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Flood quits training as row with owner hits crisis point.

Byline: RODNEY MASTERS

THREE months after celebrating his first Group-race winner, David Flood's career appeared in ruins last night after he relinquished his licence to train following a falling out with his main owner.

For a while yesterday, three Thames Valley police cars were stationed at Uplands, the best-known racing stable in Lambourn and from where Flood had trained in the rented upper yard for the past 14 months.

By teatime yesterday, the yard was empty and four staff were informed they were redundant.

The stables had been leased from John and Lavinia Taylor on Flood's behalf by Mark Serrell, whose wife Ruth had her colours carried to success by the Flood-trained Jonny Ebeneezer. The recently retired sprinter had raised the trainer's profile, which was given a further boost when Im Spartacus, who is owned by a partnership, won a valuable handicap at York, and then beat some of Ireland's Derby prospects in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes at The Curragh in May.

P art of the dispute between Flood and Serrell is understood to centre on the current ownership of Jonny Ebeneezer. Flood was unwilling to go into detail, but said the relationship with Serrell began to deteriorate following the win of Im Spartacus.

He added: ``Things came to a head this morning. I called the police to the yard. I've been under a huge amount of stress recently; the sort of stress I wouldn't wish on anyone.

David Flood ``I've no doubt I will return to training''``I informed the Jockey Club I'd have to relinquish my licence because I've no longer anywhere to train. I don't want to say where I've taken the horses. I've no doubt in my mind that I will return to training at some stage.''

John Taylor, who with his wife owned Gingembre, winner of the 2001 Scottish Grand National, said: ``Although not involved in the disagreement, we were caught in the middle as owners of the yard.

``At one stage we had three police cars here, and men running around with bits of paper. I've spoken to both Mr Serrell and Mr Flood. I feel very sorry for the staff who have lost their jobs, but I've told them they can continue to live here until they find alternative accommodation. I believe one member of staff went with Mr Flood.''
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 2, 2005
Words:388
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