Sherwood’s Rhonehurst up for sale
Grand National-winning trainer Oliver Sherwood, who has operated at his Rhonehurst base in Lambourn since he started his career in 1984, has dismissed any talk of retirement, despite the historic yard being put up for sale by its owner.
Sherwood, whose finest hour came three years ago when Many Clouds landed the Aintree marathon, bought the yard in 1984 after being encouraged to start training by Lambourn legend Fred Winter, to whom he was assistant.
He soon became one of Britain’s leading jumps trainers, and big-race victories included a Hennessy with Arctic Call, a handful of Cheltenham Festival races and multiple graded successes with star hurdler Large Action, but he sold Rhonehurst in 2002 and has rented it ever since.
The 66-box yard, which also has an equine pool, is now up for sale with a guide price of £3.5 million, but any deal will not signal the end of his career, Sherwood stressed.
He told the Racing Post’s James Burn: “The owners who bought the place off me in 2002 are selling up and it’s in the lap of the gods. I want to stay but I can’t afford to buy it. It’s a nice place but it’s out of my hands.
“I want to carry on training. I’m not stopping and if I have to train somewhere else, then I have to train somewhere else, but I’m hoping someone will invest in the place and I can carry on training from Rhonehurst. I’d like to finish off my days there.”
The arrival of the ill-fated Many Clouds, who also won a Hennessy and two Cotswold Chases, along with Puffin Billy and Deputy Dan among others helped Sherwood stage a revival in recent years after a quiet spell at the turn of the century.
“I don’t want people to put two and two together and get ten that I’m packing up training because I’m not,” added one of one jump racing’s most popular figures.
“It’s business as usual. I’m not going to panic and there’s no point losing sleep over it. What will be will be. Alan King’s place went up for sale 18 months ago and somebody came in and bought it. I’m hoping the same will happen here.”
Sherwood, who enjoyed a winner at Wincanton on Monday with Rayvin Black, is relaxed about the future.
“If someone comes in and wants to train there and I’m out, then I’ll have to look for somewhere else to train,” he said.
“Of course I want to carry on. John Watts, who bought it off me, has been very fair about it all and these things happen in life.”