Brian set a benchmark for others in the profession to aspire to in years to come when bookending his first season at Manton by winning two of the world’s most valuable races, the Dubai Duty Free in the Middle East and Breeders’ Cup Turf in the USA, the double yielding staggering prizemoney of £2,777,688 It was an achievement recognised with the coveted ‘International Trainer of the Year’.
In between that magnificent twin triumph, he registered a fine season on the domestic front, highlighted by David Junior’s win in the Group 1 Coral Eclipse at Sandown in mid-summer.
Even before the move at the beginning of 2006 to the Sangster family’s legendary estate on the Wiltshire Downs near Marlborough, Brian was widely acknowledged as a trainer going places.
When he set up his own training business in Lambourn in 1992, the son of a Limerick orthopaedic surgeon had eight horses, one of them owned by his ever supportive close friend Richard Hannon, to whom he had been assistant trainer for six years.
Brian’s progress since those fledgling days has been admirably consistent, and, apart from those already mentioned, his Group 1 wins include the Champion Stakes, Prix Morny, Prix de la Foret, Cheveley Park, Grosser Dallmayr Preis, The Gazelle and the Man O’War stakes with Red Rocks.
It therefore came as no surprise that after John Gosden left Manton, the Sangster family headhunted Brian to take over what few will argue is the most outstanding training establishment in Britain.
Brian has now taken on a lease and will be aiming to add to the Group 1 winners sent out from there. When the deal was signed, he said: “This is the most wonderful place to train and I’m delighted we’ll be here for at least another three years, possibly longer. We’ve a great relationship with the Sangster family. I believe one of the key elements to our success over the years, both in Lambourn and now here at Manton, is the first class team of staff that we’ve put together; they all work very hard to make certain the job gets done as it should be done.”
In early 2015, the legendary Manton Estate was sold to Mr Paul Clarke, and Brian will continue to train from there, utilising the unrivalled facilities to maximise the number of winners for the seasons ahead.
© 2011 Brian Meehan at Manton