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News stories which have appeared on the website are available free of charge but stories which have appeared in the newspaper are only available when you join Members' Club. *NOTE: The archive runs from January 1, 2006 to present

Former trainer Helen Johnson Houghton dies

HELEN JOHNSON HOUGHTON, the first woman to train a Classic winner, has died aged 102.

The twin sister of master jumps trainer Fulke Walwyn saddled Gilles De Ratz to win the 2,000 Guineas in 1956 at 50-1.

She began training in the 1950s after her husband Gordon was killed, although the Jockey Club - then racing's governing body - did not recognise women trainers.

She was the grandmother of Flat trainer Eve Johnson Houghton, who posted the news on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

She said: "So sad to say my amazing, extraordinary, wonderful grandmother Helen Johnson Houghton died peacefully in her sleep last night aged 102."

In an interview with the Racing Post in 2010, Johnson Houghton recalled how she felt about the Jockey Club's rejection. 

She recalled: "Bloody maddening. It seems so ridiculous in this day and age, doesn't it? Beyond belief. But that's all in the past, and I no longer agonise over it."

 
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