Born in Hove, Sussex, Julia spent most of her childhood on a horse’s back competing at shows across the southern region aboard her pony Merry Marker. Soon the need for speed grew inside of her and she found an outlet for this urge by riding out for Lewes trainer Gordon Smyth as a teenager.
At the age of 18, Julia made the bold move to the home of horseracing – Newmarket – to work for legendary handler Clive Brittain. Despite being one of only a handful of women working in racing in the town at the time, Julia learnt fast and got to work with top-class horses running in the country’s biggest races. As well as this, Julia rode successfully as an amateur jockey, a craft which helped her understand the demands of racing and the importance of jockeyship.
After also working for Patrick Haslam and the British Racing School, the perfect opportunity came along for Julia to fulfil her dream of holding her own training licence, a dream which was realised in 2001.
Winners soon followed as Julia built a reputation for revitalising older horses bought cheaply from other yards.
However, some of her biggest successes have come from two-year olds, most notably Spirit Of Sharjah who won his first two starts before finishing a close third in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. Her talent for keeping horses sweet meant that Spirit Of Sharjah raced on for a number of years, winning a trio of Pattern races and over £130,000 prize money along the way.
Other notable highlights include: Najaaba – the filly who was bought for just £800 but went on to win five consecutive races which saw her crowned Racing Post All-Weather Horse of the Season; King Flyer was a tough-as-teak stayer who won over £100,000 during a memorable career.
Based in Newmarket, Julia has the odd National Hunt runner, but you will find the bulk of her runners on the flat. You will find most of her runners at tracks like Yarmouth and Newmarket in the summer, while during the winter months Julia has plenty of All Weather runners as courses like Southwell, Kempton, Chelmsford and Lingfield.