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Former top owner Lemos dies aged 81.

Byline: Graham Green

CLIVE BRITTAIN has paid a glowing tribute to Captain Marcos Lemos, the Greek shipping magnate he credits with establishing his training career, who has died at his home outside Athens at the age of 81.

Over a period of nearly 20 years, the Lemos colours of royal blue with white hoop on body and striped cap were carried by some of the best horses in Britain, most notably his homebred filly Pebbles, winner of the 1984 1,000 Guineas who, after being bought by Sheikh Mohammed, went on to land the Champion Stakes and Breeders' Cup Turf.

In his early days as an owner, Lemos paid 27,000gns for a yearling named Grecian Sea who died before seeing the racecourse, but the experience only hardened his determination to become a major player in the sport.

He had already made his mark at the elite level with the champion two-year-old Petingo, runner-up in the 1968 2,000 Guineas and winner of the St James's Palace and Sussex Stakes, and Cavo Doro, saddled by Vincent O'Brien and ridden by Lester Piggott to be second in the 1973 Derby, before teaming up with Brittain and purchasing Carlburg stable.

Taking up the story, Brittain said: "It all started with Averof, who was trained by Bernard van Cutsem. The captain didn't think

Willie Carson, who was riding as first jockey to the stable, was suited to the horse, and Bernard suggested sending him to me, which was amazing because I had only just started training.

"We won three Group races with Averof, including the St James's Palace, and after that the captain asked if I would train all his horses. I was just getting going and didn't want to give up the owners I had started with, so we agreed he would put 40 horses in training and the other boxes I could use for who I wanted.

"I trained my first Classic winner for him with Julio Mariner in the 1978 St Leger. Every year we had a good horse and then Pebbles came along." Supreme Leader finished third in the 1985 2,000 Guineas and fourth in the Derby, but a couple of years later Lemos moved back to Greece, and he had not had a horse in training since 1998.

"He decided the Arab influence was going to be so strong that he wouldn't be able to compete at the highest level," said Brittain..

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Captain Marcos Lemos: established Clive Brittain's career
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2009
Words:414
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