Charlie Hills comes from a family steeped in racing tradition.
His father Barry trained more than 3,200 winners, including ten English Classics, before his retirement in August 2011. Charlie had served as Barry’s assistant for eight years and took over the training licence on his retirement.
His brothers are all involved in racing – the twins Michael and Richard were leading Flat jockeys, John is also a trainer, while the youngest, George, works in the bloodstock industry in Kentucky.
Aged 18, Hills went to work in Australia. He spent time with Peter Hayes and Gai Waterhouse before returning to Britain, to work for James Fanshawe and then his father.
On taking over the licence from his father, he won with his first runner when Blaise Chorus scored at Kempton on 22 August 2011.
His first Group race victory came courtesy of Ransom Note in the Nayef Joel Stakes, the sixth race in the mile division of the QIPCO British Champions Series, at Newmarket in September 2011.
In 2013 Just The Judge came a fine second to Sky Lantern in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, race two in the Series, and then won the Irish 1000 Guineas to register a first Classic success for the young trainer. She was then third in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, with the winner, Sky Lantern, emphatically confirming the QIPCO 1000 Guineas form.
Hills then had a bitter-sweet experience with his champion two-year-old filly, Chriselliam, part-owned by Willie Carson. She won two Group 1s, the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita, only to get a foot infection which eventually resulted in her death in February 2013.
In 2015, however, he described the exciting Muhaarar as ‘the best I’ve trained’ following his impressive victory in the inaugural running of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. The three-year-old colt then went on to snatch the Darley July Cup in the shadow of the post from Tropics and backed up his reputation as one of the most exciting sprinters of his generation.
The champion sprinter then followed up with ready successes in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville before showing his superiority over his rivals with a devastating display in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes on Champions Day.
Hills also saddled two more of his three-year-old sprinting cohort, Strath Burn and Magical Memory, to second and third places in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock Park, another example of the strength in depth Hills possesses at his stable, especially in his young sprinters.