Keith Dalgleish: Belstane yard has recovered from Beast From The East nightmare

Keith Dalgleish endured a tough start to the 2018 flat racing season after extreme weather conditions hit Belstane Racing Stables
Keith Dalgleish endured a tough start to the 2018 flat racing season after extreme weather conditions hit Belstane Racing Stables

Carluke horse training ace Keith Dalgleish has revealed how last spring’s ‘Beast From The East’ whiteout had a devastating effect on his yard.

Severe snow drifts in March up to seven feet deep wreaked havoc at Dalgleish’s Belstane Racing Stables, contributing to his horses’ uncharacteristically slow start to the 2018 flat racing season.

Dalgleish told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “Beast From The East had a bit of an adverse effect on us in the spring. It hit just as the season was about to start.

“The weather was so bad that it restricted our training and disrupted the horses’ routine.

“We expected to be galloping and exercising the horses but we couldn’t.

“We were snowed in for four days in early March, when the weather was as bad as I have known.

“It set the horses back a bit – all we could do was put them on a horse walker or indoor ride – and we had a slower start to the season than usual.

“After that severe cold, we had that really warm spell just three weeks later. The fluctuation in temperatures was incredible.”

But Dalgleish’s yard has kicked on since that inauspicious start to the campaign and has now recorded over 80 winners this season.

Incredibly, 33/1 shots Valkenburg and Lexington Palm both won at Catterick three weeks ago, a truly remarkable double.

“I hope they both win again,” Dalgleish said. “But I don’t think they’ll be 33/1 next time!

Dalgleish was a successful jockey before starting at Belstane in 2011, as he rode around 500 winners between 2000 and 2004.

But he revealed that he doesn’t miss riding, adding: “It was torture having to manage my weight as a jockey.

“I get more of a buzz out of training a winner than riding.

“More goes into it and you are with them 24 hours.

“It’s a labour of love and long hours.

“We’ve had over 80 winners this year and it would be great if we could reach 100 by the end of 2018.”