Newmarket stalwart Gillon Aitken dies at 84
Posed for the statue of stallion and handler near July Course
Gillon Aitken, a stalwart of the Newmarket stud scene who was immortalised in the statue of the handler and rearing stallion at the entrance to the town, passed away last month aged 84.
Aitken worked initially for his father at Upend Stud before being asked to work for Sir John Astor at Warren Stud in Cheveley. He became stud groom and later stud manager and worked for Astor until the stud was sold to Sheikh Mohammed.
Among his accomplishments were foaling Troy, winner of the 200th Derby, and Cut Above, who was named by Aitken and went on to beat Shergar to land the St Leger.
Aitken continued to run Warren Stud until he retired at the age of 61.
He was honoured to be chosen to be the model for the stallion man of the 15-foot bronze sculpted by Lady Marcia Astor and Allan Sly outside the July Course, and son Ian said: “We will all miss him dearly but will at least still be able to see him on the roundabout welcoming all to Newmarket.”
Aitken is survived by his wife Doreen, known as D, son Ian, daughter-in-law Janet and grandson Alex.