The first of four regional Lifetime in Racing awards was presented on 22 September to former trainer Cliff Lines at Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting.
Cliff, the former work-rider of legendary Derby winner Shergar and later setting up as a trainer in Exning, enjoyed a 70-year career in racing before retiring in 2019 just before his 84th birthday. He received no less than five nominations for the award from colleagues and friends within the industry who commended his dedication to the sport. He and his family enjoyed a VIP day at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile racecourse, which included hospitality and the opportunity to present the Best Turned Out and winning connections’ prizes for the 4.45pm Lifetime In Racing Handicap.
David Letts nominated Cliff for the award earlier this year saying: “Cliff has dedicated his life to racing, starting out as a young boy and not retiring until he was in his eighties. He had no ‘leg up’ in the sport, but started from the bottom and worked hard to progress through to become a trainer in his own right. He is a great advocate for racing and his enthusiasm is infectious, often encouraging others to engage with the sport in some way.”
Also joining Cliff at the racecourse were the family of the late Les Simpson. During his sixty years in the racing industry Les, who died in June this year, worked for trainers including Noel Murless and Jeremy Noseda. He was highly commended following a posthumous nomination by his daughter Kristina Milligan.
On what was an emotional day for the family, Kristina said: “Dad would have been so proud and happy to have been recognised for his service within the racing industry. It’s such an honour to collect the award on his behalf today.”