Swindon attached trainer John Spracklen operates double standards when it comes to retirement.

Having first found success as the owner of 1996 Grand National winner Dynamic Display (trained by Barry O’Sullivan), John has been training for two decades and has a select string Moreton’s (prefix from John’s farm) in training.

Star of the kennel is Moreton Madras (Kinloch Brae-Precious Story, Sep 15) who recorded the fastest time of the year over Swindon’s 685m course on Wednesday with a 41.72 (+20) run. Kennelmate Moreton Melody finished down the field.

It was Madras’s third win in her last four races including a third open race victory over 630m at Monmore.

The rest of the kennel includes A4 grader Moreton Garnet – kennelname Alf – and the versatile Moreton Nitro, a recent winner in A3/S1.

Despite being in the ‘veteran’ stage himself, John still relishes his open race forays with Monmore his particular favourite.

He said: “I can only commend Monmore on everything they do throughout the stadium. As for open racing in general, I wish I could manage more dogs, but I am 83 now and have to pace myself a bit.”

As for retiring. . . John has three ex-racers living in the house. . . .but has no plans to reserve a sofa any time soon.

Swindon veteran Moreton Volare, an April 13 whelp trained by John Spracklen, ran his 100th and final race recently. The A2 graded race suitably named ‘The Moreton Volare Retirement Stakes’. The winner of 21 races, including opens and heats of the BAGS Track Championship, was a hugely popular wide running powerhouse weighing in at over 35 kilos. There was to be no fairy-tale ending as the magnificent trophy was won by Darryl Porter’s Bossanova, but ‘Blackie’ will now enjoy a happy retirement with his adoring owner trainer
Photo: Virginia Spracklen (John’s daughter); John Spracklen (Volare’s owner); two of Darryl’s kennel hands – Will Saunders and Jack Griffiths; Darryl Porter (trainer of Bossanova) pic courtesy of Swindon Racing Office