“I would have settled for any Category One race to be honest. But for it to be the Sussex Cup with all its history, well that was just special!”
The last time that ‘Lindy’ Green was interviewed on this website, it was an emotional time. Dad Arun had just come out of hospital after a serious illness, Belinda was about to take over his license and Pure Placeere had given the kennel and a family a huge boost by winning the Guys And Doll Final. It would be a fitting swansong for Arun after 19 years at Crayford following spells at Portsmouth and Swindon.
But when Ninja Kerry crossed the line as the third leg in an eventual 416-1 four-timer on Saturday – it marked a spectacular new highlight in the four and a half year storybook since Pure Placeere. The tale includes Lindy has marrying fiance Gary Whittington, the sale of Lowland Kennels resulting in a move to Albourne two and a half years ago, and of course a change of attachment, from Crayford to Hove.
Lindy said: “I grew up in Burgess Hill so it has taken some adjustment. Lowland was on 38 acres with room to rear pups but the site was always going to be sold for building; the entire area was being developed. We have been here two and a half years and we are delighted that we had the chance to get these kennels.”
Despite the downsizing, there has been a huge flipside to the arrangement. After a period of decline, Hove is once again in the ascendancy with a significant increase in the calibre of the local runners.
Lindy said: “It was great to see the locals defending their ground. Apart from our four, Richard Rees had a couple of winners on the night, as did Richard Yeates and Jason Heath. It was a good night for the track.”
The improvement in the quality of the local runners – Hove was the most dominant track in the latter stages of the English Derby, bar the host track – might have something to do with the resurgance of the local owners.
Lindy said: “We have 67 dogs in the kennel with a new arrival due tomorrow which will take us up to our maximum of 68. Gary and I worked out the other day that we only have six or seven dogs of our own. The rest have owners including some who are owned in syndicates. While we enjoy having a few of our own, particularly those that we have bred ourselves, when they aren’t on the strength, you are always better off if someone else is paying the kennel bill.”
As for the Sussex Cup – that’s gone! Typically of a modern kennel, there was little time for celebration and by Sunday, it was business as usual.
Three of the kennel’s four winners are off to Monmore for trials with the Gold Cup and Stayers Classic in their sights.
It is perhaps interesting though to reflect on one final thought. Thanks to the legend who was ‘Gentleman George’ Curtis, five previous winners of the Sussex Cup were trained at Lowlands Kennels. The trainer of the 2021 winner, was actually reared there!