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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Gask plans return to Australia with 'sadness and excitement'

Jeremy Gask: 'This decision has not been made lightly'
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Jeremy Gask, who came close to winning the 2015 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot with stable star Medicean Man, is to return to Australia to train at the end of the year.

Gask, who trained more than 250 winners down under, sent out his first runners in Britain in 2007 and enjoyed his best campaign in 2011 when saddling 34 winners.

His flagship horse was useful sprinter Medicean Man, who made his debut at Newbury in 2009 and – in the words of the trainer – gave him the "chance to see the world", becoming a regular at Meydan where he won four times, including a handicap in January.

However, Gask's relocation from his long-time base at Sutton Veny, near Warminster, in Wiltshire, to the Danebury stables Richard Hughes started his training career at in Hampshire has not worked out as well as he would have wished.

He moved at the start of last season, but a bug among his string meant he struggled to expand, sending out 17 winners. Things have improved this term with 12 already on the board, but Gask, 43, will nevertheless head back to Australia.

He wrote on his blog: "Recently an opportunity has arisen which has led to the decision to bring our time in the UK to an end later in the year. This decision has not been made lightly and is one that evokes mixed feelings from sadness to excitement at what lays ahead.

"We moved to Danebury early last year full of confidence and expectation that we could grow the business.

Medicean Man and Joao Moreira (left) are touched off in the 2015 King's Stand Stakes by Goldream (centre) and Muthmir (right)

"Unfortunately, our arrival last season coincided with an illness among the horses, one that was ill-timed given the hope of encouraging new stock to the yard.

"Thus, the numbers haven’t increased in the manner we wanted and I was clear at the time of the move I had no desire to make up the numbers and wanted to improve the stock to train and compete at the top level consistently."

Gask, a semi-professional Aussie Rules footballer who started training in 1999, has trained 191 winners in Britain.

Medicean Man heads for the turf training track at Meydan in March before his unplaced run in the Al Quoz Sprint

He added: "An opportunity to return to Australia to train has arisen and though plans are still evolving it is very exciting for the family.

"It is likely NSW [New South Wales] will be our home and I am fortunate we have some great support there, setting things up to allow me to concentrate on the job here.

"I’ll elaborate more on the move in coming weeks, but for now there is plenty to focus on here with horses getting ready for the season."

I had no desire to make up the numbers and wanted to improve the stock to train and compete at the top level consistently
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