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Channon forced to put West Ilsley yard up for sale

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Mick Channon is hoping for the boost of a big-race victory at York on Saturday after being forced to put his historic West Ilsley yard up for sale.

Channon’s Ingra Tor is a 5-1 favourite for the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap.

Channon and his family have been based at West Ilsley, near Newbury, since he purchased the yard from the Queen in 1999.

The trainer had been keen to modernise the yard from which Dick Hern sent out no fewer than 25 Classic winners, including Brigadier Gerard and Nashwan.

Channon, who made more than 500 appearances for Southampton and won 46 caps for England as a footballer, had planned to finance his project with funds raised from the sale of part of his estate.

Channon is Southampton's record goalscorer
Channon is Southampton's record goalscorer

He had hoped to build some new, American-style, barns.

However, his ambitions were thwarted after planning permission was rejected.

West Ilsley has subsequently been advertised for sale, as a whole or in six lots, with a guide price of £6.975m.

Channon has won the valuable three-year-old handicap 6f at York with Aradanza in 1993 and Cotton House seven years later in 2000.

He has had the race in mind for Ingra Tor, whose owner-breeders Jon and Julia Aisbitt won the Lincoln in March with Johan, since the colt impressed at Newmarket on 2,000 Guineas day.

Channon has always had a passion for racing – as a footballer, he used to ask commentators for results at half time.

He brought his first horse, Cathy Jane, for £440 in 1973.

When Channon retired in 1987 he turned his full attention to racing and by the early 2000s was one of the UK’s most successful trainers.

Southampton’s record goalscorer achieved a lifelong dream when he won a Classic with Samitar in the Irish 1000 Guineas in 2012.

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