Former all-weather champion Littmoden back training jumpers
Former multiple champion all-weather trainer Nick Littmoden is making a comeback two years after his retirement, but this time it will be on a more modest scale and the emphasis has switched to jumpers.
Littmoden trained more than 600 winners in his first spell as a trainer, including an impressive 80 in 2002. He excelled on the all-weather, but gained his most prestigious win in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster with Chateau Istana, who earlier in the year had won the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Abernant Stakes success of nine-year-old Cretan Gift, who had been among the handful of horses with which he started out, was another sprinting highlight, and only 23 of his winners were over jumps.
At the time of his retirement he said he was "unlikely" to be back, but he never really went away and in the meantime has been busy preparing and managing horses, including Sir Note, whom he had trained to his first two wins over jumps before he joined James Eustace for six further wins.
Explaining the change of heart, Littmoden said: "I just seem to have accumulated a few horses and quite frankly I might as well train them myself. It's only small scale and I haven't got the ambition to go back training 50 or so again, but I've taken 14 boxes at Jon Scargill's at Newmarket.
"I never really got out of it to be honest. I retained an interest and that interest got bigger, not smaller, so it makes sense to take it all under my wing rather than just pre-training and managing them."
He said: "Sir Note is probably the stable star, as he's rated 141 now and so will be going for some of those Grade 3 handicaps. He could be very exciting if he stays 3m.
"I've also got some nice young prospects from France to go hurdling with, including Figeac, who has done well on the Flat, and By Rail, a lovely, big horse who has won and placed on the Flat.
"Hatem, who has been with Caroline Bailey, will go hurdling, and I'll have Toriano for the Flat, as well as hopefully a couple of two-year-olds. It's a modest start, but I'm letting people know now and I'd welcome a few more."
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