If nice guys are supposed to finish last then somebody forgot to tell Tim Vaughan, whose talents as a trainer come second only to his friendliness and convivial nature as a person.
A former champion Welsh point-to-point rider and trainer chartered surveyor, Vaughan became the youngest trainer to saddle 100 winners in a season when breaking through the three-figure barrier in the 2011-12 season.
However, last year was a turning point for Vaughan. Previously a trainer who had used his ability to purchase cheap horses from others and get them to win, Vaughan made the decision five years ago to put his efforts into improving the quality of horses in his yard, buying up young, untested horses in the hope they could develop into higher-class competitors.
Such a policy requires time and patience, luckily, Vaughan has plenty of the latter and his skills in being able to get anything to win allowed him the time to get to where he wanted to be in 2016-17 when the project began to bear fruit in no uncertain terms.
As such, Vaughan enjoyed his best season since 2012-13 with 71 winners on the board and nearly £500,000 in prize-money banked in the process. And it would be fair to say the trainer is hoping for even greater success during 2017-18.
Vaughan has tasted big-race success in the past, winning a Coral Scottish Grand National in 2011 with Beshabar and a brace of Grade 1s with Spirit Of Adjisa and Saint Are. In the form of Theligny, Dadsintrouble and Debece the trainer will be aiming for more big successes this season.
Alongside him in that mission will be stable jockey Alan Johns, whose career has skyrocketed since Vaughan trusted the young jockey to take the lion’s share of the yard’s rides.
Johns rode 45 winners last season, all of which came for Vaughan. The rider improved considerably in technique and confidence during 2016-17 and is sure to be an asset to the stable once again this season.
Vaughan’s eye for a jockey and for a horse looks sure to stand him in good stead in the seasons to come. Having trained winners in all shapes and sizes and at all levels, Vaughan is infinitely well prepared for whatever the 2017-18 season has in store for him and his owners.
In Tim Vaughan, the Coral Champions Club are aligned to a trainer who not only has fierce ambition and great skills when it comes to winning races, but also a handler who is considerate and understanding with his owners and terrific company as well.