Steve Lodge

We received some sad news this week. Our former Head Lad Steve Lodge passed away peacefully on Wednesday at home with Megan at his side.

Lodgie had spent his whole life in racing. He started at 17 years old with David Morely at Timworth near Bury St Edmunds before taking over there as Head Lad in the 1980’s. He rode professionally over hurdles and fences and then trained under his own licence in South Africa for many years. Eventually, Lodgie returned to the UK and took over from John Wilsoncroft as Rae’s Head Lad in 2011. He cared deeply for the horses and looked after them and the yard immaculately. He was a wonderful Head Lad and we missed him when he retired in 2021.

However, he and his partner Megan had a new adventure in their sights which involved moving back to South Africa and buying a property next to a lake where Lodgie could enjoy his fishing. He and Megan married recently and our thoughts are with Megan at this difficult time. He will be very much missed.

Winning image

We are delighted to announce that Lulu Winter won 'People's Choice - Best Photo' at the NARS Equine Photography Awards last week with this image. Lulu, who is our Bookkeeper and formally Racing Secretary, was part of a cohort of students on the Intermediate Equine Photography Course.
The students were sent on four location shoots during the course last year, one of which was at a yard in Newmarket where this image was taken.



Linda Murphy is a winner to us

We want to wish Linda Murphy our Racing Secretary good luck at tonight's Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards. She will be lining up to meet Princess Ann with all the other finalists at Ascot Racecourse this evening for the award ceremony. Rae and Rachel will be there to cheer her on along with family and friends. Linda is a finalist in the Dedication category having spent her whole working life in the industry. She is already a winner to us just for getting shortlisted as a finalist but we are keeping everything cross for her tonight.

We would also like to thank the organisers of Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, which is sponsored by Godolphin, for highlighting the wonderful work the staff do to keep the racing show on the road. 

First success for Nouveaux

Our two year old filly Nouveaux owned by Lady Cecil, Family & Friends gained the first win of her fledgling career at Chelmsford on Saturday.

The small syndicate comprised of Lady Jane Cecil, Alan and Judy Davies, Sally Noseda, Ann and Darren Lewitt and Andy Muddyman bought Nouveaux as a yearling this time last year alongside another yearling filly by Noble Mission (Noble Miss). Nouveaux is by Tasleet out of the Invincible Spirit mare Alwaafa. The stallion did very well with his first crop which included the Coventry winner Bradsell and she is from the Shadwell family of Sarayir and Ghanaati. Prior to this win she had run five times and been placed twice. She has always showed plenty of speed and the drop back to five furlongs on Saturday proved key to this win.

Drawn seven of the nine runners and with Callum Shepherd back on board he utilised her speed to get across and make the running. Once round the bend they fanned across the track just after the two furlong pole and Nouveaux came up the middle to fend off her rivals. She was able to hold off the Sir Mark Prescott trained Haumea who finished second.

Congratulations to Lady Cecil, Family & Friends on their first win as a syndicate and well done to Babz (pictured) who looks after and rides Nouveaux at home. Grateful thanks also go to Callum Shepherd for steering her home.

Divina Grace secures another win for Top Hat & Tails

Divina Grace recorded a career best when winning at Newmarket's Cambridgeshire meeting on Thursday. This followed her victory at Bath three weeks ago and was her fourth win overall. The daughter of Golden Horn owned by Top Hat & Tails is obviously still improving and conditions were in her favour for this Class 2 handicap.

The Graham Budd Art & Memorabilia Auction Handicap Stakes was run over a mile and a half on Newmarket's Rowley Mile course on unseasonably good to firm ground. All of Divina Graces' wins have come on fast ground and she definitely prefers it lightning quick. Callum Shepherd was booked for the ride and this was his second win on her having ridden her to victory last year at the July Course. Drawn eight of the nine runners she broke handily and raced in second on the outside. The pace was fairly sedentary which suited her and she travelled smoothly throughout. Three furlongs from home they quickened up and as they rolled into the dip she began to battle with the William Jarvis trained Crystal Delight. Once they hit the rising ground she soon asserted and crossed the line a length in front. This filly does not shirk a fight and relishes a challenger to lock horns with so this suited her down to the ground. 

We would like to get one more run into her if possible before the ground changes and then she will have a well earned holiday. Congratulations once again to Eamonn, Kevin, Scott and Marisa and many thanks to Callum for the ride. Well done to our very own Bola who looks after Divina Grace at home.