THE RACING POST MONDAY AUGUST 8th 2011
right to hand over to son Charlie says training legend, 74.
BARRY HILLS RETIRES“Time is
“Barry Hills called time yesterday on an illustrious training career that has spanned six decades. The captain of the most successful of British racing’s dynasties will step aside following next week’s York Ebor meeting when the licence will be transferred to Charlie Hills, the second youngster of five sons who are all significant achievers within the sport.
“Hills who is 74 and responsible for almost 3,200 winners with a Classic inventory stretching into double figures, said that although he is relinquishing the role of trainer he will continue as managing director of the family company……
ALASTAIR DOWN’S TRIBUTE AND OUR PICK OF HILL’S GREATEST HORSES
“Journey from humble origins to the very top of his profession ......
Alastair Down “on the amazing career of a stable lad’s son
“THERE is much that is remarkable about Barry Hills, but in his astonishing journey from stable lad’s son to one of the pre-eminent trainers of our time it is only the trappings of success that have changed – the man remains utterly and admirably himself.
“The Hills story has about it that essential bit of racing folklaw that makes it more compelling . His gamble on Frankincense in the 1968 Lincoln netting him the colossal sum of £60,000, which equates to something around £1.5 million at today’s prices. That famous coup meant he could buy a yard and set up as a trainer. And for over four decades he has plied his trade at the top level, proving particularly adept with fillies and through his tilts at the ring acquiring an enviable reputation as one of the finest judges of his generation.”
“Without the horses there would be no Hills empire – they are his
allies, not his underlings.”
JOHN RANDALL “Leading racing historian says only a title and Epsom Classic are absent
from a proud record. His place safe among the greats after four decades of achievement.
“IN TERMS of quantity Barry Hills is a great trainer, being one of only five ever to win 3,000 Flat races in Britain, a milestone he reached in 2009. Greatness is about quality more than quantity and whereas the first four members of the 3,000 club –Sir Henry Cecil, Sir Michael Stoute, Richard Hannon and John Dunlop - have all been Champion Trainer, Hills has never quite landed this title, which is decided on prize-money.
HILLS “I’m anxious for Charles to take the stable to a higher level. Now it’s up to him. Charles has had plenty of experience and he’s ready to take it on. At 32 he’s old enough. I was the same age when I started. Training is a young person’s game; to be frank, I think that that has always been the case. Owners are more inclined to have a horse with a younger person . Ian Balding successfully handed on to Andrew. Now it is time for me to do the same with Charles.
“Having spent more than £3million designing and building his state-of-the-art Faringdon Place yard in Lambourn , Hills said ‘I’m anxious for Charles to take the stable to a new dimension ; a higher level. I’ll be here in his first years to guide and advise when necessary. I want this to be a great success. I’m not accustomed to failure. I never have been. I don’t like it. Charles has the chance of a life-time . Now it is up to him.”
“I ‘ve spoken to the owners about the change. They will continue to support us, which is marvellous. In many respects things will continue as they are now and to a very high standard. Charles has had a very good grounding, working in Australia and in Newmarket before coming here as an assistant along side Kevin Mooney. He’s ready for the next step. He must keep his feet on the ground and not get carried away. My recommendation to him would be to keep it simple and use common sense.
“The trainers health has been restored after a succession of serious illnesses almost claimed his life. In 2006 he underwent treatment for throat cancer. Two years later he has a laryngectomy – which entailed removal of his larynx, voice box and Adam’s apple – and in 2009 he spent six months in hospital with septicaemia and clostridium difficile. “I’m feeling well again and I’m back to my normal weight,” he said yesterday.” “He is a passionate fund raiser and has built a green house, and has plans for a potting shed.”READ BARRY HILLS BOOK YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED
RODNEY MASTERS pays a personal tribute to a man he has known for 30 years. “In every way, he sets a standard you would like to live by.
“AS BARRY HILLS sat on the patio with a glass of red he slipped into our conversation news of his decision to retire from training. It was impossible not to reflect on the irony. A few minutes earlier I’d mentioned to Penny, his wife, that in the 30 or more that I’d known him I’d rarely seen him look so well. For the first time in five years his diary was free of medical appointments. More than once he had visited the edge of life but there was always a safety net comprised of an inimitable blend of tenacity , bloody-mindedness and the unflagging support of Penny. He knows that without her he would have toppled over the edge, particularly two summers ago when riddled with septicaemia. “You know I never thought I was going to die though most others reckoned I would, including Penny, I think,” he said “She was my rock I wouldn’t have made it without her.” He lifted the solemnity , “I was bloody-ill and I seem to remember I got to the pearly gates. They were shouting ‘go back, go back we’re not ready for you.”
ISBN-13: 9781905156795 By (author): ROBIN OAKLEY Publisher: RACEFORM LTD
The Biography of Barry Hills. The son of a stable head lad, Barry Hills' fascinating story charts how he rose to be one of the leading trainers of all time. He placed a shrewd bet on a horse called Frankincense in the 1968 Lincoln race, the winnings which were enough to set himself up with his own yard in Lambourn. In many ways this is a social…
HORSERACING A UNIQUE AND REMARKABLE SPORT IN WHICH THE BARRY HILLS DYNASTY PLAY A MAJOR PART
TODAY’S RACECARDS: Wolverhampton, Lingfield Park, Windsor, Thirsk and Ballinrobe.