James Horton Leaves Controversial Owner John Dance
Private trainer James Horton has made the decision to leave his position with owner John Dance. Horton will continue overseeing Dance's yard in Middleham until the end of the season, after which he will relocate to Newmarket.
Owner John Dance's Horses Banned During Investigation
Owner John Dance, known for owning multiple Group 1 winner Laurens and being a big-race sponsor, is currently at the center of an £80 million criminal investigation. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) froze Dance's assets in April, bringing all activity at his stable to a halt. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has since banned Dance's horses from running.
Horton Allowed to Run Horses Until Recently
James Horton, who previously worked as an assistant to Sir Michael Stoute, was allowed to run his horses in June under Coverdale Stud and Titanium Racing. However, the BHA recently announced a block on all horses in the ownership of Coverdale and Titanium Racing, as well as any in Dance's name.
BHA Suspends Horses Due to Non-Payment Concerns
The BHA suspended Dance's horses from running this week after concerns were raised about the alleged non-payment of funds to Titanium Racing Club members. These concerns relate to the sale of Sacred Angel by the Titanium Racing Club to owner-breeder Nurlan Bizakov in July. The BHA took this "interim action" directly, rather than under instruction from the FCA.
Horton to Start Afresh in Newmarket
James Horton has had a difficult year and has decided to start over at Flat racing HQ in Newmarket. He will continue taking care of Dance's horses until the end of the season before making the move. Horton praised his staff for their dedication and hard work throughout the challenging year, and stated that despite the recent success of the horses, they are currently unable to run.