Racing: Final call as Pitman heads for the sunset

MAJIIRO WILL probably start at a very short price for the bumper at Huntingdon tonight, because as her followers know only too well, Jenny Pitman will want to end her training career with a winner. Pitman has four entries at the track, just a day before she hands over her licence to her son, Mark, and retires - assuming that she knows the meaning of the word - to become the racing manager for her principal owner.

Merry Shot, Silver Thyne and Scarlet Emperor are Pitman's other entries, although the possibility of firm going means that not all are certain to run. All four are owned by Robert Hitchins, whose string will be managed by Mrs Pitman from next season.

"We will walk the course before deciding whether they will all run or not," David Stait, Mrs Pitman's husband, said yesterday. "They will all go with their chances. Majiiro has been working well and is in good form. He ran a cracking race at Sandown and we are quite hopeful."

Whatever the outcome for her last runner, Jenny Pitman will retire from training having been one of the most significant members of her profession in the last 20 years. She was the first woman to train the winner of the Grand National, when Corbiere won the race in 1983, and won the race again with Royal Athlete 12 years later. She also saddled Esha Ness, who passed the post first in the void National of 1993.

Pitman was also the first woman trainer to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Burrough Hill Lad in 1984, and followed up with Garrison Savannah, who was ridden by Mark Pitman, in 1991. She was embroiled in controversy, though, after the 1992 renewal, when her horse Golden Freeze appeared to be ridden with the sole intention of frustrating the hot favourite, Carvill's Hill.

Staying chasers were always Mrs Pitman's stock in trade. When Mudahim won the Irish Grand National last year, she became only the second trainer to complete a full set of all four Nationals, having won the Welsh version three times and the Scottish National at Ayr once.

Other notable chasers to have passed through Mrs Pitman's hands include Stearsby, Nahthen Lad and Toby Tobias, while her haul of big races included the Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase, and the Sun Alliance Novices' Chase and the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The licence at Weathercock House in Lambourn, which Pitman built up almost from scratch, will now pass to Mark Pitman, who has been training successfully nearby for the last two seasons. The dynasty is surely in safe hands.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot