In past trips we have joined stud tours at Three Chimney’s Farm in Kentucky USA, the Irish National
Stud and this trip we wanted to visit the National Stud at Newmarket England.
National Stud and Newmarket
Driving from Manchester to Newmarket was a very nice drive of only about 3 hours 40 which we competed at a leisurely pace arriving at the Heath Court Hotel in heart of Newmarket and only 100 yards walk to the gallops.
Horses and cars co-exist without all the red tape and safety measures we would have at home. The is a busy road right up the middle of the slow and fast tracks, cars just wait when large groups horses cross from one track to another.
The tour of the National Stud was the main purpose of our visit and so after booking this online we presented ourselves at the designated time and place. Nigel our guide was very informative as he was previously the Operations Manager (retired) of the whole stud.
He was an entertaining (muttering about the demise of Newmarket during the tour, now the Arabs own most of it) informative guide that really knew all the ins and outs of the stud.
He was a very successful racehorse winning Pastoral Pursuits although has not lived up to expectations at stud as he is not attracting good mares and really needs a couple of black type winners to save him from sale.
Toronado (standing at Swettenham Stud) and Dick Turpin (standing in Western Australia) are both been shuttled to Australia for the season which will make for some interest to see how their offspring perform down under.
The stud was all freshly painted inside and out and was looking extra fresh for a working farm but Nigel told us this was due to the queen’s visit recently to plant a second tree (to mark 100 years of the stud), she planted her first tree at the stud back in 1966.
We were able to see a couple yearling being prepared for sale and a paddock full of weanlings including a Frankel Filly which was good, as this is the quieter time in the breeding season there were no foals but com Jan – Mar one could imagine how the place would be buzzing with activity with lots of new arrivals.
It is amazing that we can be so connected to home and travel at the same time. We have been having great facetime /hangout chats with all the little ones every other day.
For dinner we decided on something lighter and found an exceptional Thai place in main street all within walking distance from the hotel which was even better.
One our final morning in Newmarket we headed up to the gallops and watch the horse work again, the number of horses is staggering as well as the number young horses, no wonder this place is filled with people who look like they work in racing, lots of girls. 30 years and 30kgs and four children ago I would have loved to come and do something like this for awhile. It would beat riding work in Dubbo that is for sure.
After another enormous breakfast offering, I did say offering, we took the lighter option of cereal, toast and fruit. It was hard to resist the full cooked breakfast but we did. We headed to our next stop.
The Cricketers Arms Pub
What a find The Cricketers is a fantastic English pub in a tiny village overlooking the green. Cricket has been played on Rickling Green since about 1850, photos of which can be seen in The Cricketers Arms the one remaining village pub. Cricket is still played on the Green throughout the summer months.
It will be sad leaving here but London is calling…