Onwards and upwards ...

'Tis the season to be jolly

Saturday, 22 December 2018

"Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts."

J. L. W. Brooks


"Racing to Christmas" 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.

Clare has produced another great Christmas card for us and we are extremely grateful to her.

Lighting up the way

I should like to thank all my owners who have supported me through thick and thin in 2018. I have to tell you it is very much appreciated by both Angie and I. We have some exciting prospects to look forward to in 2019 and this could be a fantastic year for us. You need a lot of patience, dedication and luck. There is no short cut other than hard work, and healthy horses are a must. 

Cantering up Hamilton Hill in the snow

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Exercise over and the horses are making their way back to their warm stables

I should like to thank all the staff at Frankland Lodge and Dullingham Park and I am extremely grateful for all their hard work. Team work is essential and that is what we have with all the lads and lasses that are at both locations. They are happy to step up to the plate and assist between the two yards when necessary.

We have a much more settled team in the training yard this year with my assistant Tim Bryce doing the most brilliant job. He gets along with everybody and his organisation of the yard is excellent. He understands horses so well and has a calm assured temperament which is so important.

Our string of riders are a very happy bunch and there is plenty of banter between them. They are always interested in the horse’s progress and racing plans and they give great feedback.

Our enthusiastic and dedicated vet Jack, from Rossdales, is an integral part of the yard along with Becky, our excellent farrier, who is ably assisted by her crew. Between us all we try to keep problems to a minimum.

     02_Sky     red_sky
We have had some amazing sunrises over the gallops

Everybody knows Di and Ian who live in the Portacabin through all weathers. Both are brilliant people who excel at their work and still have a great sense of humour. The office is always a happy place with plenty of laughter and a big thank you goes to both of them.

Spring has sprung

David our stud groom has been shortlisted for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2019. This is a very well deserved accolade. He is the most brilliant foaler and his calmness and experience always shines through. All the mares and youngstock are so relaxed with him and trust him implicitly – it may be because he feeds them!

The team of stud staff do a great job supporting David with the horses and work very hard to keep Dullingham and Sarabex in good order.

Hattie is our stud vet, again from Rossdales, and does a great job for us. Congratulations from all of us on her engagement this year.

Basking in the sun at Dullingham

Carol is part of the family and is in the yard around 5 o’clock every morning keeping us clean and tidy before coming down to the stud to help there. Angie and I can’t put into words how much we appreciate her. Her husband Colin does all our electrical work and we keep him pretty busy at both places. Our thanks go to both of them.

      26_Topaling     28_Smile
Mare Topaling and Smile That Smile (Both these mares are for sale)

We have two broodmares that are available to purchase either outright or as part ownership. Being involved with a broodmare is a fascinating and rewarding experience. Deciding the mating, viewing the stallions, seeing the foal at a day old and watching it grow and mature into a racehorse and then see it run on the track, is one of the best things anyone can ever get involved with. At Dullingham Park we have the ideal situation for the above in a tranquil setting and being just four miles from Newmarket, we are very lucky to have access to many top stallions in close proximity. Our vets at Rossdales are second to none and the hospital is better than anywhere you would go to yourself. Angie and I take great pride in what we have achieved and love to share it with like-minded people. Please have a look at what we have to offer at present below. 

Topaling by Halling is a six time winner and half-sister to Topatoo.

Smile That Smile by Champs Elysees won first time out at two and is half-sister to Barwick.

For their full pedigrees and further information please look at the "Mares and Youngstock for Sale" on this site.

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(L) Ex Mega by Garswood and (R) Half Past Eight (Ex Tenpence by Mount Nelson)

We are also delighted to show you two colts and one filly which are for sale in shares or as a whole. They are also available to lease. If you are interested at all please look on our "Horses for Sale" or the "Horses for Lease" page of this site.

The colt ex Mega by Garswood is a half-brother to several winners including Mercoliano who won well in Saudi Arabia. He is a very attractive, strong colt.

Half Past Eight, is a colt ex Tenpence by Mount Nelson and is half-brother to the very useful Barwick among others. He is a lovely colt with plenty of scope.

The filly ex Seasonal Blossom by Mount Nelson is half-sister to several winners including the Galtres winner Brushing, who herself is now at stud. She is a great moving filly with plenty of potential.


Ex Seasonal Blossom by Mount Nelson

We have several horses that are available in shares for a minimum of 5% upwards. This caters for all pockets and budgets. For example, if you want a seasoned sound and fun horse, Pageant Master is the perfect candidate. Partnerships and syndicates can get you involved for very little outlay and you can see behind the scenes, both at the races and in the yard.

Pageant Master

Horse welfare is extrememely important to us and when our horses retire from racing we always try to find them a good home in their second careers. Please take a moment to look at our “Where Are They Now” section. You will see what fantastic homes we have found for them, whether as a happy hacker or something more competitive. These horses are very adaptable, easily handled and give so much back to their new owners.

Qilin in her forever home

Phil is a lifetime member of our team and although he has officially retired, he has very kindly put together a Christmas Special for us. Thanks Phil. His piece is below.

Phil at Christmas

Thanks, Guvnor, for this chance to contribute to your Christmas web-site. 

In my long absence I have had plenty of time to mull over, among other things, the plight of our poor bookmakers. Stakes on fixed odds betting machines are to be slashed sooner rather than later, TV advertising is to be restricted … where will the next honest crust come from? I’m grateful to Charlie Brooks who, in his newspaper column, revealed gambling on horse racing last year produced only £1.3 billion for the operators after winnings etc. had been paid out. With such disappointing returns they clearly need to find yet another betting medium to help fill their satchels.

Well, I think I have the answer, and most appropriate it is too for this time of year.

The ‘firms’ definitely miss a trick each summer when village fetes all over the country put on sheep racing, and sometimes pig racing or duck racing. There was not a William Hill, Ladbrokes or Coral hoarding anywhere to be seen at the odd one or two ‘fun days’ I attended this year. Also, they are yet to cotton on to the possibilities suggested by that race across the wide Mongolian plains which I reported on earlier in the year. There were more than 11,000 starters! To offer a quarter the odds on the first four would have been a nice earner. Such an event could be put on in the wilds of the Brecon Beacons, say, proudly sponsored by Bet 365.

But now for my big idea: reindeer racing. It couldn’t miss, at Christmas especially.

No joke – this is a hugely popular sport in the Arctic regions of Norway, Finland and Russia with prizes on offer not that far off the peanuts paid to winning owners at one or two of our all-weather tracks (Chelmsford excepted) which provide little more than bookmaker fodder.

The races involve reindeer pulling a lycra-clad skier across snow and ice over various distances up to two kilometres and, for the real sprinters, about 20 metres. The reindeer and their partners can go faster than Usain Bolt in his prime. They have handicaps as well, the skier having to put on lead-laden jackets to bring him or her up to the correct weight.

Ah, you say. We don’t have enough snow and ice in Britain to put together a reliable fixture list. But consider the latest trials involving the building of a good racing surface along tarmac roads – the one held at Aintree was a great success, apparently. This latest gimmick could bring horse-racing safely to town and city centres everywhere, it’s said, with the construction of the track taking only a matter of hours. Well, why not cover the course with artificial snow instead of sand and bring on the reindeer?

With bookmakers soon to be on their uppers I am happy to offer them and the rest of the world my idea of city centre reindeer racing. Given modern ‘outside-the-box thinking’ (whatever that might mean) and know-how on new racing surfaces having already been displayed, this sport shouldn’t be limited to the Arctic. Bring it on to Newmarket High Street for a start, I say.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas. I’ll be on Blitzen in the first but doubt I’ll get more than 6-4 so will probably, as a saver, try a reverse forecast with Prancer … 



I should like to thank the Jockey Club Estates and all their workers for keeping the gallops in tip top condition throughout the year. Out in all weathers, rain, wind, ice and snow, they are maintaining the canters and walking grounds before most people are even awake.

Out in all weathers

It’s been an interesting year in the racing world with several notable happenings. The government changed the regime of taxing the bookmakers and the Levy is to be replaced eventually. This has had a slight hiccup lately. After thinking the Tote was going to be challenged by a group formed by the Jockey Club, that idea was soon dropped when a commercial group bought into the original Tote from Betfred. It looks to me as if this group will make money from the deal for their shareholders rather than putting it back into the industry. The racecourses have already started to cry wolf over the warning from bookmakers that there would be a massive closure of betting shops when the FOBTs machines’ play was limited. If this was the case, which I don’t for one minute think it will be, the courses would lose a considerable amount of media rights payments. In my opinion, the gamblers will still lose much the same and very few shops will shut.



Flying overhead

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Attending to a patient on Hamilton Hill

Our charity this year is the East Anglian Air Ambulance. They do a brilliant job and we have experienced it at first hand their professional capabilities. In my capacity as Chairman of Newmarket Trainers Federation I must give them a huge thank you as they have done so much for the whole of the town all year round. For more information on what they do please click on this link which will take you to their website.


Christmas Quiz

Rules of competition:

All entries to be emailed by the 4th January to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Winner and runner up prizes.

MHT decision is final.

  1. 1.   Name the horse and jockey who won the 2018 Epsom Derby
  2. 2.   Name the stud operated and owned by Khalid Abdullah
  3. 3.   Name the first winner Jack Waugh trained
  4. 4.   Name Mark Tompkins’ first ever winner as a trainer
  5. 5.   Where would you find Tattenham Corner on a British racecourse
  6. 6.   By what margin did Brigadier Gerard win the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in 1971
  7. 7.   Which racing pundit was said to have a Velvet Voice
  8. 8.   Name the Newmarket Road which houses the most horse training establishments
  9. 9.   What was the title of the pop song racing folk recorded in 2010
  10. 10. Which racecourse can be found in Legsby Road
  11. 11.  Where did Captain Ryan Price commence his training career
  12. 12.  How many trainers have operated from Heath House in Newmarket
  13. 13.  Name the Timeform highest rated flat horse in the world in 2018
  14. 14.  Name the first Group 1 flat race run in Great Britain in 2018
  15. 15.  Name Britain’s oldest current horse racing course
  16. 16.  Which flat course is the longest round track in Britain
  17. 17.  Name the winner of the 2018 Grand National
  18. 18.  What connects Lester Piggott, Michael Kinane, Frankie Detorri and Walter Swinburn in major races. (It is not the Derby)
  19. 19.  Name the 2018 Champion Flat apprentice
  20. 20.  On which UK racecourse did The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play live for the first horse race to be run to music.
  21. 21.  Name Britain’s longest running current sponsorship of a Group 1 race
  22. 22.  How many races did Stradivarius win in 2018
  23. 23.  Name the two successive Derby winners trained by Dick Dawson
  24. 24.  Name the former jockey who famously owned a fish and chip shop
  25. 25.  How many racecourses in the UK run right handed
  26. 26.  What race course is known as Headquarters
  27. 27.  Name the trainers Mark Tompkins was Assistant Trainer to
  28. 28.  Who trained the most winners at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
  29. 29.  Name the trainer of the exciting Novice Chaser Marias Benefit
  30. 30.  Name the closest railway station to Southwell Racecourse
  31. 31.  Name the current competing race horse who only has one ear
  32. 32.  Name the editor of the Racing Post
  33. 33.  In which county is the famous Manton training establishment located
  34. 34.  Which racecourse went into financial administration in 2018
  35. 35.  What is the total prize money in a Plus10 race
  36. 36.  On which Australian Racecourse is the Melbourne Cup run
  37. 37.  What kind of race is known as a Bumper
  38. 38.  Where in Doncaster was the St Leger run before Town Moor
  39. 39.  Which National Hunt trainer hold the record for the fastest century of winners in a season
  40. 40.  How many Grand Nationals did Desert Orchid win
  41. 41.  Which annual event does Lester Piggott share his birthday with
  42. 42.  When were women first allowed membership of the Jockey Club
  43. 43.  Name the horse Mark Tompkins trained to win the Galtres Stakes at York
  44. 44.  Name the two Mark Tompkins trained horses who won the Bula Hurdle
  45. 45.  How many bets make up a Goliath
  46. 46.  Which British racecourse hosts the most classics each year
  47. 47.  Which country has the most racetracks in the world
  48. 48.  How many English Classics did Lester Piggott win
  49. 49.  How many times did Powerscourt win the Arlington Million race
  50. 50.  How many Group 1 races did Frankel win during his racing career

Bob, the boss of Frankland Lodge

Everyone at Frankland Lodge and Dullingham Park wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and 2019


Treacle and Peter Parrot

Due to the holiday period, normal service will be resumed on this site on 

Wednesday 2nd January.