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Reed may sell Spigot Lodge.

GUY REED, one of British racing's most durable and significant owner-breeders, is "open to offers" for Spigot Lodge, the Middleham racing stables with which he has been associated for 30 years.

He is understood to be seeking a seven-figure sum for the 73-box property, which has been the training base of Chris Thornton since 1977.

Thornton recently saddled his 370th winner for Reed, and also sent out the owner's Flossy to land last year's November Handicap and the Channel 4 Trophy for the most wins in a season.

But a reduction in Thornton's string to 11, and Reed's decision to use other trainers, have fuelled speculation about Spigot Lodge's future, as well as producing enquiries from would-be buyers.

"There have been a few approaches to see if it's for sale, and we're open to offers if somebody wants to buy it," Reed said yesterday. "I've

decided to diversify to some extent, and don't want the responsibility of a significant yard.

"Spigot Lodge is well-situated geographically- adjacent to the new pool, new gallops, and in a

major racing centre, close to about 10 Flat racecourses. It will take more than 70 horses-the

current situation hardly uses the yard to its true potential."

Reed, aged 78, first became associated with the stables in partnership with Sam Hall. On the trainer's death in 1977, he bought the remaining share in the premises and Thornton took over the licence.

The best horses to carry Reed's colours have been Dakota, Path Of Peace, Derby fourth Shotgun and Apache, all trained at Spigot Lodge.

Reed will spread his 30-strong team around three trainers, and is supporting Mick Easterby in addition to Thornton and Barry Hills.

He added: "I've diversified because I didn't want to have too many eggs in one basket. With viruses putting yards out of action, it isn't sensible for me to have them all in one place. I haven't any problem with disease at Spigot, it's merely precautionary.

"Obviously there is a history of memorable

occasions, but in racing success comes occasionally, problems come daily."

Reed has no immediate plans to advertise the property on the open market, and did not rule out either his horses, or Thornton, staying there, subject to the wishes of any purchaser.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Lees, Jon
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2000
Previous Article:Hills hoping for return to riding tomorrow.
Next Article:Paul Haigh: Changing views on the value of jockeys.

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