There's a new King at the Castle

Trainer Neil King

Trainer Neil King

First published in Sport The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor

A NEW King is rolling into Barbury Castle this summer after national hunt trainer Neil King announced plans to move to area.

Having been based in Newmarket for the past 12 years, King will be moving to Upper Herdswick Farm after purchasing the 284-acre chalk land downs training establishment which is currently rented to trainer Jim Old.

The Bury St Edmunds-born trainer will be the second King in area with Alan King’s stables just two miles away.

Having worked under leading trainer Nicky Henderson, King has been renting the Middle and Lower yards of the St Gatien Stables in Newmarket, which Old will now take control of, and this season he has had 25 winners which have included the promising Saffron Wells, Zeroeshadesofgrey and Delgany Demon.

King, who has held a dual purpose trainer’s licence since the summer of 2003, said: “Newmarket has been an excellent place to train from but it’s been a long held ambition to have my own land and private facilities.

“Upper Herdswick has exceptional gallops to train jumpers from, it has one of the best schooling grounds in the country and plenty of turnout for horses.

“It will be a busy summer refurbishing the buildings, as well as installing a new polytrack gallop and spa facility.

“I am delighted to be in a position where I can take this major step forwards and look to increase the number and quality of horses in the yard, and hopefully attract further new owners.

“I’ve steadily built up the business over the past few years with increased winners year on year and my owners are extremely supportive of the move.

“I’m also lucky to have a great team of staff, the majority of whom are moving with me including our stable jockey, Trevor Whelan.”

King, having started riding at the age of 10, progressed to point-to-point and after leaving school he spent a year at agricultural college.

He has also spent two years as pupil assistant to Henderson at Windsor House in Lambourn.

During Henderson’s quieter summers King rode out at Herringswell Bloodstock Centre where flat horses are prepared to go into training.

On leaving Henderson’s stables, he started his own hunting livery yard, which King ran successfully for 12 years before moving to St Gatien in 2002.

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