Clifford Lines Signs Off With A Winner

Clifford Lines Signs Off With A Winner

It was a fairytale ending for a master of his trade - Clifford Lines, who saddled a winner from his final ever runner at Lingfield on Wednesday afternoon.

After nearly 70 years involved in racing, Clifford called time on a memorable career last week and sent out Catapult - under Hollie Doyle, who overcame an outside draw to land a morning gamble in the 3:20 maiden handicap.

Lines has worked aboard the likes of the infamous Shergar - a horse that won the 1981 Epsom Derby only to be kidnapped by Irish thieves, among many others such as Sonic Lady, Shareef Dancer and J O Tobin.

As a trainer, the 84yo had gone the last eighteen months since he was last in the winners enclosure, but he knew he had the 4yo Catapult in tip-top form.

He broke smartly and always remained clear of the field, winning by just under a length in the end. His trainer found it hard to hold back the tears.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "He came out of the stalls like a greyhound and that's what won him the race I should think. It's a fairytale end for me, terrific, and we'll have some champagne tonight."

"I was reasonably confident, although we thought the draw was bad. He was so well today.

"I've been so lucky. You just can't believe the feel those good horses give you," he said.

(Credit: Racing Post) Hollie Doyle repaid the trust Lines has put in her, and said after the race: "Cliff has given me so many chances but that's the first winner I've ridden for him.

"It's a great way for him to end. He's so passionate about his horses," she finished.

Gay Kelleway - who saddled runner-up Global Goddess, came up behind Lines on the Sky Sports cameras and said: "I don't mind finishing second to Cliff. I've known him all my life and he's ridden out for me.

"He was always a great judge."

Happy retirement Cliff!