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Maureen was former Newmarket trainer Clive Brittain's ‘rock’

Maureen Brittain, wife of former Newmarket trainer Clive, has died.

Mrs Brittain, who was 87, had been suffering with dementia for a number of years and had been a resident at Oaklands care facility in Bottisham which is part of the Hilton Park complex.

She met her husband when they were both working for Sir Noel Murless at Warren Place. She was the Royal trainer’s racing secretary for 17 years while he was one of the lads.

Maureen Brittain with her husband Clive.
Maureen Brittain with her husband Clive.

The couple married at St Mary’s Church, Newmarket, in February 1957 and theirs was one of the most enduring and popular partnerships within the town’s racing community.

In 1972, when her husband set up as trainer in his own right at Pegasus Stables in Snailwell Road, Mrs Brittain became an integral part of the new set up thanks to her extensive knowledge of the world of racing and thoroughbred breeding.

“She’s my biggest asset,” Mr Brittain, now 85, said proudly in his biography, The Smiling Pioneer. “It is not me, me, me it is us, us, us. We have been a team since we started.”

Mrs Brittain had an extensive knowledge of thoroughbred pedigrees and, together with her husband, raced a number of home-bred horses in their own orange and brown diamond colours.

Among these was her favourite, Shambo, who had 58 races from the ages of two to nine gaining his biggest win in 1992 at Newbury in the Group 2 Geoffrey Freer Stakes. He also won the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes in 1993 and 1994.

Simon Gibson, Mrs Brittain’s godson said: “She became the power behind the throne. Clive was a pathfinder when it came to racing his horses abroad and Maureen had to make sure she was absolutely on it making entries and travel arrangements for horses racing all over the world.

“From the moment of their marriage, Clive was absolutely committed to her just as he had vowed in sickness and in health’ and he went to see her every day. He has lost his rock.”

Her private funeral service will be on Tuesday, June 30.