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Flood criticised by owner for hiding stable star Coeur.

Byline: LEE MOTTERSHEAD

THE saga of David Flood's curtailed training career took a new turn yesterday when one of the shareholders in stable star Coeur Courageux criticised him for refusing to reveal the horse's whereabouts.

Flood was forced to relinquish his licence earlier this week after a major row with his principal owner and employer, Mark Serrell, resulted in his vacating the upper yard at Uplands stables in Lambourn.

Following his dramatic departure, Flood removed a number of the horses he had been training - including Coeur Courageux - to an undisclosed yard, from where he hopes to resume training if granted a new licence.

However, while the relocation of Coeur Courageux was carried out by Flood as a result of his claim to partownership of the horse, his actions have angered some of the three-yearold's registered owners, and Serrell is believed to be a majority shareholder.

Another shareholder, Ian Higginson, yesterday contacted the Racing Post to query Flood's actions.

He said: ``I have a share in a horse and I don't know where he is. Everybody is saying poor old David, but what is happening to him isn't our fault. If David believes he has a claim to a share in the horse, he should pursue his claim in the proper legal way.''

Flood, who claims that the rules of the Classic Racing syndicate, in whose colours Coeur Courageux runs, stipulate that all decisions are made by a committee that consists of only himself and Serrell, yesterday defended his decision to keep the miler's location secret.

He said: ``I spoke to Ian Higginson last night and told him that I had only done what any other trainer would have done in my situation. I have apologised to all the shareholders, but everyone knows that I only have the horse's best interests at heart.''

Supporting Flood, Jacqui Coombs, who also owns a share in Coeur Courageux, said: ``I'm in contact with David. My main priority is that the horse is looked after and I know David will look after him. As far as I'm concerned, David does have a share in the horse and both I and my husband heard Mark Serrell say that a year ago.''

The Jockey Club said the horse's ownership was a legal matter.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 5, 2005
Words:376
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