7th January news

That was the week that was...

It has been quite an eventful spell at Dodlands Stables these past few days both on and off the park.

On the downside were a couple of runs from our better horses which left us slightly deflated. At Catterick, Paper Roses was beaten quite a fair way from home in her mares' only novice hurdle for that to be a true reflection of her form. Although over a distance short of his best, Shades of Midnight was not able to keep pace with his 2 opponents in the novice chase at Haydock last Saturday. The ground was hock deep, and being not the biggest may have disliked jumping out of such ground and was quite tired when calling enough at the last.

On a brighter note, 3 of our young bumper horses ran very well in their respective races. Victories for Eternally Yours and Paper Promise were nearly match by an excellent performance by Bluefortytwo on Tuesday, finishing a narrow runner-up to a good horse of Nicky's at Ayr. 

Two winners
Two recent winners - Eternally Yours tracking Paper Promise


Saturday morning gallops

Most of the horses are near racing fitness, and are being kept ticking over each day now. Our twice weekly work mornings concentrate on horses with up-and-coming engagements. Yesterday, Keyboard Gangster - who had another spell of schooling out at Bonchester on Friday - and Dali Mail did a faster piece of work after an initial steady canter with a couple of stable-mates .

Zidane & Kerr
Dali Mail (Callum) and Keyboard Gangster (Garry)

Look out for racecourse seasonal debuts from the pair in a couple of weeks time - Dali Mail in a bumper, and Keyboard Gangster in a novice hurdle.

First lot were out and back before the winter sun had risen and Baby Ticker, Side of the Road, Danced Every Dance and Big Bad Dream all had a couple of mid-pace spins up the gallop.

The 'Paper' sisters - Roses and Promise - had a leg stretching walk and jog in the nearby lanes.
It had been our intention to give Eternally Yours and Bluefortytwo a couple of easy weeks following their recent bumper efforts, but each has been very fresh when exercising out in the nearby lanes. So, we'll give then a gentle canter on the gallop each morning - they are clearly thriving. Yesterday, they were accompanied by 'Nell', a young Shirocco filly who has re-joined us and is starting out in morning exercise.

 Trio on the gallop
Steady canter, Eternally Yours (Kingy), Bluefortytwo and 'Nell'


Leaving the yard

Our 10 year old handicap hurdler Hartforth has been retired - sound of wind and limb - following his 50th race a few days ago at Ayr. Young stable lass Sarah Brown has a nice stable and paddock nearby and takes charge of the chestnut gelding with a view to see if he's suitable for competing in British Equestrian Events.
A full article on our grand servant has now been published on this web-site.

Twitter is the modern day version of corner-shop gossip, and you may have seen from the @dwhillansracing tweet on Thursday that Shades of Midnight has left our yard to continue his racing career with Sandy Thomson, remaining in the ownership of the Potassium Partnership. The Potassium members have been one of our longest-standing owners and we've shared considerable success over the years with horses such as King Kalium, Ellistrin Belle and Shades of Midnight himself.
'Shady' has been at Dodlands Steading since he was a raw, unraced 3 yr old and in his time here won a bumper and 4 hurdle races, rising to a hurdle rating of OR148 - the top rated staying hurdler in Scotland at the time. He is sound, fit and we'll all miss him so much.

We thank the Potassium Partnership for their support over the years and wish them every success in the future.

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