Brittain's passion for horse racing started at a young age. He was born in London and grew up in the countryside where he developed a love for horses. At the age of 18, he became an apprentice jockey and worked his way up the ranks to become a trainer. His first big break came in 1970, when he trained the winner of the prestigious Ascot Gold Cup, the first of many successes to come.
Over the years, Brittain established himself as one of the top trainers in the UK and his horses won numerous races, including the 1,000 Guineas, the 2,000 Guineas, and the St Leger Stakes. He trained some of the greatest horses of his time, including Ardanann, Tolomeo, and Lord Grimthorpe. However, his greatest moment came in 1989, when he took the racing world by surprise with his runner-up horse, Troy, in the Epsom Derby.
The Epsom Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world and is held annually in Epsom, England. It is a 1-mile, 4-furlong race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses and attracts the best horses and trainers from around the world. In 1989, the race was expected to be dominated by the favourite, Nashwan, who was heavily backed by the bookmakers.
However, Brittain's horse, Terimon, who was given 500/1 odds by the bookmakers, surprised everyone by finishing second to Nashwan. This unexpected result made headlines and put Brittain in the spotlight. Despite the long odds, Brittain believed in his horse and had faith in its abilities. He had trained Troy meticulously and knew that it had the potential to do well in the race.
After the race, Brittain was hailed as a hero by many in the horse racing community. His success with Troy was a testament to his skills as a trainer and his ability to identify and develop talented horses. He went on to train many more successful horses, including Relational, who won the French 2,000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes in 1990.
Clive Brittain retired from training in 2016 after a successful career that spanned over four decades. He trained over 2,000 winners and won numerous races, including the 1,000 Guineas, the 2,000 Guineas, and the St Leger Stakes. Despite his many successes, his runner-up horse in the 1989 Epsom Derby remains one of his greatest achievements and is a testament to his skills as a horse trainer.
In conclusion, Clive Brittain is a legendary horse trainer who has left a lasting impact on the world of horse racing. He is best known for his incredible feat in the 1989 Epsom Derby, where he trained the runner-up horse, Terimon, at odds of 500/1. This unexpected result solidified his place as one of the most talented horse trainers in the world and will always be remembered as one of the greatest moments in horse racing history.