Hills, aged 74, has been training for over 40 years, after starting his career in racing as an apprentice jockey to Fred Rimell and then to George Collin in the mid 1950s. When it became clear that he would not reach the standards he set himself as a jockey, Hills became head lad to John Oxley in 1959.
Ten years later he began training, and after a further ten years had trained two Classic winners, Eastern Park in the 1978 1,000 Guineas, and Tap On Wood a year later in the 2,000 Guineas. The last year in each decade continued to be productive, and two years ago, in 2009, Hills trained his final Classic winner, when son Richard rode Ghanaati to success in the 1,000 Guineas. Later that year, Chapter And Verse became his 3,000th success when winning a race at Pontefract.
A statement on Barry Hillsâ€™ website expressed confidence that the transfer of the licence to son Charlie would be seamless. "Charlie has been well groomed for the role, having worked in Australia for the Hayes family before his spell in Newmarket (with James Fanshawe) where he was lucky to be around horses such as Soviet Song, Warningford, Hors La Loi and Invermark while working in racing's headquarters. He is thoroughly looking forward to the challenge of moving the operation at Faringdon Place forward, but realises what a formidable task he takes on in trying to emulate his father. The owners have been tremendously supportive of the change and Charlie appreciates this hugely. Charlie is very lucky to be inheriting a great set of staff headed by assistant trainer Kevin Mooney, and his input is invaluable. It will make the transition very smooth as the day-to-day running of the yard will not change and all the staff are very supportive of him."