In their heyday, the Victorian buildings were known as Lansdowne House, from where Derby winning trainer Jack Watts sent out his horses. In 1957 it was renamed Holland House by trainer Basil Foster in honour of the chaser Joe Holland who had given him his first winner as a trainer at Enfield in 1951. That was minor celebrity, for Foster’s most famous resident at Holland house was his apprentice jockey, Davy Jones, whose career change brought him fame in The Monkees during the 1960s.
When Foster retired, the stables stood empty, becoming more and more derelict as the red ivy took hold. They sold for £460,000 at auction in 2010, and when the main buildings had to be demolished following a fire a few months later, new owner Guy Heald set about developing new plans for a state of the art yard there. They are now with Forest Heath District Council, and if they get the go ahead, building work will start early next year.
Jim Bryant, agent for Heald’s company Zakari Investments, reckoned the new facility would far outstrip the 220 acre Egerton Stud site, their other property in Newmarket. Perhaps David Elsworth and Gerald Butler, who rent Egerton Stud will seek first option on the new development when it is complete.
Bryant explained that there would be 60 boxes, along with a horse spa, horse walker, and new ancillary buildings. He said, “The owner plans to build something pretty special to enhance the standing of Newmarket as the home of horseracing. We already have had plenty of interest from the racing fraternity as the owner intends to let the property out when it is finished.”