Park Lodge has enjoyed a long and illustrious history, housing many top class horses, including a dual Classic winner in the shape of Blue Peter.
It is one of the oldest racing yards in Newmarket, having been established early in the 19th century by William Crockford, a major landowner of the time. But it was when Sir Jack Jarvis trained from Park Lodge that it came to prominence.
Sir Jack Jarvis arrived at the yard at the time of the First World War and remained for 50 years until his death in 1967. Blue Peter was his most famous charge, winning the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby in 1939. The colt was also expected to win the St Leger but the race was never run because of the outbreak of the Second World War. Blue Peter is still fondly remembered today at Park Lodge with his nameplate still hanging in the box he occupied. The exclusive racing partnerships run by James Eustace also bear the horse’s name.
The year after Sir Jack died, Park Lodge inmate Sleeping Partner won the Oaks for trainer Doug Smith. A certain Michael Stoute was assistant at the yard then!
Ron Sheather began training at Park Lodge during the 1970s and he was remarkably successful. During his 13 years in situ he trained a Group winner in all bar one season. He trained the magnificent Chief Singer for Jeff Smith who remains a patron of the yard.
James Eustace succeeded Ron Sheather in 1989. In his first full season at Park Lodge he soon began to make a name for himself with Penny Mint as the stable’s flag-bearer. Then a juvenile, Penny Mint ran a string of fine races, capping her campaign with a thrilling victory in the Colman’s of Norwich Nursery, which was the richest two-year-old handicap at the time.
Philidor arrived at Park Lodge the following year and went on to carve out a reputation for himself as a Goodwood specialist. He won three times over the Sussex track with the highlight being his short-head success in the 1993 Schweppes Golden Mile.
Refuse To Lose (right) gave James one of his finest moments in racing to date when he powered to Royal Ascot glory in the 1998 Royal Hunt Cup.
Rapscallion ran up a sequence of four wins in 2001, including the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes. In 2004 his half brother, Orcadian, maintained the family tradition by winning the Group 3 St Simon Stakes by 15 lengths. Welcome Stranger and Ruby Wine both won Listed races at Newbury in 2005.
In 2008/2009, War Artist gave Park Lodge some golden days by winning Group races in three countries across two continents. He won Group races in France, Germany and Dubai and was placed in the Golden Jubilee (Group 1) at Royal Ascot, the July Cup (Group 1) at Newmarket and the Prix de L'Abbaye (Group 1) at Longchamp.
We are now looking for the next War Artist!