Lichfield trainer Ed McMahon saddled his last runner at Southwell on Thursday after being forced to retire owing to the HS2 railway linking Birmingham to London which will cut right through his yard.
Mysterious Look, a daughter of smart sprinter Look Here’s Carol who McMahon also had in his care, gave her trainer something to cheer about with a creditable performance.
She finished two-and-a-half lengths third behind Archimedes in the Betway Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Handicap over five furlongs.
Ever since 2010 when plans for the route of HS2 were unveiled, McMahon’s training operation had suffered with a flow of horses out of the yard and difficulties in attracting new owners.
The £56 billion project cuts right through the heart of his stable and as a result he is set to lose 60 of his 170 acres.
McMahon took over from his father Bryan 12 years ago, he went on to train some notable winners with one of his finest days coming on a September day at Newbury in 2010.
In the space of just a few hours, his speedy filly Astrophysical Jet notched her second Group 3 by landing the Dubai World Trophy, and Temple Meads took the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes for one of the yard’s top supporters John Fretwell.
“We’ve had some nice horses along the way. I think the best horse I’ve purchased was Astrophysical Jet. She won me two Group 3s and was a lovely filly,” said McMahon.
“My owners have had to find new trainers and I’ve helped them along the way but one of them has packed up altogether.”
We’re remaining here. I didn’t have too many options
Talks over compensation are still ongoing, with construction on Phase 1 about to begin towards the end of 2017.
McMahon added: “We’re remaining here. I didn’t have too many options. My parents are just coming up to their 80th year. My wife’s parents live close by and are getting older too. I’ve lived here all my life so it makes it hard to move away from the area.”