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Market Update for 2015 on Training Yards

Training Yards for 2015

The winter months tend to be the time that racehorse trainers consider their prospects for the up and coming flat season. The National Hunt season may be in full swing and sensible people are savouring the thought of Cheltenham, but trainers needing to move like to know where they will be at the end of the summer. The result is that the early spring is the busy time for those responsible for negotiating sales and leases of training yards. There has been some recent movement – Brian O’Rourke has taken a lease on the Old Manor Stables at the very heart of Upper Lambourn. This will allow him to run a pre-training and preparation yard where there is a proven demand. Mikael Magnusson, whose yard it is, is delighted that somebody with such blue chip credentials has started there. Jamie Spencer’s Grange House Stables in Newmarket is now under offer, having been available at £1.6m. On the downs at Compton, Geoff Deacon and Sally Duckett have bought Hamilton Stables from Peter Cundell, securing their position with access to the Compton Gallops at the same time. Three training yards are on the market in Upper Lambourn, and in some cases prices have been adjusted. Worth a mention are: The Jockey Club Estates are offering the centrally placed Limes Farm Yard at the entrance to the Mandown Gallops as a site to build a new yard from scratch at £500,000. This has planning approval for 3 houses, staff accommodation and 40 boxes in two yards. This is a very rare opportunity to buy a strategically important site. Let or vacant? 6% yields available on training yards Across the lane from Limes Farm Yard, Brian Meehan is offering Newlands Stables for £700,000. This has a cottage and a total of 90 boxes, however some buyers may want to reduce the number of boxes. For some years this has been let to Brendan Powell at a gross yield of about 6%. This is a proven centrally placed yard. At the moment, it is available either vacant, or as an investment, subject to Brendan Powell’s lease. Rowdown Stables with a cottage and 21 stables are available at £395,000, reduced from £450,000, this is now a real opportunity for either the trainer with a small string or for as an investment with a potential income of £24,000 a year, again giving a gross yield of 6% There appears to be more activity in the market this year than there was in early 2014. Prices have come down in the last two years, and buyers are beginning to materialise again. It is too early to be giving real leads for 2015, but there should be room for 3 or 4 major training yard sales this year. George Windsor Clive says “buyers are cautious and are well aware that their businesses have to sustain the prices they pay. Banks are making the buyer jump through hoops before lending. For those able to fund a purchase, there will be opportunities”.