Eyes on the prize - and the rankings

Sandy Thomson and the stable team with See You At Midnight'(l-r) Sandy Thomson, Rhona Pindar, Rachael McDonald, Darrin Robson, and Ryan Nichol
Sandy Thomson and the stable team with See You At Midnight'(l-r) Sandy Thomson, Rhona Pindar, Rachael McDonald, Darrin Robson, and Ryan Nichol

A stable near Greenlaw is looking to cement a place at the top table of racing after impressing at last year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Lambden Racing, situated in the quiet country roads and farmland between Greenlaw and Eccles, is owned by Sandy Thomson and his wife, Quona.

Harry the Viking at Lambden stables

Harry the Viking at Lambden stables

They currently host 25 horses, both their own and those belonging to other owners, and Sandy feels that they could feasibly look after 30 at a time.

Sandy’s grandfather started the family’s connection with horses.

“My grandmother used to say that it was a disease - and a hereditary one at that,” he said.

“But it is quite nice that we were able to reregister my grandfather’s colours, black with a yellow band, which were originally the colours of his college at Oxford.”

After three generations, Lambden emerged on the national stage in the last couple of years.

That is partly through Seeyouatmidnight, who according to Sandy, is “your dream horse.

“He’s what everyone wants in their stable.

“He is - I hope I’m not jinxing him with this - he is one of the top novice chasers in the country at the moment.”

His owners and trainers hope to get Seeyouatmidnight to the next Cheltenham Festival, one of the highlights of the racing calendar.

He was raced at Cheltenham earlier this year, although the ground was not to his liking.

“That was just really unfortunate,” said Sandy, “even on our way down there, it was just lashing down with rain. He still gave a good performance,though.

“He’s a great horse, and he’s just approaching his peak in terms of his age now.

“We’re in a kind of pre-season, so we’re just trying to make sure he’s getting up to full fitness.”

Quona Thomson feels that the stable benefits greatly from its location and its staff.

“They really are great,” she said, “and getting good people around the horses is extremely important.

“We have this great countryside around here, and the staff are so knowledgeable about the animals that you can trust them to take horses out and relay things back to the owners, if there are any problems, or if a certain approach isn’t working.”

Sandy echoed this, saying: “All racehorses have different identities, just like people. You may have to prevent some of them getting bored, while others will quite happily do the same thing day in and day out for their whole careers.

“Here, there is an all weather gallop, a grass gallop, and there is a sand circle as well, so we can do indoor work with them if need be.

“All horses here are individuals, but sometimes in the larger yards, they can’t be.”

The stables are offering people the chance to find that out for themselves, with the setting up of a racing club.

As part of the deal, members would have part ownership in two of the stable’s horses.