Ralph started as a stable lad in 1990 for Jimmy Fitzgerald and stayed there for two seasons. Jimmy was a task master, but a great trainer of horses and people. Horses such as Forgive and Forget, Sybillin, Uncle Ernie, Sapience and Trainglot. People such as Kieran Fallon, Mark Dwyer, JJ Quinn, Richard Fahey,Mikael Delzangles, Brian Ellison and Ger Lyons.
Ralph then spent two and a half years as Head Man to Arthur Moore in Ireland. Arthur was champion trainer at the time with horses such as Soft Day, Klairon Davis, Second Schedual in their prime. He then had a short spell with Martin Pipe, before landing the job of assistant trainer to Peter Walwyn in 1996. He was in that role for three and a half years, at which point Peter retired, handed over the license to Ralph in 2000, and rented him his yard at Windsor House in the centre of Lambourn.
Ralph trained 105 winners there, including 'Penkenna Princess' winner of the Group 3 Fred Darling and 2nd in the Irish 1000 Guineas, and 'Come On Jonny' winner of the November Handicap. In late 2005 Chris Harper invited him to move to his estate at Whitsbury, as David Elsworth was moving to Newmarket. Ralph enjoyed tremendous success at Whitsbury including Look Here winning the 2008 Epsom Oaks, and Muhannak travelling to America where he won the Breeders Cup Marathon under Pat Smullen.
In late 2010 Ralph moved out of Whistbury and moved to Kimpton Down Stables. During our first year here we made a number of improvements including topping up the 5 furlong woodchip gallop with a new surface and renovations to the turf gallops.
The 2012 season gone by was our second best ever in terms of winners,and our highest number of two year old winners. The horses ran well throughout because they stayed healthy and the gallops stood up to the wettest year on record. It was confirmation that buying Kimpton Down was the best business decision we've ever done. At Kimpton Down we have 3 all-weather gallops:
- Synthetic Gallop - When the yard was built in 2002 Toby Balding and Jonathan Geake put on a 3 furlong oval with a 2.5 furlong uphill spur. We use this gallop infrequently, but it is a useful addition to the main gallops.
- In the 1970’s Toby Balding installed a 9 furlong woodchip gallop. This was the mainstay of his facilities and we still use it, mainly for steady work.
- Hedge Gallop - This had been a synthetic gallop in the early 90’s. However there had been a drainage problem so it was taken up. When we moved we redid the drainage and relaid it with a woodchip surface. It is 5 furlongs, and rises gradually.