Malcolm Jeferson: A Brilliant Trainer

Malcolm Jefferson RIP

By Samantha (9/2/18)

RIP Malcolm Jefferson

Last week, the racing world was shook by the tragic news that top northern jumps trainer Malcolm Jefferson passed away after a long illness aged 71. He was a successful dual-purpose trainer but is mainly associated with the National Hunt circle.

Tributes were paid on twitter after the news emerged. Recently retired flat jockey George Challoner described him as ‘the greatest man I’ve ever met’ and Fergal O’Brien Racing and Paul Nicholls expressed their sadness by saying he was a ‘first class trainer’ and ‘a true gentleman’.


Born in Penrith, Cumbria, on December 1st 1946, his full name is Joseph Malcolm Jefferson and his first job in racing when he worked at Gordon Richards’ yard alongside Jonjo O’Neil. That was where he learnt to ride. He worked as assistant trainer there from 1968 to 1981. After that, he went out on his own and started training at Newstead Cottage Stables, Norton. His first winner came in the September of 1981 in the form of Mark Edelson in a bumper at Perth. Almost a year later, he sent out his first flat winner, Dick ‘E’ Bear, at Haydock Park. His best season training was in the 2016/17 season, winning forty races.

Big Winners

Malcolm’s first Cheltenham Festival winner came in the form of Tindari, who won the 1994 Gold Card Hurdle Final. The following year, Dato Star, arguably his best horse, won the Wetherby’s Champion Bumper at the Festival earning Malcolm his first Grade One victory. That horse developed into one of the best hurdlers at that time, winning the Christmas Hurdle, Fighting Fifth twice and the Haydock Champion Hurdle Trial twice. In 2012, Malcolm achieved an incredible feat of winning two races at the Cheltenham Festival with Attaglance in the Martin Pipe and Cape Tribulation in the Pertemps Hurdle Final. Those two then went on to do the Cheltenham-Aintree double by winning races at the Aintree Grand National meeting. Malcolm didn’t just find his niche in training jumpers but flat horses too. In 1983, High Debate won the Zetland Stakes and, four years later, Tancred Sand won the Bogside Cup and followed that up the next year.

MJ Dato Star
Dato Star was a superb hurdler and the best Malcolm ever trained.


The future

Malcolm’s daughter Ruth has taken over the licence and has some nice horses for the future in the stable, specifically Waiting Patiently. The gelding by Flemensfirth is currently unbeaten over chase fences and beat a classy field last time out containing Smad Place and Josses Hill. The target now seems to be the Cheltenham Festival and he has an entry in the Ryanair and Champion Chase. Another Cheltenham contender from Newstead is Black Ivory. He won the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Haydock well and looks to have a good shot in the final.

So Malcolm Jefferson has gone but his talent and love for the game lives on in the form of Waiting Patiently, whose name sums up his trainer’s career.

MJ Reading
Malcolm Jefferson (in the flat cap) studies the racecard at Redcar in 1982.

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