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Popular Newmarket figure and former trainer dies aged 87

John Powney was a stalwart at the National Horseracing Museum
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Former trainer and popular Newmarket figure John Powney died at his home on the Bury Road in the town on Wednesday. He was 87.

Powney, who was the son of trainer Hugh, was steeped in racing and embraced all aspects of it, most recently when becoming a stalwart at the National Horseracing Museum.

Before that, Powney is best known for a spell as private trainer to David Robinson at Newmarket's Clarehaven Stables in the 1970's and in later life he moved over to stud work and became a stud manager and a part-time clerk of the scales.

His widow Ena said: "John hadn't been very well for the last couple of years and had been in and out of hospital but his wish was that he wanted to die here at Shalfleet Cottage.

"He was steeped in racing and loved every aspect of it. He served his time at Stanley House and eventually trained out of his father's yard at Saville House.

"After "retirement" he worked for Tattersalls and the National Horseracing Museum for many years. He always said he'd had a wonderful life."

Powney was friendly with Don Cantillon in later years and the latter recalled: "John was an absolute gentleman and a good judge and I often used to see him down at the paper shop.

"He only lived two feet from the horsewalk on the Bury Road and when we were passing by one day I asked him to come out and look at the horses. He said that he loved Hollywood Road the most and that was before he'd even ran and now he's one of the best in the yard."

Powney's funeral is to be held at St Agnes's Church in Newmarket on March 6 at 12.30pm.

John was an absolute gentleman and a good judge and I often used to see him down at the paper shop

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