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TV executive Fairley buys historic Highfield.


ONE of North Yorkshire's best-known Classic-winning stables has been purchased by a television executive determined to revive the former glories of the historic property.

Malton's Highfield Stables, from where eight Classic winners were trained by the Elsey family between 1949 and 1973, and currently a base for Andy Turnell, has been sold for an undisclosed sum to John Fairley, the chairman of Highflyer Productions, the company responsible for producing racing programmes for Channel 4, Racing UK and RTE.

Fairley has purchased the property via a company he heads named Trainers House Enterprises, from his formerLiverpool schoolmate Dr John Hollowood and his wife Claire, who have been Turnell's main patrons in recent years but are now reducing their involvement in racing.

Turnell said yesterday he is looking for alternative yards, and although he has viewed several properties in recent weeks, he has yet to decide on a new location. ``I'm investigating several options,'' he said.

Fairley, who intends to make his home at Highfield Stables, stressed the deal with Hollowood was completed only recently, and the subject of a new resident trainer had yet to be discussed.

Charles Elsey saddled half a dozen Classic winners from Highfield House in the ten-year period from 1949, the sequence beginning with Musidora in the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks and ending with Can-telo in the 1959 St Leger. The trainer was succeeded by Bill Elsey, who maintained the family tradition when winning the 1967 Oaks with Pia and the 1973 St Leger with P eleid.

The property has 30 boxes in the main yard, with another ten nearby and room for expansion.

Fairley said: ``These are early days and we're completely open-minded as to who will be training from the yard, but we're hoping quality horses will be coming out of there.

``The place has always been associated with Flat racing, and that's likely to be continued. It has such a wonderful record of achievement down the decades and it would be marvellous to see it sending out Classic winners again.''


Andy Turnell Looking for a new yard
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2005
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