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2015 - The Year of Moving Trainers

2015 – The Year of Moving Trainers The racing world is a precarious business at the best of times. Those that thrive are the ones whose knowledge of bloodstock maximises their luck and whose attention to detail minimises their misfortune. Whilst all are united by a passion for racing the professional breeders and the trainers tend to have a different outlook on their property purchases. Often the breeders are looking for a nice place to live, with the aim of being able to see their mares and foals from their bedroom window in the month of May. On the other hand trainers want the yard to be efficient, with good gallops nearby. Their margins are tight so a yard that is too far from gallops is usually difficult to sell. At the beginning of 2015 there was an oversupply of training yards for sale and to let. However as the year progressed sales became easier as more prospective buyers came into the market. In Newmarket, the most significant sale to have been arranged is that of Warren Place for Sir Henry Cecil’s executors. No details of the buyer or the price paid have been released, although the press have drawn their own conclusions. It has been a pleasure to deal with such an historic yard, and the buyer’s plans are sure to be exciting enhancing the top of Warren Hill. Grange House Stables sold to a Middle Eastern buyer. On the other side of town, Grange House Stables sold to a Middle Eastern buyer. Eve Lodge with 95 boxes is for sale at £1.2m, following Ed Walker’s move to the property this now gives a significant gross yield at well over 8%. There are few classes of property which can produce such an income. Now that the stables are let to one tenant, the investment angle makes it even more attractive. In Lambourn, the significant move has been that of Richard Hughes to Weathercock. Having been on the tick over only for a couple of years, suddenly at no notice at all the yard is full to bursting. In his first week he sent out a flurry of winners – a good omen. Earlier in the year Jamie Magee bought Newlands Stables from Brian Meehan following Brendan Powell’s move to Frenchmans. Currently on the market, though under offer at the time of writing, is Saxon Gate, a 30 box yard with an excellent house in a prime position. The price guide at £1.4m was pitched to attract interest, which it succeeded in doing. Another yard that attracted a lot of viewers and kept Windsor Clive very busy in the summer was Bonita Racing Stables now sold for Peter Makin to Emma Lavelle, who has considerable works to undertake to achieve the modern facilities needed for today’s high quality yard. The grass gallops are fabulous giving so much variety, mostly on the top of the Downs. They really are the place to entertain a prospective owner. Another set of lovely gallops which changed hands were those at Compton which have been bought by the buyer of Churn Stables next door and will continue to be used by Geoffrey Deacon and Hughie Morrison. In 2016, there will be a good number of trainers on the move, and there will be half a dozen yards across the country coming available to rent. Whilst we don’t see letting values rising there are enough tenants to allow a busy market. The stud farm market is reliant on fewer end users and there is such a wide variety of factors to take into account. Few stud farms changed hands in 2015, however there is a committed handful of buyers keen to find homes for their mares. Snailwell Stud, just outside Newmarket is selling at less than £3 million, and the smaller Swynford Paddocks Stud at Six Mile Bottom with two thirds of the paddock acrege available at between £1.6 and £1.7m. There is strong interest in both, leaving some disappointed buyers. In 2016 demand for stud farm should be strong, given the prices being paid for the better mares. It always baffles estate agents how a horse can sell for a figure well in excess of the price of the stud farm where it is based. In Ireland a lot of the slack has been taken out of the country property market in spite of some high profile properties remaining unsold, so there may be firming up on prices paid in the coming year. For those wishing to turn a property into a stud farm, Milltown Park with 285 acres, half way between Dublin and Limerick would be a good opportunity. For comparison, its price guide is approximately half that of a similar property in England. The video at makes good viewing. Training Yards and Stud Farms sold or let by Windsor Clive International in 2015 Sales Bonita Racing Stables, Marlborough Compton Gallops, Berkshire Grange House Stables, Newmarket Crabbick Farm Stud, Hampshire Newlands Stables, Lambourn Rowdown Stables, Lambourn Warren Place , Newmarket Let Eve Lodge, Newmarket Saffron House, Newmarket Shefford Valley Stables, Berkshire Weathercock House Stables, Lambourn