Tag Archive for: Manor House Stables

Dascombe announces Lambourn move following Owen split

Tom Dascombe will continue his training career in Lambourn after sending out his last runner from Michael Owen’s Manor House Stables on Saturday.

The 48-year-old has agreed a lease on Uplands, a yard made famous by Fred Winter and most recently the base of Warren Greatrex.

Dascombe spent 12 years at Manor House and tasted Classic success with Brown Panther, who won the 2014 Irish St Leger, and sent out over 700 winners at the Cheshire yard, which will now be home to Hugo Palmer.

His last runner from Manor House will be Misty Grey at Wolverhampton.

“Misty Grey will be my last runner from Manor House and I will be returning to Lambourn from April 1 after signing an agreement at Uplands,” Dascombe said.

“I’m 100 per cent better as of yesterday. It has been incredibly difficult finding somewhere, looking all over the place, looking at yards. I must be honest, not just in this country.

“But I always had it in my mind that I wanted to go back to Lambourn and I’m really thrilled for the Jockey Club Estates, because it is impossible finding a yard in Lambourn.

“But I have been patient and it coincides with my last runner from the yard and I’ve really not wanted to say anything until now. I’m delighted that the last day of the job, I’ve actually got something to say. That’s a positive.

“I must thank my new landlords at Uplands, Amber Varcoe and Dominic Hoult, for their support and a mutual desire to see this great yard among the winners and I am very much looking forward to a new chapter in my career.

“But I enjoyed my 12 years at Manor House Stables. We shared Classic success and plenty of winners, and it would be nice to think Misty Grey can end this chapter of my career on a high.

“I’m hugely grateful to Michael Owen and Andrew Black (the ex-footballer’s business partner) for affording me the opportunity to develop the stable effectively from scratch to a thriving operation and we are proud of what we have achieved.

Brown Panther proved a real money-spinner for Michael Owen and Tom Dascombe
Brown Panther proved a real money-spinner for Michael Owen and Tom Dascombe (Steve Parsons/PA)

“We’ve shared memories that will be impossible to erase and I’ll forever take great pride in training Michael’s homebred Brown Panther to Classic and Royal Ascot victory. We have shared some great times and now I’m looking forward to having a few more at Uplands.”

Dascombe, who spent two years with Mike de Kock and having been assistant to Ralph Beckett, made a storming start to his own training career in Lambourn in 2005.

He trained plenty of two-year-old winners and won two Group Twos in as many days at Newmarket’s July meeting in 2008, before teaming up with Owen.

The pair enjoyed success with Brown Panther, who won the Irish St Leger, Dubai Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, earning over £1.1million in prize-money before suffering a fatal injury when defending his Irish St Leger crown in 2015.

Now he is looking to build again from scratch after Owen’s surprise announcement in December that Dascombe would be leaving.

Michael Owen and Tom Dascombe
Michael Owen and Tom Dascombe (Nick Potts/PA)

Dascombe added: “At the time, it did come as a shock, but Michael and Andrew Black wanted to go in a different direction and that is their prerogative. I will always be truly grateful for the chance and for the good times we shared.

“I am just excited to get started again in Lambourn.

“How many horses will we have? The simple is answer is I have no idea.

“I wanted to sign on a yard with 106 stables, but have ended up signing on with a yard that has 20 available stables. Day one, I will have just empty stables. Day two, I want to have a few more than that.

“But, I’m thrilled that I am back in Lambourn and looking forward to the future.”

Hugo Palmer announced as new trainer at Manor House Stables

Hugo Palmer will up sticks and move to Cheshire to become a salaried trainer at Manor House Stables.

Palmer has been based at Kremlin Cottage Stables in Newmarket, from where he sent out Galileo Gold to win the 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes in 2016.

Tom Dascombe had been training out of Manor House Stables, owned by ex-footballer Michael Owen, until a surprise parting of ways was announced in December, ending a 12-year association.

The 41-year-old Palmer saddled 54 winners in Britain last term and struck Group One gold in Ireland with Ebro River, who landed the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. It was the fifth Group One winner of Palmer’s career since he began training in 2011.

Palmer said: “Cheshire is a beautiful part of the world. It is also an opportunity to significantly expand the string of horses I am training.

“I am ambitious and hungry and I want to win more races.

“It has taken a lot of people by surprise, but it is a fantastic professional opportunity and also, from a personal side of things, it removes the pressure in many respects, as it just means I can be paid a salary to do the job I love, rather than tearing my hair out with people not paying me.”

He added: “Kremlin Cottage Stables will either be rented out or sold.”

In a statement posted on Twitter, Owen said: “I am absolutely thrilled to announce that multiple Group One and Classic winning trainer, Hugo Palmer, is to join Manor House Stables as our trainer and will be taking up his appointment in readiness for the new season.

“Hugo’s CV is there for all to see and it’s a huge coup for the area to welcome one of the country’s leading trainers.

“MHS has made giant strides both on and off the track since we opened our doors 17 years ago and I look forward to furthering that success with Hugo in the years to come.”

Tom Dascombe has left Manor House Stables
Tom Dascombe has left Manor House Stables (Julian Herbert/PA)

Palmer is looking forward to building his string to the levels he enjoyed earlier in his career.

“It is not just being a salaried trainer, it means we will have a really significant number of horses again, which I am really very excited about,” he said.

“It is just a wonderful opportunity and we will have the same number of horses we had when we had our best-ever season in 2016. We will be starting with the same number of horses and we have real ambition to grow from there.

“I’m over the moon. It is really very, very exciting. It is a massive opportunity and both Michael and I have got enormous ambitions – I will be doing everything I possibly can to realise those ambitions.”

He added: “Kremlin Cottage Stables will be for sale. But I would be happy to rent it as well. It is a yard I bought 12 years ago and it was 30-odd boxes. An awful lot of time, effort and money has gone into it in the last 12 years to make it just shy of 100 boxes now.

“It is something I’ve obviously built up and I’m very proud of. I’m not going to give it away to the first bidder, but it is for sale and equally it is a lovely yard and I’d be happy to rent it as well.”

Palmer confirmed he will make the move to Manor House Stables during Cheltenham Festival week.

He added: “I take over then, and then I expect there will be a couple of weeks where we may be stretched here and there, but hopefully it will all come together pretty quickly.”

Dascombe still looking for new yard

Tom Dascombe says there is “no malice” and “no hostility” towards the owners of Manor Farm Stables after being handed his notice – but he is still to determine where his future lies.

The 48-year-old was appointed in 2009 by Betfair founder Andrew Black in a joint-venture with former England footballer Michael Owen.

Dascombe, who landed a first Group One success for Owen when Brown Panther took the Irish St Leger in 2014, was handed his notice last month and will end his tenure just before the Cheltenham Festival.

Owner Michael with Brown Panther after his Irish St Leger success
Owner Michael with Brown Panther after his Irish St Leger success (PA)

He said: “I’m still here training at Manor House Stables and looking to find somewhere to live.

“There have been a few attempts, but I haven’t secured a yard yet and when I do, I will let everybody know.

“In the meantime I will reside here and continue to do my job to the best of my ability and I have just got to get on with it.”

Dascombe has trained more than 50 winners a season on all bar three occasions since 2009 – and one of those was the curtailed 2020 season – with a highest tally of 79 in 2012.

He is keen to stress there is no animosity, adding: “I’m leaving here and whatever Manor House Stables decide on is entirely up to them, and I wish them all the very best of luck. There is no malice, no hostility. It is very simple – I’m leaving and I’ve got to find somewhere to go. I’m going to concentrate on myself.

“I don’t have anything set up which is why initially I thought it was a bit of a shock to me and I would have had time to plan.

“But I will be absolutely fine. I have just got to sort a few things out, look after my staff and make sure everything is OK. My final day here is March 14 – but it will be fine.

“Now is the time to be very active and positive and move forward. I have just got to find a way to move forward – and I will move forward!”

Palmer insists ‘no decisions have been made’ on possible stables switch

Classic-winning trainer Hugo Palmer says discussions about the possibility of him taking over at Manor House Stables are ongoing but “no decisions have yet been made”.

Palmer is currently based at Kremlin Cottage Stables in Newmarket, from where he sent out Galileo Gold to win the 2016 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes.

Manor House Stables is owned by ex-footballer Michael Owen, with Tom Dascombe training out of the Cheshire yard until a surprise parting of ways was announced in December, ending a 12-year association.

Responding to a report that he would be taking over at Manor House, Palmer tweeted: “This is not the case. Discussions continue and are at an advanced stage but no decisions have yet been made.”

Palmer saddled 54 winners in Britain last term and struck Group One gold in Ireland with Ebro River, who landed the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.