Top owner announces shock split with jockey and confirms daughter will take new role in family operation | The Sun
TOP horse owner Max McNeill has announced a shock split with his No1 jockey and racing manager.
And he has confirmed his daughter Ella will take more hands-on role in the family operation.
The McNeill family, who run Ultima Business Solutions, are among the biggest and most popular owners in the game.
Some of their top horses include Cesarewitch winner Grumeti, Marsh Hurdle hero The Worlds End and serial winner Threeunderthrufive.
Adrian Heskin has exclusively ridden the latter, but McNeill said he will no longer be his go-to jockey.
The owner said his decision was based on money at a time when everyone is having to cut back.
He also cut ties with racing manager Iain Turner.
McNeill said: "It was a difficult decision, Iain and Adrian are very good friends but in current times everybody has to look at their finances.
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"For me, racing is a hobby, it's a passion, but it was a pragmatic financial decision.
"I want to stay in racing for the longer term and perhaps I have to go a couple of steps back to take it forward.
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"It will simplify things a bit, with me having more direct contact with the trainers and my daughter Ella can help with some of the admin tasks.
"She runs Chelsea Thoroughbreds and is doing a bit of stuff for Racing TV as well."
Ella has been starring alongside Man City's Match Day Live reporter Natalie Pike for Racing TV's Raceday TV service.
She is also National Hunt racing manager for Chelsea Thoroughbreds, a syndicate which also boasts former TV presenter Emma Spencer.
McNeill added that he is still committed to racing and that trimming the fat a bit was just part and parcel of being an owner.
He added: "I'm fully committed to racing – this is just rationalisation.
"Everyone is looking at costs, the cost of living's gone up, interests rates haven't helped.
"You can't carry on the way you are and it was a bloody difficult decision."
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