Owen, Dascombe Part Ways


Tom Dascombe and Michael Owen | Emma Berry

Trainer Tom Dascombe will leave Michael Owen's Manor House Stables after a 12-year stint. While Owen said on Thursday morning that they part “on great terms”, Dascombe admitted later in the day that it was a “complete shock” when he was informed of the change two days ago.

Dascombe's greatest success during his Manor House tenure came when winning the G1 Irish St Leger with Brown Panther (GB) (Shirocco {Ger}), the popular stayer raced by Owen and Andrew Black whose numerous group wins also included the G2 Goodwood Cup and G2 Dubai Gold Cup and placings in the G1 St Leger and G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. On the opposite end of the distance spectrum, Dascombe trained Angel Alexander (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) to win the Ayr Gold Cup, and Kachy (GB) (Kyllachy {GB}), a group-winning sprinter who placed behind the likes of Blue Point (Ire), Battaash (GB) and Quiet Reflection (GB).

Owen said in a statement, “After more than 12 years as trainer, Tom Dascombe will be leaving Manor House Stables in the new year. We have shared many great times and races together and created memories that will last a lifetime. I would like to place on record my own personal thanks for all his hard work and support over the years. We part on great terms and everyone at MHS will miss him and wishes him the very best for the future.”

“Colin Gorman and the rest of the MHS team will naturally oversee things once Tom departs and it will be very much business as usual until we appoint Tom's replacement,” Owen added.

Dascombe, however, painted a different picture on Thursday. Speaking to the media after saddling Skittlebombz (GB) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) to win at Southwell for John and Jess Dance, Dascombe said, “I only found out two days ago. I told my family yesterday. I told my staff this morning. I have absolutely no plans–I have no idea what I am going to do next, but I will be training next year from somewhere and we will train winners like we have just done there [at Southwell]. It is as simple as that–life goes on. The fact that they don't want me to be here anymore, that's their choice, it is not mine.”

Dascombe, whose 59 wins this year also includes Ever Given (Ire) (Kodi Bear {GB}) in the £98,000 Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale S. for the Dandy Boys partnership, added, “It was a complete shock. But that's it, I have had two days to think about it and I've just got to look after my staff, look after my owners, look after my horses and carry on the best I can.

“The fact that this news came just before Christmas is almost irrelevant, but I have tried to reassure all the staff that everybody else is fine, bar me. We will see what happens and I just have to carry on with life. We will get it sorted. There is no hope about it–we will get it sorted. I just don't know how or when.”

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