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Horse Racing: McAuley starts training career.

Byline: By Graham Green

JOCKEY John McAuley is poised to saddle his debut runner this week after becoming the first trainer to operate from Claydon Hall Stud outside Ipswich.

McAuley, 31, has been planning the career change since last August, but intends to keep his riding licence in case of emergencies.

He is starting with a string of 11 at his Suffolk base, which has primarily been a dressage and showjumping establishment.

"We have 15 boxes, and although there is planning permission for more, I want to keep things around this level for the first year or so while I find my feet, and then possibly expand later on," said McAuley, whose girlfriend, Caroline Hutchinson, is sharing the workload as his assistant.

"It has always been my ambition to train. We have been here nearly eight weeks and I couldn't be more pleased with the place."

McAuley has ridden almost 70 winners, mostly in the north, over 16 years in the saddle during which he has often been associated with difficult horses. His biggest success came with Sun Bird in the 2002 Old Newton Cup at Haydock.

He said: "I'm going to keep my licence - firstly, because I can still do light weights, but also in case a jockey doesn't turn up because they have heard the horse is a bit of a nutter, or something like that, and then I will ride the thing myself.

"Also, if a jockey doesn't turn up because of an accident, I won't have to rush about trying to find somebody to replace them, but I will only be riding my own horses."

McAuley has the ex-Mark Johnston-trained Book Of Facts in the opening 1m1f handicap at Goodwood on Thursday, but will also be entering last November's Wolverhampton maiden winner in a 1m race at Newmarket on Saturday. He will not make a decision on where the three-year-old appears until talking to the owner.

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John McAuley: starting with a string of 11 near Ipswich
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 21, 2007
Words:332
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