David Wachman is now established as one of the top Flat trainers in Ireland. This is a remarkable achievement considering he has only held a licence for just over a decade. In common with many trainers, Wachman gained his racing education by spending time with numerous trainers all around the world including Jessica Harrington, Michael Hourigan and Jim Bolger in Ireland, Bill Mitchell and Brian Mayfield Smith in Australia and Jennie Pitman in England. After such an intensive few years, he felt he was ready to take out his licence, which he did at the age of 25 at South Lodge near Carrick-On-Suir in Co. Tipperary.
David trained mostly point-to-pointers in his early training career and he gained his first winner on the racecourse with Middle Moggs in a maiden hurdle at Clonmel in September 1996. The following June, he saddled his first winner under Flat rules with Clewbay Pearl beating an Aidan O’Brien hotpot by no less than five lengths in a maiden at Cork. That year saw Wachman saddle a total of nine winners with five of them coming in bumpers.
The next couple of years saw him gain consistent levels of success over the jumps, on the Flat and in the point-to-point field. Rush Brook was a particularly good servant to the yard, showing excellent progression during 1998, 1999 and 2000 culminating in wins in the valuable Budweiser Guinness Handicap at the Curragh in July 2000 and then the listed Ruby Stakes at Tralee the following month, Wachman’s first stakes success on the Flat. 2001 saw him saddle Tuco to make a winning racecourse debut in the always competitive Goffs Land Rover Bumper and that horse went on to win the Grade 3 Woodlands Park 100 Johnstown Novice Hurdle before unfortunately taking a fatal fall on his next start.
In August 2002, Wachman married Kate Magnier, the daughter of Coolmore boss, John Magnier and soon after he took the highly-significant step of moving his training operation to his present base at Longfield Stud near Cashel. From 2003 onwards, Wachman began to concentrate primarily on the Flat, but he still produced a steady stream of winners under National Hunt rules. The 2003 flat season saw Wachman become more and more competitive in the bigger races. Maroochydore provided him with his first pattern success of the season when winning the listed Silver Flash Stakes while Venturi gave him a notable win in the Group 3 C. L. Weld Stakes at the Curragh in September.
However, it was the flying filly Damson that truly launched Wachman onto the international stage. Impressive wins on her debut at Cork and in the listed Swordlestown Stud Sprint Stakes at Naas were followed by an electric win in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. The fact that Damson was owned by his father-in-law, John Magnier, as well as being his first win in England, made that win all the more sweet. Later that season she won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, running out the ready winner from Oratorio to give Wachman his first success at the highest level. While her season ended on something of a disappointing note with her suffering a shock defeat in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, she more than played her part in furthering the career of David Wachman. Indesatchel and Luas Line both won juvenile maidens for Wachman before finishing in the frame in Group contests during 2004, but both of them would go on to scale much greater heights in 2005.
In 2005 Indesatchel won the listed Loughbrown Stakes in a common canter before gaining a similarly impressive win in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury. He then returned to the Curragh to absolutely bolt home by six lengths in the Tetrarch Stakes and following that threesome of impressive wins, Indesatchel went to Longchamp to contest the French 2,000 Guineas and under Jamie Spencer, he came up a neck short of victory behind the mighty Shamardal. Meanwhile, Luas Line made an excellent start to the season by finishing a close third in the Irish 1000 Guineas. She went on to win the listed Platinum Stakes at Cork and the listed Denny Cordell Lavarack Memorial Stakes at Gowran Park before being the subject of one of the most bizarre trip notes in racing history when winning the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park in September. Remarkably, there was a flock of geese sitting on the track during the race and one of misfortunate birds could not get out of Luas Lines path in the home straight, prompting the American race reader to comment, “led well over 1f out, drifted slightly after colliding with a goose 1f out, driven out.” Fracas was another high class performer for Wachman during 2005, winning his first three starts including the Group 3 Betfred Classic Trial at Sandown and the Group 2 Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
While the Wachman yard lacked a genuine star in 2006, He’s A Decoy was a consistent sort during his juvenile campaign, winning twice including the listed Rochestown Stakes at Cork and running well in a number of the seasons biggest juvenile contests. Rabatash was another speedy two-year-old that won twice with the highlight coming in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh. In addition to this, Chanting won the listed Silver Flash Stakes and Liscanna also contributed to Wachman’s juvenile haul, winning the valuable Birdcatcher Nursery. Having gradually reduced the number of National Hunt horses in his care, the summer of 2006 saw Wachman dispose of the remainder of his jumping stock with his last win over jumps coming with Manjoe in a conditions chase at Navan in June.
2007 started off well for Wachman with him winning the Listed Cork Stakes with Absolutelyfabulous and listed Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes with Anna Karenina, and he continued that momentum throughout the season. Once again, Fracas proved to be the standard bearer for the yard, winning the Silver Stakes and the Meld Stakes as well as finishing in the frame of four other occasions. Other notable wins came with Downtown in the Give Thanks Stakes at Cork and with Lisvale in the Ad Valorem Stakes at Tipperary. He wrapped up the season by saddling Great War Eagle to win the listed Star Appeal Stakes at Dundalk in mid-October.
While 2007 lacked a Group 1 winner for Wachman, 2008 was very much worth the wait in that regard. Promisingly, the stable’s two standard bearers were both juveniles, with Again and Bushranger both tasting Group 1 glory. Again is an immensely exciting three-year-old prospect, having won three of her four starts including the Group 2 Debutante Stakes and the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, both at the Curragh. Bushranger is a more a sprinting type and he has proved to be a top-class juvenile, winning four of his six starts including a pair of Group 1’s, namely the Prix Morny at Deauville and the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. In addition to those wins, Wachman has only gained stakes wins with other juveniles, namely Dreamtheimpossible, What’s Up Pussycat and Chintz. The old brigade have also paid their way during the course of the season, with Dress Rehearsal, Contest, Lisvale and Navajo Moon all gaining wins at listed level.