Thursday 30 August 2012

Brian Meehan: From Russia With Love

All the major racehorse trainers and bloodstock agents were in Yorkshire this week for the start of the annual sales at Doncaster.

But top trainer Brian Meehan was noticeably without the person who is said to be one of the best judges of horseflesh in the country at his side - namely his wife, Kim.   

For Meehan, 45, who describes Kim’s contribution to his racing operation at the late Robert Sangster’s internationally renowned stables, Manton, near Marlborough, Wilts, as ‘inestimable’, will no longer be able to rely on her eye in spotting a possible future champion, because she has asked for a divorce.

The cause of her displeasure is a recent encounter rugged Meehan enjoyed with a Russian masseuse, I am told. 

And though husband and wife are still living at the Manton spread, Meehan has moved out of the marital home and into a  cottage on the estate

A friend of the couple tells me: ‘Brian confessed to it. The Russian girl is not on the scene any more - she has vanished. But Brian is much admired by the ladies.’ 

Meehan has a three-year contract to train at the 2,800-acre Manton, where he has more than 100 horses in training. 

He was invited to become master of Manton in 2006. It is not the first time the estate has been the backdrop of marital unhappiness: Sangster’s marriage to his third wife, Sue, ended while he was there.

Meehan - a winner at Royal Ascot this year - is one of Britain’s most successful international trainers. And Kim has been a huge support, not least because she is the daughter of the late trainer Frank Allison. She also enjoyed an accomplished career as an amateur jockey before her marriage 18 years ago. 

Kim also trained for her father previously and has always been active in helping Brian, but alas no longer. 

‘It’s a private matter,’ says Meehan. ‘There isn’t anyone else in my life and I am just concentrating on looking after my clients and winning races.’