Chris Wall’s grounding in racing came under the guidance of Barry Hills whose love of order and fondness for control earned him a reputation as something of a martinet. This was followed by spells as an assistant to both and Sir Mark Prescott and Luca Cumani.
Although as a trainer Chris has an appropriately modern and more collegiate approach to staffing matters than his initial mentor, he came to learn and indeed imbibe many important lessons from these three formative influences and, in particular, the importance of placing horses. The essentials of this art elude some trainers for almost the entirety of their careers. This is emphatically not true of Chris who has prospered from his Induna Stables on Newmarket’s Fordham Road in the near quarter of a century that he has been based there. A brief illustration of his ability to place and improve horses can be gleaned by reference to three horses in particular.
Donna Viola was acquired as a yearling in for in December 1993 for 4600 guineas. She won her first handicap as a two year old from a mark of 72 and ended up at the age of four winning Santa Anita’s Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes before going on to further success when being by US based Ben Cecil.
Chris trained Missed Flight for a keen and hands on European owner to win his maiden and progress through handicaps to win Newbury’s prestigious Spring Mile and ultimately the Group 2 Sandown Mile beating Ridgewood Ben. Premio Loco is of more recent vintage and was a tough durable consistent performer on both all weather surfaces and on turf. He won in every season from 2007 to 2013 inclusive and showed top form up to the age of ten rising from a maiden success and an initial handicap victory from a mark of 83 to five Group 2 in the UK and in Europe.
An ability to place horses well, an aptitude for improving modestly priced horses of unfashionable pedigree and a knack of allowing them to thrive for a number of seasons have been the hallmarks of Chris’s career to date and further notable success surely lies ahead.