Tuesday 24 April 2018

Cheltenham legend Swan decides firm is a non-runner

Former top National Hunt jockey Charlie Swan has seen his training company go into voluntary liquidation. Mr Swan is pictured above taking a tumble on Istabraq, with whom he won three Champion Hurdles
Former top National Hunt jockey Charlie Swan has seen his training company go into voluntary liquidation. Mr Swan is pictured above taking a tumble on Istabraq, with whom he won three Champion Hurdles
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

As Cheltenham week reaches its peak tomorrow with the Gold Cup, one of its greatest participants, jockey Charlie Swan, has seen his training company go into voluntary liquidation.

Based in Co Tipperary, Mr Swan confirmed that the company - Charlie Swan Racing Ltd - was connected to his training activities, which he ceased around 2015. The company had €138,000 shareholder deficit at the end of 2016, with net current liabilities of €232,000 at the time.

Mr Swan, a three-times winner of the Cheltenham Champion Hurdles on the famed Istabraq, made a €123,000 settlement as a tax defaulter in 2015. He had announced earlier that year that he would quit training.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Swan said that the overheads associated the training were too high to make it viable in the long-term. He said it was "too difficult" without having deep pockets and that he was unlikely to ever train again, despite having been reasonably successful. "I really enjoyed it," he said.

However, Mr Swan said he will continue his long-term relationship with horseracing tycoon JP McManus, who owns Istabraq, helping him to buy horses. "I buy foals and sell them as three-year-olds and help JP a little bit buying horses in France and things like that," he said.

A legendary national hunt jockey, Mr Swan rode his first Cheltenham winner on Trapper John in the 1990 World Hurdle. The horse was trained by Mouse Morris. In 1993, he rode four horses to victory at Cheltenham - Montelado, Fissure Seal, Shawiya and Shuil Ar Aghaidh.

In 1994, he had three wins at the festival, on Danoli, Time for a Run, and Mucklemeg.

Mr Swan said this year's festival, with heavy going, should favour the Irish contingent. "It plays into the hands of the Irish horses because we're more used to running on it," he said.

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