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Season's Greetings

Friday, 23 December 2016

"Christmas is the day that holds all time together."
Alexander Smith.

A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS

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A Christmas Gallop by CLU

Angie, I and all the staff both from Frankland Lodge and Dullingham Park wish everybody a very happy Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year.

A big thank you goes to Clare for producing yet another great Christmas card for us.

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2016 has seen us settle into Frankland Lodge and I am really enjoying training on this side of the town. It is so much quieter and there is not the hustle and bustle of the Bury side. There are big plans afoot to improve the gallops with a 4 ½ furlong brand new hill gallop already designed and going through the planning process as we speak. I am hoping the first bit of turf will be dug in the spring of 2017 and I am sure it will be a tremendous help to all racecourse side trainers. 

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All of us here would like to thank the owners who have supported us through thick and thin as everybody knows we have had sick horses for most of the year. The infection has been with us now for a couple of years and has driven me barmy at times. The vets have never been able to get to the bottom of what it is and the whole of Newmarket has been affected. Everyone has been so understanding and supportive. It looks like we have turned a corner at long last with the boxes all steam cleaned and painted with new resistant paint. I look forward to rewarding everybody’s faith in 2017. 

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The yard is full with a great mixture of horses and we have a very good intake of yearlings this year. I am extremely positive about the future and the potential of each individual horse. It is an expensive game to be involved with, but one that can give you moments of magic no other sport can and it still gives me just as much pleasure to give my owners that feeling. I love them to come and see their horses both in training and on the track.
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Dullingham Park continues to thrive. The two establishments knit brilliantly together and the staff help out each other at both places when necessary. We have a very good intake of homebred yearlings, and the weanlings for next year are already beginning to excite me. The mares will be starting to foal early in the New Year and the cycle starts all over again. There is nothing like breeding your own winner. We are very grateful to our owners as the calibre of stallions being used is certainly improving all the time.

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The staff crisis in racing has been a problem for a few years now and everybody is competing for the same people. Our staff have been up and down this year, but we are very settled in the office with Ian who organises all the finances absolutely brilliantly and Di who runs the racing and stud side, plus doing the website daily and looking after the owners. Everything runs very smoothly in the office and it is great credit to both of them.      83_Julio
Outside my Assistant Barry is top class and he is beginning to understand how Newmarket works. It takes a year or two for it to sink in as it is really very different to most other training centres. Iben and Anna do the travelling and are always very well organised and smartly turned out. Jess is our new feeder and has been with us a month or two now. As with all the facets of running a yard, this is a very important part of the job as racehorses need feeding at a regular time and individually. Our riding out staff have got plenty of experience and are always encouraged to give feedback. The yard people keep the boxes clean and well disinfected. A big thank you to everybody.
     145_Ex_Battery_Power_16At the stud David continues to do an absolutely brilliant job. His experience always shines through, especially at foaling time. Mo and his team work very hard and have got a great rapport with the mares and young stock. In Ryan we have a marvellous maintenance man who keeps both yards running smoothly and the paddocks in great fettle. He can do nearly everything from plumbing, roofing, fencing and building. Another big thank you goes to all of them.

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Colin playing at the Racing Welfare Carol Concert

A big thank you to Carol who is part of the family and keeps all the properties pristine. Her husband Colin does the electric work for both premises - he also plays in the Newmarket Town band. (picture above) 
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                                                   Another member of the family - Bob the yard cat

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The Jockey Club are going to planning for 150 houses for stable staff on the bottom of Hamilton Road. This will be of brilliant help to all the staff and trainers. I have been campaigning for years for the Jockey Club to provide affordable housing. With house prices going through the roof, the staff have always been priced out of any houses in Newmarket as they are snapped up quickly by workers in Cambridge and even London. Hopefully this development will be the first of several as there is another piece of land adjacent to it which will also go for housing and we need a similar development on the Bury side of town as well. After 30 years I am delighted that we are at last getting somewhere.

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17_Walking_homOur syndicates and partnerships go from strength to strength and we have had some great days this year. I especially remember Desert River winning at Chelmsford in an unbelievable finish. There must have been a dozen people off the ground at the same time as he flashed past the post winning by a short head. It is a fantastic way of being involved in the sport of kings for a small outlay and once involved, it is very hard to leave. We have many new horses for sale in every category. The website will be in full flow in January.

       3_Astrowizard     Hinnie    
                                 Qilin_Xmas_card

Every year we find some fantastic homes for our horses that don’t make the grade as racehorses. Even if they do make the grade and are just retired, we always make sure that they will have a super retirement. This year is no exception and we have found many top class placements for our inmates. They have gone to do a wide variety of equine disciplines, some just riding horses, but polo cross, eventing and showing are just three new sports our horses are doing. We always love to see photographs of them and our ‘where are they now’ section is constantly being updated. As you can see above, we even get Christmas cards from them.

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Our charities in 2017 will be the Riding for the Disabled and the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre again. Our fund raising efforts this year have included the Great Frankland Fast where collectively we lost 155lbs and raised well over £1,000 for the two charities. I will be thinking up new ways of raising money in the coming year, but these well deserving charities need all the support we can give them. Please look at their websites for more information.

Riding For the Disabled - www.riding-for-disabled.org.uk

The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre - www.britishtrc.co.uk
 

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We are including here an article from Phil Green and a quiz and tipping competition compiled by Richard Marriott. As many of you will know Phil was my right hand in the office for many years. I mentioned on the site the other day that he would be contributing anecdotes and this is the first. Richard has kindly offered to give you all some brain teasers to keep you occupied over the festive season. We are very grateful to both of them. Thank you. Remember there are prizes to be won.

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Phil's Prose


The courage of the steeplechase jockey, and the sense of humour required to do the job, is almost beyond admiration. This story goes back a good few years – even before my time!

Old Teddy Weever had a crashing fall in a chase at Worcester and was “picked up for dead”. Doctors thought he could not possibly survive and didn’t even consider it worthwhile sending him to hospital.

He was put to bed in a nearby hotel, still unconscious, with a very close friend to watch over him. As soon as they were alone Teddy opened one eye, looked around the room and said: “Tom, are they getting up a subscription, or a testimonial, or anything of that sort?”

“No. No-one has thought of such a thing”, replied Tom.

“Then”, said the injured man, “it’s no use stopping humbugging here in bed”. Upon which he arose, dressed, and went to dinner.

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Christmas Quiz

Rules of competition:

    1. All entries to be made by email by the 3rd January to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

      Winners and runner up prizes.

      MHT’s decision is final.

    2. 1.  Name Lester Piggott’s first Derby mount.

      2.  Name in full the fruit associated with Southwell.

3.  Name the racecourse where the Lincoln was originally run.

4.  When Freddie Starr purchased his National winner at Doncaster Sales, how did he bid and what was the name of the horse?

5.  State the difference in distance between the Irish Derby and the Irish Oaks.

6.  Name the 2006 Grand National winner and the origination of the name.

7.  Which former racehorse trainer always wore a red shirt?

8.  How many races did Gordon Richards win in his career?

9.  Which jockey born in the early 20th century was nicknamed “The Head Waiter”?

10.  What was former jockey Steve Cauthen’s best attribute?

11.  In which years was Frankie Dettori champion jockey?

12.  Who were the trainer and jockey responsible for Halkapous winning the Bula Hurdle?

13.  Which horse race is accepted as the oldest annual race run in the English sporting calendar?

14.  How many Grand Nationals did Desert Orchid win?

15.  Name the three grey horses to win the English Grand National.

16.  How many races did Frankel win in his career?

17.  At his peak what Timeform rating did Arkle achieve?

18.  What was the name of Sir Winston Churchill’s first racehorse?

19.  Which racehorse trainer is based at Nawton, North Yorkshire?

20.  Where was Shirley Heights raised prior to racing?

21.  Which horse won the German Derby in 2014?

22.  Who are the chairman and vice chairman of the Newmarket Trainer’s Federation?

23.  Where is the Galtres Stakes run?

24.  Which racing pundit had a 'velvet voice'?

25.  Name the longest ever priced winner of a British racecourse and what were the odds?

26.  Who won the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in 2016?

27.  What is Sir Mark Prescott’s favourite cigar brand?

28.  Which racecourse recently re-opened after closing in December 2012?

29.  Where is the Pitman’s Derby held?

30.  Which racecourse closed in October 1977?

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CHRISTMAS TIPPING COMPETITION 2016

Seven Boxing Day Races

Points Only Competition

ONE ENTRY PER PERSON

RACE 1. THE KING GEORGE - KEMPTON 3:15

RACE 2. KAUTO STAR NOV CHASE - KEMPTON 2:05

RACE 3. CHRISTMAS HURDLE - KEMPTON 2:40

RACE 4. ROLAND MEYRICK CHASE - WETHERBY1:50

RACE 5. PERTEMPS HANDICAP HURDLE - WINCANTON 2:15

RACE 6. LINCOLNSHIRE NATIONAL - MARKET RASEN 2:20

All entries must be received by email no later than 12 noon 26th Deceember 2016 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 Your email should state your name and address. List the race number and your selections agains each race.

The result will be announced on the 3rd January 2017 

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This is the last site of 2016 and the next one will be on Tuesday 3rd January.