A SICK individual calling themselves “The Acid Man” has made terrifying phone calls to big-name horseracing trainers threatening to cause them life-changing injuries.
The person contacted at least ten trainers on November 10 from a withheld number and threatened to throw acid in their faces at the racecourse.
PASix-time champion trainer Nicky Henderson is among those to have been threatened[/caption]
Top Flat trainer Charlie Fellowes has received a call from the ‘Acid Man’
Grade 1-winning jumps trainer Gary Moore has also been threatened, as have top Flat trainers Charlie Fellowes and Richard Fahey.
The National Trainers Federation asked the police to try to track down the man behind the calls and Essex Police is investigating.
A handful of the trainers managed to record parts of the harrowing conversations and, while he called off an unknown number, cops feel they have enough evidence to track the man down.
Moore, 67, was told the next time he was on a racetrack he would get a tap on his shoulder and be viciously attacked.
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He said: “Someone rang up my office, my secretary answered and the guy said ‘hello, I’m the acid man’.
“My secretary was obviously stunned and the guy said ‘tell Gary to watch his back when he’s next at the racecourse.
“He then said ‘cos I’m going to find him and throw acid in his face’.
“Lots of other trainers have told me they’ve had the same call, Nicky Henderson included.
“It’s obviously disturbing but nothing new – abusive calls have been getting worse and worse the last few years.
“Our office phone numbers are readily available and people can find our home and personal ones too. There isn’t an easy solution to stopping it.”
Fellowes, 37, said he answered the phone on his loudspeaker whilst sat with his wife and three-year-old son before the man made the vile threats.
He said: “It’s not unusual for trainers to get angry phone calls from punters if you have a fancied horse who gets beat.
“I’ve had some horrible stuff in the past, people calling me a paedophile and saying they wish my horses would die. It’s sick but in all honesty I’ve got used to it.
“But I hadn’t had a runner on the day I received the call — it was out of the blue.
“It was different from anything I’ve had before, very sinister. My wife was shocked.”
The NTF announced in late October the launch of a campaign to encourage trainers to report abuse from callers.
There has been a spike in abusive calls, emails and online messages in recent years and the body representing trainers will involve the police where possible.
Moore has been told more trainers have been targeted by the individual but not all have come forward.
He said: “I’m told at least 15 trainers have been threatened. I’m sure there are even more but they have just not gone to the NTF about it.”
Essex Police said in a statement: “We’re investigating a number of reports of malicious communications which took place on November 10 2023.
“We are continuing to assess the reports and, at this stage, we are linking each of them.
“In total, ten victims have been identified and our investigation is ongoing.”
NTF chief Paul Johnson said: “The events of November 10 were deeply unpleasant for the trainers involved.
“We understand the pressure on police resources but believe threats of this level must be investigated.
“This is criminal behaviour and we will work to see action taken against those responsible.”
Gary Moore, right, has also been targeted