James Bethell is playing a different role in the Moss Gill (IRE) story these days as the No Nay Never gelding is now in the care of Edward Bethell, who inherited him after his father decided to call time on his 46-year career.
James formally retired on January 1, having worked to sharpen Moss Gill’s skills over the last few years to turn him into the impressive sprinter who finished third behind the brilliant Battaash in the Gr.1Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August.
The 69YO is back to overseeing Moss Gill’s progress as Edward’s ‘unofficial’ assistant in Dubai and is expected to give the leg-up to Daniel Tudhope, who will ride him in the US $1m Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi.
Ironically, Moss Gill’s appearance in the 1200m dash will be James’s second ever runner in a Gr.1after the aforementioned Nunthorpe. Can you imagine what it would be for him to win? What a swansong that would be. Again, only if you can call it a swansong.
James will be as anxious as Edward when Moss Gill lines up in the field of 13. He might have quit the role, but you can tell he hasn’t left the job.
"I used to get up and feed the horses at half past five every morning before I retired," said James, who has a pair of Gr.3 level wins to show on his resume.
Those were achieved by Rich Ground in the 1996 July Stakes at Newmarket and Strawberry Dale, who won the Middleton Stakes at York. Both events have since been granted Gr.2 status.
James added: "I miss it! I don’t do that anymore. Someone else does that; Edward does that now, so that’s that otherwise everything else is pretty much the same.