Chestnut Tree Stables (formerly Marriott Stables)
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Hamilton Road stables
In the mid-1960s a vast area of land, owned by the Jockey Club, close to the Heath, gallops and Rowley Mile course, was earmarked by the Jockey Club to form part of a massive venture aimed at increasing the number of stables in Newmarket, On the Hamilton Road plans were presented for the new stables, and the first to take advantage of the new scheme was former champion jockey turned trainer, Doug Smith. In December 1967, three days before Christmas, Doug announced that he would be moving his string of 30 horses from the yard of his former master, Geoff Brooke, and relocating to a gleaming new yard, the first of several offered to prospective tenants by the Jockey Club. Over half a century on, in 2020 the Hamilton Road contained in excess of 25 such racing establishments, many having changed owners, trainers and stable names on a regular basis since Doug Smith first occupied Cedar Lodge Stables back in early 1968. They offer direct and easy access to all of the Jockey Club Estates facilities and gallops, all within easy reach of the Warren Hill gallops. The Jockey Club cares for 2500 acres of maintained gallops, which includes over 50 miles of turf gallops, and since those early days of 1967 many Classic winners have been sent out from the wide array of Hamilton Road Stables.
1972-76 Henry Cecil
Henry Cecil trained at Freemason Lodge, taking over from his step-father, Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, in 1969, and remained there until Boyd-Rochfort sold Freemason Lodge. Henry Cecil then moved to Chestnut Tree Stables, then known as Marriott Stables, which had been built by the Jockey Club in 1968 on what they felt was under-developed land all along the Hamilton Road. Henry was the first tenant of Marriott Stables, residing there until the end of the 1976 season, after which he moved to Warren Place. During his time at Chestnut Tree Stables he trained two 2000 Guineas winners, in 1975 Bolkonski (SR 2047) and in 1976 Wollow (SR 2000).
1975 2000 Guineas BOLKONSKI (SR 2047) 33/1 owned by Carlo d'Alessio, trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Gianfranco Dettori
1976 2000 Guineas WOLLOW (SR 2000) evens favourite owned by Carlo d'Alessio, trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Gianfranco Dettori
For over 4 centuries racing has been staged in Newmarket, but how have the racecourses evolved from an initial starting point at Fleam Dyke Pumping Station, some 8 miles from the town, with a winning post barely 200 metres from the town centre, into two world recognized, excellent racecourses and a universal acceptance that Newmarket is the Headquarters of racing?
To access an interactive racecourse map showing over 50 individually named racecourses CLICK HERE. The map will enable you to:-
1. Determine when extended races over 8 miles, 6 miles and 4 miles began to be replaced by the courses now visited by thousands annually;
2. Consider how the challenge of crossing the Devil's Dyke was overcome;
3. Contemplate why the town no longer has a steeplechase course despite having at least 5 courses during the past 2 centuries;
4. Examine the practicalities of having up to 48 starting posts and winning posts;
5. Appreciate that it was not financially viable to have an open racecourse spread widely across the heath, with a finishing post barely 200 metres from the town centre;
6. Research how and why the Cambridgeshire Handicap has been contested over 3 different courses.
NOTE: The map does not make mention of 2 particular courses:-
(i) Sefton Course (also known as the Cambridge Road Course)
Source: 1970 Raceform. Used from 1959 to 1975.
(ii) New Circular Course
The Circular Handicap was run on Friday 29th October 1875 on the New Circular Course of about two miles.
Source: London Standard (30th October 1875): ''the horses started near the Turn of the Lands, ran back way of the Cambridgeshire Course towards the Ditch, and afterwards proceeded down the side of the Tan Gallop, and turned into the Rowley Mile near the Bretby Stakes starting post, finishing at the stand at the end of the flat. Except in the hollow near the Cambridgeshire start the runners should have been visible all the way if the sky had been bright and clear''.
Another report hoped that the Circular Handicap would become a feature in future programmes, as it would be contested in front of the new grandstand which would be completed in about a year and would be able to accommodate thousands.
(I am grateful to Tim Cox for bringing attention to these 2 courses.)
Enjoy researching the intriguing history of Newmarket and its many racecourses.
1976-82 William Hastings-Bass
In 1976 William Hastings-Bass, Lord Huntingdon took out a trainer's licence, launching his training career in 1977, having previously served as assistant to Sir Noel Murless at Warren Place. In October 1977 the Queen confirmed that she would be sending two horses to be trained by William Hastings-Bass, the first time she had horses trained in Newmarket since the retirement of Sir Cecil Boyd-Rochfort. In the 1980 season William Hastings-Bass trained 6 horses for the Queen; Audacity, Black Rod, Burghclere, Hadrians Wall, Joliette and Longgee. Whilst at Marriott Stables he trained Glancing, Greenland Park and Galveston, and by the 1981-82 season he had filled all 70 boxes. He then decided to leave these shores in 1982 to seek his fortune as a trainer in Australia, joining Bart Cuumings and Colin Hayes, returning in the late 1983 to train again in Newmarket at Coronation Stables.
|I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1836 map shown above. Chestnut Tree is 9
|1977 November Handicap SAILCLOTH 13/2 owned by Lord Porchester, trained by William Hastings-Bass and ridden by Taffy Thomas
1981 Gilbey Champion Racehorse Futurity MARQUESSA D'HOWFA 20/1 trained by William Hastings-Bass and ridden by Edward Hide
|To enjoy the experience of a day at Newmarket races in May 1838 CLICK HERE
1983-97 Robert Williams
Robert J Williams assisted Barry Hills for 6 years from 1976 until 1982 before launching his own training career in 1983. However, he had spent time with Barry Hills in his youth and fondly remembered the 1970 Chester Cup when the stable star Hickleton, ridden by Ernie Johnson, was made 3/1 fav to land the prize, only to be beaten a head by Altogether. Whilst the connections of Hickleton might have been disappointed by defeat, Robert was not, because the placed horses received a huge Cheshire cheese as a consolation prize and Robert has enjoyed the cheese ever since. Robert began training at Marriott Stables, Newmarket in January 1983, winning the 1986 Middle Park Stakes with Mister Majestic, owned by David Johnson and ridden by Ray Cochrane, and the next year landing the Listed Leisure Stakes at Lingfield with the same horse. However, the highlight of his training career came in 1994 when he won his beloved Chester Cup with Doyce 14/1 ridden by Gary Bardwell. It is unclear whether the winner also receives a Cheshire cheese as well as the placed horses. In 1997 Robert moved from Marriott Stables, and it is thought he took over Hurworth House Stables when Harry Thomson Jones sold it separately from Woodlands/ Green Lodge Stables.
1986 Middle Park Stakes MISTER MAJESTIC 33/1 owned by David Johnson, trained by Robert Williams and ridden by Ray Cochrane
1986 Sportsman Club Handicap at Sandown ELPLOTINO 20/1 owned by Mr M Thomas, trained by Robert Williams and ridden by Richard Hills
1987 Leisure Stakes at Lingfield MISTER MAJESTIC owned by David Johnson, trained by Robert Williams and ridden by Tony Ives
1994 Chester Cup DOYCE 14/1 owned by Lord Matthews, trained by Robert Williams and ridden by Garry Bardwell
April 2010-2011 Toby Coles
It is believed that Toby Coles rented a few boxes from Rae Guest, but transferred to Cedar Lodge Stables in 2011.
2018-present Micky Quinn
Micky Quinn, at one time a professional footballer, turned his hand to training racehorses. He is not the first to have trodden that career path, as former England footballer Mick Channon has been an incredibly successful trainer for a number of years. Micky had trained at Southgate Barn Stables on the Hamilton Road for over 10 years, having rented it from Willie Carson, but towards the end of 2017 Amy Murphy purchased the Southgate Stables, which included the Southgate Barn, so Micky had to find an alternative. He decided to rent 16 boxes from Rae Guest at Chestnut Tree Stables, occupying Barn 4.
1998- present Rae Guest
Rae Guest, born in Wantage on 9th July 1950, is the son of jockey Charlie Guest, brother of Richard Guest, who was successful in the 2001 Grand National aboard Red Marauder, and nephew of Nelson Guest. He enjoyed a successful riding career in England, India and Scandinavia, riding almost 300 winners, most notably Free Guest in the 1985 Princess Royal Stakes, and Perkin Warbeck in the 1985 Andy Capp Handicap. He then turned his hand to training in the mid-1990s, enjoying an early success with My Emma in the Prix Vermeille. In 1998 he purchased Chestnut Tree Stables, replacing Robert Williams, although there was a great deal of work to do before he had the stables in his desired state. Rae has trained at Chestnut Tree Stables for over 20 years, notching up a number of high-profile winners, not least My Emma in the 1997 Yorkshire Oaks, Serious Attitude in the 2008 Cheveley Park Stakes and the 2010 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse in Canada.
1996 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp MY EMMA 29/1 owned by Matthews Breeding, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Cash Asmussen
1997 Yorkshire Oaks MY EMMA 7/1 owned by Matthews Breeding, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Darryll Holland
2003 Vodafone EBF Gladness Stakes MOMENTS OF JOY 15/2 owned by Matthews Breeders & Racing, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Seb Sanders
2003 Lady Godiva Fillies Stakes MARAKABEI 66/1 owned by Mrs Jane Poulter, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Jamie Mackay
2005 Tuftours.com Stakes YOMALO 7/2 trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Richard Quinn
2006 Ballyogan Stakes YOMALO 9/1 trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Pat Smullen
2008 Dick Poole Fillies Stakes SERIOUS ATTITUDE 9/2 jt fav owned by Derek J Willis and Rae Guest. Trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Jimmy Fortune
2008 Cheveley Park Stakes SERIOUS ATTITUDE 4/1 fav owned by Derek J Willis and Rae Guest, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Jimmy Fortune
2009 Summer Stakes SERIOUS ATTITUDE 7/2 owned by Derek J Willis and Rae Guest, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Eddie Ahern
2010 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine, Canada SERIOUS ATTITUDE owned by Derek J Willis and Rae Guest, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Garrett Gomez
2012 Galtee Midsummer Sprint Stakes at Cork MIRZA 2/1 owned by Mr C J Mills, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Fran Berry
2012 Fly London Southend to Barcelona Handicap MIRZA 7/1 owned by Mr C J Mills, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Richard Hughes
2012 Dubai Duty Free Handicap MIRZA 7/2 owned by Mr C J Mills, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by David Probert
2013 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Stakes CAPE FACTOR 7/2 owned by Mr Derek J Willis, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Chris Catlin
2013 Qatar Prix Petit Couvert MIRZA 11/1 owned by Mr C J Mills, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by William Buick
2014 Prix du Petit Couvert Stakes at Longchamp MIRZA 7/1 owned by Mr C J Mills, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Frankie Dettori
2016 SIS Autumn Sprint Handicap MIRZA 9/1 owned by Mr C J Mills, trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Martin Harley
|Top 5 Chestnut Tree/Marriott Stables horses of all time
BOLKONSKI (1975 2000 Guineas)
WOLLOW (1976 2000 Guineas)
SERIOUS ATTITUDE (2008 Cheveley Park Stakes, 2010 Nearctic Stakes)
MY EMMA (1997 Yorkshire Oaks, 1996 Prix Vermeille)
DYCE (1994 Chester Cup)
|© John Slusar 2020