Windsor Clive negotiates the lease to George Baker of the Barton Yard at Manton
Manton, training base for the past six years for Brian Meehan, will be accommodating a second trainer in the near future. George Baker, who has been based most recently at Whitsbury in Hampshire will be leasing Manton’s Barton yard, which will run independently of Meehan’s operation. The Sangster family’s 2,500 acre Wiltshire Estate, just outside Marlborough, has been home for many big race winners throughout its more than 150-year history, and Meehan has maintained the pace, winning Group 1 and Grade 1 races in the UK, Dubai and the United States, the latest with Most Improved in this year’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Guy Sangster, who with brother Ben runs the Estate bought and extensively developed in the 1980’s by their late father Robert, has been mindful that Manton has always had excess capacity. “We have room for 200 horses here, so it was easy to arrange things for the Barton yard, the newest part of the Estate, furthest from the main offices, to be rented as a single entity. “We have 400 acres of grass gallops here, as well as Polytrack and Woodchip. When jockeys come to ride here, they describe those surfaces as being as good as anywhere. The same goes for the various grass gallops. George will have plenty of options for working his horses.” Guy Sangster added: “We are delighted that George Baker and his team have decided to rent the Barton yard at Manton. We wish him every success and I look forward to working with him and welcoming his owners to the Estate.” Ben Sangster said: “It’s very positive news that George is joining us at Manton. He has shown in a relatively short career as a trainer that he has the organisation and instinct for finding equine talent and the skill to turn that raw material into winners”. Brian Meehan said: “I am pleased to welcome George to Manton. It’s a big place and it offers a lot in terms of facilities to a trainer. There is room for 200 horses and I do not have the numbers to fill it, so it makes sense for there to be a second trainer. The Barton yard works very well as a self-contained unit. “George has done very well already in his training career to date and I’m sure he will add to Manton’s success in the coming years,” he added. George Baker said: “As a team we are very excited to be moving to one of the finest training yards in the country. Manton is steeped in horse racing history and it is a privilege to be joining the roll call of trainers who have been so successful there. “I have enjoyed my time at Whitsbury and now look forward to the next step in my career,” he said.