`Newmarket suffers from a garrison-town mentality'

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The Independent Online
When John Gosden returned to train in England in 1988 he was not expecting a blizzard of ticker tape or a civic reception at Newmarket to mark his homecoming, writes Richard Edmondson. Even he, though, was surprised by the steel-cold welcome. "There were only two fellows in the whole of the town who said it was nice to see me back," he says.

Newmarket may be an insignificant speck in East Anglia in the atlas, but it has a reputation of being the capital of bitchiness and jealousy. Gosden himself does little to erase this image. "I'm afraid Newmarket suffers from the fact that it has a garrison-town mentality," he says. "When you live in the somewhat insular world of horseracing you are inclined to think that Newmarket, Suffolk, is the centre of the universe. That nothing else really matters.

"Training in New York and Los Angeles is different. You train in the middle of millions of people and once you leave the racetracks you are just Joe Blow in traffic. It's easier to understand the word humility. Around this place people get delusions of grandeur and can get so preoccupied in themselves that it trivialises the existence they have. It's a malaise and it's a pity.

"If you have a nice winner there are those who tend to run the other way, but if you have something go wrong a lot of people can't wait to come over and tell you how sorry they are.

"There are good people in Newmarket and others who need a lesson in perspective."

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