‘Sad Day’ for Nicholls’ Yard

Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls

The loss of the horses owned by Maggie Findlay, in the newest episode from the BHA's six-month ban on her son Harry Findlay, has been expressed as "a sad day" by both trainer Paul Nicholls and his landlord Paul Barber.

Their reaction was to the reports that the owner had handed over her interest in double Hennessy champion Denman and Totesport Gold Cup to Barber in exchange for complete ownership of Big Fella Thanks, Grand National fourth of John Smith, who will be trained by Ferdy Murphy, and joining Tim Vaughan, successful hurdler Beshabar.

The Doncaster sales next month will see eight other horses owned mutually by Barber and Findlay on the list.

"It is a very sad day," said Barber. "We have had some wonderful days together and a hell of a lot of winners and I have thoroughly enjoyed it but, with Harry going to Australia, it is the right time to move on before the horses come back in.

"I must remember to ring Harry and ask him to return Big Fella Thanks as a hunter when he has finished."

Barber acknowledged his support for Findlay, who, while away on holiday, is organising the appeal to be held next Wednesday against the ban dispensed for laying Gullible Gordon, who was trained by Nicholls and owned by his mother.

"I wish Harry well", said Paul Barber

"I feel Harry has been victimized. Nobody realises how badly he has taken this.

"He feels his good name has been ruined by very poor decisions from the BHA and I agree with him. I think what the BHA has done is unbelievable and I wish Harry well with his appeal next week."

On Tuesday, returning from vacation to the reports, Nicholls, said, "I agree with Paul Barber that it is a sad day when it comes to this.

"Harry and Maggie have had a lot of success since they came to Ditcheat eight years ago and I wish them all the continued success in the future."

Maggie Findlay said, "I am missing racing and the people as it was great fun, but I will still never go racing as long as Harry is banned.

"It is sad and I enjoyed my visits to Ditcheat but I know Paul will look after Denman and I am looking forward to the appeal going our way."

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