July 31, 2019 at 00:26 #1449978
In case anyone is interested I thought I would let you know about the tours we went on at the weekend.
On Sunday we went to the National Stud. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great but it only drizzled and at least it wasn’t torrential rain like today!! The lady tour guide was called Chris and she was very knowledgeable and probably because of the weather there were only four in our tour group which made for a nice group and allowed us all to ask as many questions as we wanted.
The ground of the National Stud are vast( five hundred acres I think!! ) and are so well tailored and looked after even on a dull day look magnificent. It was a revelation to me to see how pampered the mares are and even though at the time of our visit there was only two stallions present (Rajasinghe and Acclaim ) it was still very interesting to see the different buildings used for mating and foaling and the care and attention that is paid to both was eye opening! We saw about twelve foals with their mothers in paddocks and it was wonderful to see them cantering around and good to see the mares showing how they protected their babies.
It was a brilliant tour all round an even though the place is vast it was good to be shipped around in a mini bus from location to location. We also saw the graves of some very famous horses ( Mill Reef and Never Say Die included and it was a poignant moment to reflect and ponder how good and well loved these horse were.
Towards the end of the tour Chris took us to see two old warriors from the NH sphere which in itself was a surprise. I got to get up close and personal (no not like that) with a dual Cheltenham festival winner and an old fave from Mr Henderson’s yard.
Lord Windermere looked well if a little wary unlike Jack the Giant who seemed to think just by coming over first gave him preferential treatment ! The tour lasted ninety minutes and seemed to fly by which is a good barometer for whether it was boring or not!
The fresh air even though it was raining must have had an effect on me because I went o bed at ten o’clock and was up and running at six the next morning to go and spend a good hour watching horses work up Warren Hill before breakfast. We saw so many different strings work we lost count and had to drag ourselves away to go and have some breakfast before going to Palace House !!
Palace House is a beautiful building and so well laid out that even me who isn’t particularly interested in art was impressed! Some fabulous sculptures and paintings could be seen and there was a special room dedicated to that mad race in Italy ( Sienna I think). Then you go just across the road and there is a tea room and a gift shop with pretty much everything you could think of horsey to buy!!
There are interactive features regarding the anatomy of the horse and short interviews with famous racing people like Piggott Johnny Gos and obviously Frankie and AP.There is a trophy room showing old trophies and the like. Finally after all the galleries and interactive features you can look round the Rothchild stables which have some special features like air towers for ventilation which considering they were build in 1903 must have been years before their time and then we saw a final feature on RoR and an old friend or two were there. I don’t know whether any of you will remember Starluck of David Arbuthnot’s but I recall him finishing second more times than was healthy LOL and we saw a display showing how they retrain these old favourites to do dressage eventing or show jumping to name but a few. Also there was Goldream ( A dual Group One winner in his day). Some of these horse had to relearn how to canter because all they had done all their lives was gallop or walk pretty much and it was interesting to see them taught new things such as leading with their wrong leg because apparently all horses(like humans ) are either right or left handed but anyway I digress !! It was another wonderful day spent with horses and all things horsey and not a bet in sight!
The conclusion I came to was I didn’t realise how much I actually love horse and not just for betting purposes. They are beautiful creatures with such power and strength and yet seem gentle. Some would say Newmarket is just a factory but to me it seemed like Horsey HeavenJuly 31, 2019 at 06:17 #1449988
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I am glad you had such a great couple of days.
Sounds like visiting The National Stud on rainy day is the way to go.July 31, 2019 at 07:00 #1449989
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Nice writeup Raymo.
Is Rajasinghe as handsome on real life as on telly? I’m a sucker for big white socks (on horses obviously. Big white socks on fellas- um no).July 31, 2019 at 09:23 #1449999
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Sounds a great trip, Raymo
how much was the package…?Don't Eat The Pie and Don't Buy The S*nJuly 31, 2019 at 09:41 #1450004
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So glad you enjoyed your time in Newmarket Raymo and your write up a perfect reflection of what the town is all about and the reason why I cant keep away from the place.
So envious that you saw Rajasinghe he must be a fairly new recruit and also an old fav of mine Acclaim
Did they say why Toronado was not there? Interesting that old Lord Windermere was having a holiday there, what a bonus to see him. Many years back we were surprised to find Grand National winner Amberleigh House passing a few weeks vacation at the Stud, every time we go it’s different and the guides as you said are so knowledgable.
Hope you will come back and do a few more tours around Newmarket Raymo.
I’m looking forward to being there next Wednesday at Dalham Hall to see Cracksman with Discover Newmarket who manage nearly all the tours around the town and hoping Blue Point and Masar might be hanging around
Cheveley Park Stud don’t open their doors that often but am looking into when a tour might be available and of course they do the Banstead Manor tour where you can meet Frankel, Kingman, Oasis Dream and Bated Breath. Dansili now retired but still there last time we went.
Hope it’s not too long before you come back again. .JacThings turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out...July 31, 2019 at 09:45 #1450006
Rajasinghe is a handsome boy Green and up close he is better than he looks on the telly.
Being an entire though he is a little feisty and wasn’t up for petting LOL
And Nath we got a discount of one pound for booking online and The National Stud Tour was £11 each which to my mind was well worth it. I think it is £6 for children but don’t quote me on that one.
Palace House was £11 as well but we were fortunate in that Palace House is owned by The Jockey Club and we were able to use some rewards for racing points for that so it was a freebie so to speak for us
I am not sure if people are aware of Rewards For Racing but we are registered and we get points for purchases and for betting with certain bookies and we save the points and use them to buy tickets to the races and tours like thisJuly 31, 2019 at 09:50 #1450009
Oh we will be back Jac don’t worry about that
I don’t know where Toronado was but Time Test is usually there but has been shipped to the Southern Hemisphere for their season and will probably be back for the next breeding season.
Banstead Manor is pretty much booked up for the rest of the year for obvious reasons. they do have ONE very big attraction though LOLJuly 31, 2019 at 14:06 #1450051
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Sounds excellent Raymo, thanks for the post.
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