Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Michael Jarvis announces retirement

MICHAEL JARVIS, one of Flat racing's longest-serving and most respected trainers, is retiring on health grounds with almost immediate effect.

Jarvis, 72, who in recent years has undergone heart surgery and been treated for prostate cancer, plans to hand over the reins at Kremlin HouseStables in Newmarket to his assistant, Roger Varian, once the formalities have been completed.

Jarvis has enjoyed an illustrious career stretching back 43 years during which he has been responsible for a string of top-class performers, most notably Arc winner Carroll House, multiple Group 1 winner Rakti and the Classic-winning fillies Ameerat and Eswarah.

Speaking on Tuesday night, Jarvis said: "I shall be relinquishing my licence shortly, but there are quite a lot of details to work out.

"The reason is ill health. I haven't been well for quite some time and my health has justdeteriorated in the last couple of months, and I am a hands-on person, and I don't feel I can do the job as I would like to do."

Jockey Philip Robinson, a vital cog in the Jarvis machine having ridden many of the stable's big winners, paid tribute to Jarvis. Speaking on At The Races, he said: "He has coped remarkably well over the last few years and has done a fantastic job despite the situation.

"He has built a brilliant team around him, which has been very helpful. His biggest strength as a trainer was how well he understood his horses.

"He got to know each horse individually and got the best out of them. He treated no two horses the same and he was a genius at finding out what each horse needed."

On Roger Varian Robinson added: "Roger is top class and has been Michael's assistant for 10 years. What Michael has taught him in that time has been invaluable. He is a real learner and it isa fantasic opportunity for him."

On his own future, the 50-year-old Robinson is considering his options. He continued: "This has all come rather suddenly. I've known for a long time that Michael has been unwell and I knew this day would eventually come.

"I have a lot to mull over, I wish Roger all the best, but I am not sure about my own future. I will take 24 hours to mull things over as I don't want to make a rash decision."

Read more on Michael Jarvis's retirement in Wednesday's Racing Post

By Graham Green
Source:  Racing Post