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Waley-Cohen is the son of Felicity Ann (Samuel) and businessman, racehorse breeder and trainer Robert Waley-Cohen, nephew of the theatre owner and producer Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen Bt. Joanna Waley-Cohen, Provost at NYU Shanghai, and Collegiate Professor and Professor of History in the NYU History Department in New York and grandson of Lord Mayor of London, Sir Bernard Waley-Cohen. The founder of Shell Oil -Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted- was his 2 * great grand-father. Waley-Cohen was educated at Dragon School and St Edward's School, Oxford followed by the University of Edinburgh.
Waley-Cohen married Annabel Ballin in 2012.
Waley-Cohen was reported in the sports' pages in 2007 when he came 5th on his father's horse Liberthine in the Grand National. He won the delayed 2010 King George VI Chase in January 2011 on Long Run, preventing Kauto Star from winning the race for a record fifth consecutive year.
In 2011, Sam Waley-Cohen also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup chase on his father's horse Long Run. He is the first amateur jockey in 30 years to win the race. In the 2012 and 2013 runnings they finished third to Synchronised and Bobs Worth respectively.'
Over the Grand National course he has an enviable record. He came second in the 2011 Grand National on Oscar Time. He has now enjoyed six wins around the famous Grand National course, making him the most successful course jockey of the modern era. http://racing.channel4.com/news/newsid=1240559/index.html
He started his career at Louis Dreyfus Trading Ltd in London - spending time with the successful sugar trading division. Waley-Cohen has also built up the Portman Healthcare chain of dental practices since he started the business in 2009. By March 2011 the business had grown to eight dental practices employing 170 staff and by 2013 it has grown to 15 dental practices. His business activities saw him nominated as Spears young entrepreneur of the year in 2011
Waley-Cohen is a Celebrity Ambassador for The Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT) and was famously pictured with the Duchess of Cambridge at the Roller Disco he organised to raise money for a ward in memory of his brother. He is also a trustee of the injured jockey fund, and founder of the TAWC Fund.
- "Kauto Star third as Long Run wins King George VI". BBC. 15 January 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Chadband, Ian (15 March 2011). "City slicker Sam Waley-Cohen swaps his suit for silks in Gold Cup". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- The Daily Telegraph, 9 Mar 2012, Online, accessed 9 Mar 12
- "RACING: Waley-Cohen disappointed by Long Run's defeat". Oxford Mail. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Marcus Armytage (7 February 2007). "Sam working hard to be National hero". London: telegraph.co.uk.
- "Sam Waley-Cohen: Mountaineer, businessman, pilot, skier... oh, and jockey". The Independent. London. 11 March 2011.