Other Yorkshire Studs - N
Notes; Neasham's place on this list is debatable - as it is on the Northern bank of the Tees, and therefore in County Durham. It is a property with a remarkable bloodstock history however. The Hall and Stud was owned by the industrialist James Cookson and it was at Neasham that he bred the great Formosa who won in 1868 the 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas, St.Leger, Epsom Oaks and Newmarket Oaks - certainly an incredible performance. However it is arguable whether this is Cookson's greatest triumph as, seven years earlier, he bred both Dundee and Kettledrum, who finished first and second in the Derby. Dundee started as 3-1 favourite, whilst the unconsidered Kettledrum was a 500-1 outsider. In the race however Dundee was badly hampered and he limped home in second place behind his stablemate who came down the hill "like a flash, a sight not to be forgotten". The only explanation for Kettledrum's performance is divine intervention - allegedly Pope Pius IX having bet £10 on him to win, £5,000 being sent to the Holy City the following day! Possibly this story is a slight exaggeration, probably brought about because St Hubert's Roman Catholic Church in Towneley, East Lancs (where Kettledrum was trained, and where his owner lived) has largely financed out of Kettledrum winnings, and has two stained glass windows featuring the horse, as well as stone carvings of horses heads. The local hostelry is also called the Kettledrum Hotel, and the nearby Anglican St Peter's has an altar stone paid for by Kettledrum winnings!
In 1847 Cookson had purchased purchased Sweetmeat for 300gns as a sire for the stud. Unbeaten in 16 races at three, including the Ascot Gold Vase and the Doncaster Gold Cup he stood at the stud until 1861 when, aged 19 and blind, he was sold to Russia for 800gns. It was to be several years before the imprudence of this sale was to be revealed as two years later one son, Macaroni, won the Derby and 2000 Guineas and another, Parmesan was proving to be a top class sire (of two Derby winners and a French Oaks winner amongst others). Macaroni also proved his worth at stud, siring three Oaks winners and the top-class broodmare Lily Agnes (dam of Ormonde and granddam of Sceptre). For Cookson Sweetmeat produced Mincemeat (a half sister to Kettledrum, both being out of Hybla) who won the Epsom Oaks before he sold her to Baron de Rothschild, for whom she produced 1000 Guineas winner Tomato.
Another good sire based at Neasham was Buccaneer (1857 by Wild Dayrell - Sister To Red) who was Champion Sire in 1868.
One of Lord Derby's famous foundation mares was Canterbury Pilgrim, and her dam Pilgrimage was bred by Cookson at Neasham Hall. An 1876 filly by either The Earl or, more likely, The Palmer out of Lady Audley she was sold by Cookson for 200gns and won the Dewhurst Stakes and was third in the Middle Park at two. The following year she won both the 2,000 Guineas and the 1,000 Guineas but suffered a career-ending injury in the Oaks, where she finished second. Purchased by the Duchess of Montrose she foaled Canterbury Pilgrim (by Tristan) in 1893 who won the Oaks, but achieved even greater fame as the tap-root mare of such notable horses as Chaucer, Swynford, Star Kingdom, Djebelilla and Silly Season, with the first three especially proving of notable long-term benefit to the thoroughbred breed.
The McIntyre's of Theakston Stud also owned Neasham Hall for a short while before making the move further south.
Warthill, York, YO3 9XR
Owner: Mr.Mel Brittain (died May 2015)
Stallions: Grey Desire (2001: £400) - -died Nov 2002
Previous Stallions: Indian Forest, Dublin Taxi, El Conquistador, La Grange Music, Absolution
Notes: Owned by businessman and trainer (of Grey Desire, First Musical and Dublin Taxi amongst others) Mel Brittain, Northgate Lodge is a modern training and breeding operation with 70 boxes in an American barn and a high tech 3 box foaling unit. The stables were founded in 1983, and the stud, which is about a mile away, was ready for the start of the 1988 breeding season, with it's first sires being Grey Desire and Dublin Taxi. Grey Desire (Habat - Noddy Time) is a bit of a local celebrity - the local pub was even named after him for a while ! This sound, durable and honest grey was trained by Brittain to win the Duke of York S G3 and the Criterion S G3 as well as being placed in group company numerous times - most notably when second in the 1986 July Cup G1 before retiring to stud at Northgate for the 1987 season, where he remained until his death in 2002, save for the 1996 season, when he stood in Wiltshire. Although he has sired many winners, he never came up with the 'big horse', his best offspring probably being top handicappers Pride of Pendle, Heaven-Liegh-Grey, Grey Kingdom (also owned and trained by Mel Brittain) and Able Lassie. Other stallions were less permanent fixtures: Absolution was put down after two seasons following an attack of colic, La Grange Music (owned by Cheveley Park Stud) stayed for two seasons and Indian Forest (who arrived in 89) lasted until 1994, when he was sent up to the December Sales. At the same sales that year Northgate sent up ten mares and, although it is still in operation, the stud has run at a much smaller level since that time. A small section of Mel Brittain's website is devoted to the stud operation.
Norton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8EF
Owner: Richard & Maggie Lingwood
Stallions: Pearl Secret, Sogann, Forever Now, Marmelo, Century Dream
Previous Stallions: Ventiquattrofogli, Belfort, Kind of Hush, Jester, Crowning Honor, Noblissimo, Lord Bud, Morston, Sweet Monday, Silly Season, Ampney Prince, Workboy, Joshua, Sonnen Gold, Touch Boy, Vicomte, Defacto, Kasakov, Sugarfoot, Timeless Times, Gentleman's Deal, Presidium, Bollin Eric, Court Masterpiece, Misu Bond, Monsieur Bond , Pastoral Pursuits, Milk It Mick
Notes: Norton Grove was founded in 1959 by Major Hudson and he managed the operation until his death in 1995. In his will he left the property to stud groom Richard Lingwood and his wife Maggie. Although there have been ups and down the stud has slowly improved the quality of it's stallions over the years. Of the recent stallions perhaps Presidium was the most important in terms of major winners, although he has now been eclipsed by Monsieur Bond. Presidium was retired to stud in 1989 he moved north to Norton Grove for the 1994 season. A General Assembly half brother to Kris, Diesis and Rudimentary great things were expected of Presidium. He repaid the investment as the sire of such good horses as Andreyev (Prix de Meautry G3), Mighty Forum (Kelso H G3, Jaipur S G3, Cliff Hanger H G3), True Precision (Coral H), Knayton Lass (2nd.Firth of Clyde S L) and Moscow Road (3rd.Roses S L). Timeless Times also proved a major success with a steady stream of precoious two-years-olds, many of them trained by the Easterby family, who were big fans of this son of Timeless Moment. Timeless Times was at Norton Grove since retiring from the track in 1991, following his record 16 wins as a two-year-old. In fact in the first 100 days of his two-year-old career Timeless Times won 14 of his 15 starts including 9 consecutive races in 67 days. For the 1995 season Timeless Times won the TBA Award for the Leading British-based First-Season sire. The most successful racehorse to stand at the property is arguably Derby winner Morston who was moved to Norton Grove in 1986. He was a disappointing sire, despite getting such good horses as More Light, Morcon, Whitstead and Mr.Fluorocarbon and it has to be said that all those horses were sired whilst he was at previous studs.
A recent recruit to the stallion ranks was Gentleman's Deal, impeccably bred being by Danehill out of Sleepytime, to stud in 2006 he has made cameo appearances on the track for Mick Easterby over the 2006/7 winter, including winning the Winter Derby G3 at Lingfield and the Ladybird Stakes L at Kempton. In December 2007 Gentleman's Deal further added to his stud credentials when winning the Quebec Stakes L, again at Lingfield. He was eventually sold to Russia.
An exciting new recruit for the 2008 breeding season was the admirably consistent St.Leger G1 winner Bollin Eric, trained in Yorkshire by Tim Easterby and bred by the Westbrook's at Peter Easterby's Easthorpe Hall Stud. In 2010 Bollin Eric was joined by Court Masterpiece and Monsieur Bond and the current (2015) roster consists of the later and, since 2014, Milk It Mick, winner of the Dewhurst Stakes G1 and the Frank E.Kilroe Mile G1 at Santa Anita and already sire of Miracle of Medina (bred by Andrew Spaling of Hedgeholme Stud), winner of the Somerville Tattersall Stakes G3 and the Rose Bowl Stakes L. Monsieur Bond passed away in late 2019 , with an unraced son of Frankel, Sogann, joining the team for 2020.Pastoral Pursuits passed away in 2021 but was quicky replaced by the former David Barron trained Pearl Secret, winner of the Temple Stakes G2. From 2022 the stallion roster will include multiple group winner, and 2018 Melbourne Cup runner-up, Marmelo (Duke of Marmalade) and multiple Group winner Century Dream (Cape Cross).
The Lingwood's own around a dozen mares, mostly home-bred, and whilst they may be lacking in 'black type' they certainly seem more than capable of producing winners such as Captain Venti (by the sadly short-lived Ventiquattrofogli) who won three in a row in June 2002, having also won twice the previous year. Probably the best winner bred by the stud in recent times is Aurigny (Timeless Times - Dear Glenda) who, trained by Simon Dow, won three races in 1997 and £47,489 including the St.Hugh's Stakes L, she was also placed second in the Prix Robert Papin G2, and third in the Dragon Stakes L, the Lingwood's still have two full sisters, the winning mare Giffoine and Onemoretime. Another Lingwood owned mare is Silky Silence (by High Chaparral) dam of the useful Soie D'Leau (2012 by Monsieur Bond) who provided local trainer Kristin Stubbs with her two biggest wins when landing the 2016 Be Friendly Handicap and the £31,125 Sunbets.co.uk Top Price Templegate Tips Handicap. One of the current boarding mares is Pagan Star, owned by Richard Phizacklea, her foal Pagan Starprincess, trained in Middleham by George Moore, won the Bet & Watch All Horse Racing at Skybet.com Mares' Hurdle Gd3 in 2009, having been second in the totepool Premier Kelso Novices' Hurdle Gd2 the previous year.
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Copyright 2002 Stephen George-Powell
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