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My Swallow trainer Davey dies aged 81.

Byline: By Graham Green

MICHAEL JARVIS yesterday led the tributes to Paul Davey, who has died at the age of 81. The two men were both private trainers to David Robinson when the television-rental millionaire was Britain's biggest owner in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The news of Davey's death at a nursing home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on March 7 only emerged on Wednesday, and unfortunately came too late for the racing community to pay its respects as his funeral took place last week.

Davey assisted his trainer-father Ernie Davey in Malton until 1968, when he took over the reins at Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket for Robinson, with whom he enjoyed phenomenal success until retiring at the end of the 1974 season when his employer began to wind down his racing interests.

A year earlier Robinson, who was Britain's leading owner in 1969, had 157 horses divided between Jarvis and Davey.

Davey is possibly best remembered for training My Swallow, who as a two-year-old headed the Free Handicap in both France and England in 1970 when his wins included the Prix Robert Papin, the Prix Morny the Prix de la Salamandre and the Grand Criterium. The following season My Swallow finished third in what was arguably the greatest 2,000 Guineas ever behind Brigadier Gerard and Mill Reef. Davey was also responsible for 1971's leading juvenile, Deep Diver, who went on to establish himself as a top sprinter with victories in the Nunthorpe Stakes and Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp.

He also won the Gimcrack Stakes twice, in 1969 with Yellow God, who was subsequently runner-up to Nijinsky in the 2,000 Guineas, and two years later with Wishing Star.

Jarvis said: "Paul and I trained from different yards when we shared the David Robinson horses, but we worked quite closely together. Paul was a superb trainer, particularly of two-year-olds. I don't think I have ever seen anyone's two-year-olds look better than his, and what he did with My Swallow as a two-year-old, winning the four big Group 1s in France, was amazing."

Jarvis added: "Paul had been with his father for many years as assistant, and then I think he wanted to prove to himself that he could train, which he certainly could, and when he reached a certain level he decided to retire. He had property in Yorkshire and he returned up there to live for some time before coming back to Newmarket."

Former trainer Colin Williams, a longtime friend of Davey, said: "Paul was a brilliant trainer and he will be missed by everybody in racing who knew him."


Paul Davey: responsible for 1970's leading juvenile My Swallow
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 23, 2007
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