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A last win would be a fitting finale for Hills.

Byline: CHRIS WRIGHT

* T would be fitting if Barry Hills hands over the reins on his Lambourn training operation to son Charlie as one of his final winners comes at Chester.

Wright Hills senior, who started training in 1969, has saddled more than 3,200 winners including 10 Classic victories. He will retire from training today and passes the keys to Faringdon Place to his 32-year-old son and assistant.

The head of one of the many family dynasties in racing is now 74 and on his final day with a training licence he saddles just five runners around the country. CHESTER:2.25pm 3pm Na 3.35pm 4.10pm 4.45pm 5.45pm YORK:2pm Regal 2.30pm 3.05pm 3.40pm 4.50pm 5.20pm SANDOWN: 2.15pm Forte 3.20pm Brevity 3.55pm Free BATH: Two go at York, where he has had plenty of success, with Self Centred -ridden by another of his sons Michael -holding a chance in the 5.40pm Betfred Bonus King Stakes (4.50pm). But juvenile Na Zdovorie looks to make it third time lucky in the toteswinger EBF Maiden Stakes (3pm) at Chester.

The Roodee has always been a happy hunting ground for Hills. He admitted "I've always loved the place" before this year's May Festival - a meeting where he has had more than 150 winners.

He's also had more victories at Chester over the past decade than any other trainer. The highlights have come in Chester's most famous race, the Chester Cup. Rainbow High's two wins in 1999 and 2001 and Daraahem's success in the prestigious handicap two years ago followed on from Hills' first success with Araphos back in 1980.

Na Zdovorie may not become one of Charlie's top stars, but after two second-placed finishes at Kempton and Newbury, the Cockney Rebel filly should be able to bring up a welcome final winner on the Roodee for his father.

After today Hills junior will hope for the almost seamless transition that has become a racing tradition of sons following fathers.

Over jumps Donald McCain and David Pipe have taken over at Bankhouse Stables and Pond House from famous fathers Ginger and Martin respectively with great success. Both emulated their predecessors in landing the John Smith's Grand National and go from strength to strength.

Richard Hannon junior is likely to be the next on the Flat. He will soon follow his father Richard, having had an increasingly high profile in recent seasons, like Charlie Hills, as a more than able assistant.

In Yorkshire the Easterby clan are also legendary with Peter still the only man to train more than 1,000 winners in both Flat and jumps racing. Brother Mick - who won the 1,000 Guineas with Mrs McArdy in 1977 - is still going strong even though he turned 80 earlier this year.

Peter's son Tim is another who has done well since succeeding his father 15 years ago.

He too could be among the winners at Chester with Mappin Time sure to go well from the plum draw in opening sprint, the toteplacepot Handicap (2.25pm).

Neither Tim Easterby nor Barry Hills have a runner in today's big race, the Betfred Ebor (3.40pm). Tim's father Peter famously won the race with legendary hurdler Sea Pigeon - another dual Chester Cup hero - under Jonjo O'Neill in 1979. While Hills has twice been victorious with Further Flight (1990) and Sanmartino (1995).

The last two runnings have been won by Irish National Hunt trainers with Willie Mullins' Sesanta scoring two years ago and Dirar, from Gordon Elliott's stable last year. And Tony Martin's Salute Him can bring up the hat-trick today. He was fifth in the 1m6f handicap last year and has been trained to go a few places better off a 5lb lower handicap mark.

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WINNER: Barry Hills (right) and son Charlie at York earlier this week
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2011
Words:647
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