A history of Dalham Hall Stud
Dalham Hall Stud is set in the beautiful countryside just outside Newmarket and is at the heart of Sheikh Mohammed’s thoroughbred operation
13 March 2015
Dalham Hall Stud was the first of the 12 studs in Newmarket which now form part of the Darley organisation. Among the ten mares that came with Dalham Hall’s purchase in 1981 was Oh So Fair, at that time carrying Oh So Sharp — winner of the fillies Triple Crown in 1985.
The Stallion Unit was also purchased in 1981. During the Second World War, the stud was requisitioned by the Army and today’s stallion boxes were utilised as soldiers’ billets and the characteristic stove chimneys can still be seen.
The stallion yard has remained largely unchanged since then. While the dimensions of the boxes, measuring 14’ square, remain unchanged from Sir Alec Black’s time, the interiors have been greatly upgraded and are now lined with American oak. The crescent shaped range of the timber stallion boxes look out onto a spacious lawn.
Lord Milford, who had purchased the stud in 1942, stood his homebred Honeyway at Dalham Hall Stud. He was essentially a sprinter, winning 16 races spread over five seasons, including the July Cup and the Champion stakes. He was a double rig and proved infertile when he first came to stud, but two years later he resumed covering when his services were offered free of charge. He thereafter excelled as a progenitor. To a mating with Sybil’s Niece (winner of the Queen Mary Stakes), he sired Great Nephew, who was destined to occupy his box at Dalham Hall Stud when he retired to stud.
When Sheikh Mohammed took over Dalham Hall Stud, Great Nephew was part of the package. He was, by then, in his dotage, but lived for another five years to enjoy his retirement, dying in 1986. He is buried at the stud alongside his own sire Honeyway, plus Ajdal, Reference Point, Shareef Dancer, Dubai Millennium, Polish Precedent, Machiavellian, Singspiel, Mark of Esteem and Lammtarra.
Great Nephew was foaled in 1963, the year after Lord Milford died, by which time his son Jim Philipps was running the stud. He was trained in France by Etienne Pollet and after being beaten a short head in the 2000 Guineas, he gained his most important win in the G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp as a four-year-old. He was based at Dalham Hall Stud throughout his stallion career, siring two Derby winners, Grundy (1975) and Shergar (1981). He was the first English-based sire to be crowned Champion sire twice since Aureole 20 years earlier.
Standing alongside Dubawi is the Champion first and second-season sire New Approach, who was also the undefeated Champion juvenile of his year. He joins Exceed And Excel, the world’s number one sire of two-year-old winners, two-year-old Stakes horses and two-year-old Group or Listed winners.
Today, the stallion yard’s most famous resident is Dubawi, who currently heads the line-up of eight thoroughbred stallions. He is one of the world’s most successful stallions and a son of one of the most famous stallions to stand at Dalham Hall — Dubai Millennium. Born on the stud and trained in Newmarket, Dubai Millennium won the Dubai World Cup and was the sensational eight-length winner of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. When he retired from racing, he returned to the stud farm to stand as a stallion but, sadly, sired just one crop of foals before dying of grass sickness. Dubawi’s G1-winning son Poet’s Voice also stands at Dalham Hall and his first crop of foals are now on the ground.
Also on the Dalham Hall roster is Farhh who, as a racehorse, was the brilliant winner of the G1 Champion and G1 Lockinge Stakes. One of the best thoroughbred stallions seen in Australia in recent years also resides at Dalham – Sepoy, a World Champion at three and the best juvenile colt since the 1970s.