LEADING National Hunt trainer Neil King is to move from his current Newmarket base after buying the Upper Herdswick Farm site at Barbury Castle near Marlborough.

King, who has been based at St Gatien Stables yard for 12 years, will take over the 284-acre chalkland downs training establishment which is currently rented to Jim Old and has been the source of winners including Champion Hurdle victor, Collier Bay.

In a yard swap brokered by Windsor Clive International, St Gatien Stables has been purchased by Wally Sturt, long-time racehorse owner with Sir Mark Prescott and owner and landlord to Old.

The move comes on the back of King’s most successful season to date with 25 winners, which have included the promising Saffron Wells, Zeroeshadesofgrey and Delgany Demon.

King said: “Newmarket has been an excellent place to train from but it’s been a long held ambition to have my own land and private facilities.

"Upper Herdswick has exceptional gallops to train jumpers from, it has one of the best schooling grounds in the country and plenty of turnout for horses. It will be a busy summer refurbishing the buildings, as well as installing a new polytrack gallop and spa facility.

"I am delighted to be in a position where I can take this major step forwards and look to increase the number and quality of horses in the yard, and hopefully attract further new owners.

"I’ve steadily built up the business over the past few years with increased winners year on year and my owners are extremely supportive of the move. I’m also lucky to have a great team of staff, the majority of whom are moving with me including our stable jockey, Trevor Whelan.”