Meehan raring to go next term after sealing deal to buy Manton base


Brian Meehan is looking forward to attacking 2018 with renewed vigour after following in the footsteps of Martyn Meade in buying a part of the historic Manton training estate in Wiltshire.

The Racing Post broke the news on Thursday night that Meade would relocate from Newmarket to Manton, but, unlike his new neighbour, Meehan will not need a settling-in period as he has been there since 2006.

Meade, who savoured his first top-level strike this term when Aclaim won the Prix de la Foret, described his move from Sefton Lodge as "incredibly exciting", and the view was echoed by Meehan.

"We'll be getting on for a 100 horses, which is up from the last couple of years, and it's been a good season," he said on Friday.

"There are lots of things going on, with Sam Sangster helping me buy the horses and James Ferguson starting as assistant trainer. I've got a great team.

"Looking for Group 1 horses is what we're after, it's what we hunger for and it's what the team are used to."

Meehan, who has saddled a host of domestic Group 1 winners and has also won two Breeders' Cup Turfs and a Dubai Duty Free, says he was never tempted to move from Manton and thanked his former landlord Paul Clarke for his backing.

He added: "There were a few personal issues a few years ago – that's all gone – and sometimes you doubt yourself a little when you're in that frame of mind, but Manton's such a great place it gives you confidence.

"Even though I rented I always spent money on it, and Paul Clarke has been so supportive and straightforward to deal with I was quite happy to improve the yard.

"There are quite a lot of gallops and some we haven't used for a few years, so we can reopen them and share them with Martyn, but Manton's so big his yard would be a couple of miles away from me."

Richmond Stakes winner Barraquero and smart stayer Raheen House are two Meehan is especially looking forward to saddling from his permanent premises next term. 

"Barraquero is coming back into training next month and will be prepared for the Guineas," he said. "I'd think he'd have a prep race – off the top of my head the Greenham – but we'll see, while Raheen House looks a proper Cup horse.

"I've also got a really nice bunch of maiden three-year-olds to start in the spring and they're a great group to have. To have that strength in depth should give us a hell of a shot, and when you're talking about Manton next year you're talking about two very powerful yards."

Meehan has cohabited the yard before, with George Baker being based there from 2013 until his move to Surrey this year.

Speaking on Thursday, Meade said: "We've bought a major part of Manton and it's an incredibly exciting venture.

"The plan is to develop the Fyfield yard, which has around 80 boxes as opposed to 50 at Sefton Lodge. This will give us more scope and we hope to be in by the start of the 2018 Flat season."