been such a great atmosphere around the Yard again this year. It is fantastic that we have had so many visits from owners, their friends and families and we really enjoy showing off the excellent facilities Manor House Stables has to offer. I know from all the comments that owners appreciate the hard work of the team here and that owners value discussing their horses with the work riders. We work hard to ensure that owners are kept fully up to date with all the latest news and I am very proud of our excellent website and whilst I am pleased to celebrate the successes of this year I am working hard to ensure that next our improvement continues apace.”
Born in 1973 in Bristol, Tom first got his passion for horse racing at an early age watching the ITV Seven with his Grandfather and Dad, (Bill). On Saturdays all three would go to the local tracks, Bath, Chepstow, Cheltenham and Salisbury and watch Steve Cauthen push home another winner, or John Francome conjure another great leap out of a Fred Winter favourite.
Having started riding ponies at three years old, Tom's first 'job' in racing was with Henry Candy in Lambourn, just down the road from his ONEWAY base 17 years later. It was only for the summer before one more year at school. It was here that Tom realised he was not going to be a flat jockey. At 15 he was far bigger and heavier than the older lads.
After leaving school it was off to the Champion himself, Martin Pipe. And what an introduction to racing: a professional well-managed business in an otherwise amateur industry. Martin was ten years ahead of his competitors. Tom thinks he learnt more in his first five years there than he would have done in 15 years anywhere else. Martin was quite simply a genius. When people thought things could not be done he proved them wrong time and time again.
Tom says "The thing I learned from Martin above all else was to listen to everyone but always make up my own mind."
10 years of race riding resulted in 96 winners, a ride in the Grand National and no broken bones, so it was time to move on. Having spent three years as assistant trainer to Ralph Beckett and time track riding at Churchill Downs, Tom got a job in Florida breaking in yearlings. Just two riders broke in 80 yearlings in two months; it was hard work but very rewarding.
Tom says "The American way is much faster and in my opinion, just as good. You just get on them!"
On returning to England Tom took two horses to Dubai for Ralph Beckett and that is where he met Mike De Kock, a truly brilliant trainer who again taught Tom a lot. Mike works his horses hard and feeds them well but his main skill is his ability to spot unsoundness in a horse and treat it before it becomes a long-term problem. Tom spent two years with Mike in Dubai, South Africa and England and it was two of the best years of his life.