Brittain calls time on glittering career

END OF AN ERA:  Newmarket trainer Clive Brittain has called time on his career after 60 years
END OF AN ERA: Newmarket trainer Clive Brittain has called time on his career after 60 years

Retiring trainer Clive Brittain paid homage to Newmarket after announcing he would be calling time on his career at the end of the season.

The 81-year-old, who has trained in Newmarket since owning his license in 1972, announced last Thursday that the 2015 season would be his last as a trainer.

Brittain is one of the town’s most decorated trainers, winning six British Classics as well as claiming success across the world in the likes of America, Japan and 

“Every day was a highlight,” admitted Brittain. “Its been a pleasure to be associated with the horses.

“Its been a wonderful place to work in Newmarket and I’ve made a lot of friends.

“When you do something every day as long as I’ve done the decision was always going to be tough.

“My wife (Maureen) has not been very well and she needs a lot more of my attention. It’s harder to give that to her while I’ve been training.

Brittain’s career in the sport began as a teenage apprentice in the late 1940s, before he signed a three year lease on Pegasus Stables in Newmarket.

In 1975 Brittain moved to Carlburg Stables where he has trained ever since and enjoyed great success, with his first Classic win coming three years later when his 28-1 outshot Julio Mariner won the St Leger Stakes.

Brittain’s Pebbles won the 1,000 Guineas in 1984, and then cemented the Newmarket trainer’s name in the history books when she became the first filly to win the Eclipse Stakes the following year.

Pebbles made further history for Brittain in 1985 by becoming the first British-trained racehorse to win the Breeders’ Cup in America.

A golden period in the early 1990s saw Brittain claim four more Classic victories, but turning stubborn Warrsan into a Group One winner in 2003 is where he has gained the most satisfaction during his career as a trainer, which has spanned more than 40 years.

“I’ve been getting up at 3.30 every morning practically all my life,” recalls Brittain.

“When you get a horse that is reluctant and you are able to get it to be willing to work for you, it is a pleasure and a privilege.

“Warrsan is one of those. At the end of his two year career the horse lost interest in exercising.

“He didn’t want to go out and leave the yard. But I managed to change his mind with half a dozen packets of Polos, and in the end he would follow me out the yard.

“He showed a great deal of desire and won two Group One races, winning the Coronation Cup twice, and also finished second in the Eclipse.”

n Golden Horn returns to action for the first time since losing his unbeaten record when he competes in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday (6.50pm).

Newmarket trainer John Gosden saw the Derby winner suffer his first defeat at last month’s Juddmonte International Stakes, and is set to face stiff competition from Aidan O’Brien’s in-form Gleneagles who has yet to be beaten this year.