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26 Jun 21 16:59
Date Joined: 27 Aug 02
| Topic/replies: 3,210 | Blogger: Gordon63's blog
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Report mrcombustible June 26, 2021 6:05 PM BST
Harry Whittington is determined to bounce back following the huge setback of losing stable stars Saint Calvados, Rouge Vif and Simply The Betts, whose owner Andrew Brooks has decided to move the string of horses he has with the trainer to Paul Nicholls.

Whittington, who is based near Lambourn in Sparsholt, began training for Brooks in the 2016-17 campaign and success was not long in coming thanks to the classy Saint Calvados, who won Warwick's Kingmaker Novices' Chase in 2018 before finishing second in the 2020 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and then a fine fourth in last season's King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Rouge Vif is another smart performer to strike at Graded level for the combination, while Simply The Betts – named after the owner's late friend and colleague Chris Betts – won the race known as the Plate at last year's festival.

Watch Simply The Betts win at Cheltenham last year

Brooks, who works in the insurance industry, owned or had a share in 13 Whittington runners last season and has horses with Olly Murphy and Venetia Williams among other trainers, but his racing manager Sean Tiernan confirmed on Saturday those leaving Hill Barn Stables would be sent to Nicholls' all-conquering Ditcheat yard in Somerset.

"These things happen all the time in racing," a philosophical Whittington said.

"The horses have gone out in the field for their summer holiday and they've decided that the string are going to go somewhere else.

"There are no hard feelings at all and I'm very grateful to the Brooks family for everything they have done for us. There's absolutely no falling out whatsoever and we remain good friends. We've had some amazing days together, winning at the Cheltenham Festival with Simply The Betts and Saint Calvados, who won the Kingmaker and then a Grade 3 in Ireland.

"Hopefully there'll be other great days in the future with them and while we're sad to see the horses go, it's Andrew's decision where he wants his horses trained and I wish him and the horses well.

"It happens in racing, it's part of the game, and we'll keep moving forwards, and we've got a nice team of horses for the main jumps season, so we'll keep kicking."

Harry WhittingtonWarwick 21.2.20 Pic: Edward Whitaker
Harry Whittington: trainer is eyeing a rebuild
Edward Whitaker (
Whittington, whose clients when he ran a pre-training business included Nicky Henderson, took out his licence in 2012 and quickly forged a reputation as a capable operator, breaking through to Grade 1 level in 2016 when Arzal won the Manifesto Novices' Chase at Aintree's Grand National meeting.

He is set on rebuilding his squad and added: "I've been very busy buying youngsters and bought lots recently. I bought some store horses as well, which I didn't do last year, and I've bought a few point-to-pointers with Anthony Bromley. I think we've got some really promising types there.

"We're flat out and we'll try to turn this into a positive; it's how we've always been as a team and a yard and I've got all the sales to go to for the rest of the summer and some potential new owners, so we're looking to move onwards and upwards."
Report Gordon63 June 26, 2021 6:10 PM BST
thanks must be a big blow but can't say I'm surprised because all three underperformed last year based on previous years rising expectations, maybe that's as good as they are, interesting to see if nicholls get's anything out of them but my personal fav Saint Calvados should win races
Report wondersobright June 26, 2021 7:28 PM BST
owner has got plenty of previous
Report penzance June 26, 2021 7:34 PM BST
might be wrong here,these 3 ran a Toyal
Report penzance June 26, 2021 7:36 PM BST
total of 7 times between them last season.
4 RV
2 SC
1 STB.
Report differentdrum June 26, 2021 7:49 PM BST
Just look at the way he improved all those Sullivan horses last season.

'No hard feelings'? I would imagine he is seething. Might be worth following next season as he will want/need to attract some new owners.
Report Ramruma June 26, 2021 8:50 PM BST
It does seem a bit harsh to move the string, especially as all British trainers under-performed last season (virus?).

But that's racing, and Whittington is better off than if they'd gone to Nicholls in the first place.
Report Ramruma June 26, 2021 8:53 PM BST
It is the stable staff you have to feel sorry for. They've lost that bit of stardust that makes it worth going home every day smelling of, well, not roses.
Report Ibrahima Sonko June 26, 2021 9:01 PM BST
I thought Whittington had done a grand job with the AB horses, for all that AB invests Whittington had raised the profile of AB horses.
Report isleham June 26, 2021 10:19 PM BST
Certainly unlucky when you see what the likes of Olly Murphy and others have done with AB horses.
Report doorman99 June 26, 2021 11:03 PM BST
Very true.
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