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Captain Dolbey was instrumental in buying the dam of Nashwan

  PICTURE: Racing Post 

Memorial for Shadwell supremo Bobby Dolbey

FAMILY and friends of former Shadwell stud manager Bobby Dolbey, who died in December, are holding a celebration of his life and that of his wife Ann, who passed away shortly afterwards, in the Jockey ClubRooms after racing at Newmarket on Wednesday, April 18, the first day of the Craven meeting.

Dolbey was responsible for the development of Shadwell from 1983, following its purchase by Sheikh Hamdan from Sir John Musker and his family, until his retirement in 1994.

Dolbey had already distinguished himself as a stud manager before he teamed up with Sheikh Hamdan, having worked for the Bryce family at Moyns Park on the Suffolk-Essex border from 1960.

The Bryces' mainly home-bred string was trained by Sam Armstrong and included Loose Cover, who set a world-best time over the mile at Brighton, and Field Mouse, dam of the top racemare and foundation mare Triple First.

Loose Cover,whose first foal Canterbury Tale was sold for the-then world record yearling price of 37,000gns, linked the elements of Dolbey's bloodstock career, for her last foal Dish Dash, who won the Ribblesdale Stakes, was acquired by Sheikh Hamdan and produced his Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Maroof and the dam of  dual Irish Classic winner Desert King.

Dolbey built up the facilities at Shadwell, as well a new development that is now the Nunnery stud, with a team that included Richard Lancaster and Bill Cornish.

Lancaster, who succeeded Dolbey as stud manager, said: "Bobby, or the Captain, as he was affectionately known by everyone, was responsible for buying some of the foundation mares that brought such success for Sheikh Hamdan.

"For example, it was together with his great friend Tom Jones that he was responsible for advising Sheikh Hamdan to buy Height of Fashion, among others, and he shared in the achievements of such as Nashwan, Erhaab, Unfuwain, Salsabil and Dayjur, to name just a few.

"It gave Bobby great pride to oversee the arrival of Nashwan at Nunnery in 1989."

Lancaster added: "Bobby was held in high regard by all those who came in contact with him. He was very much from the ‘old school' where you worked hard and played hard.

"There are many people at Shadwell still very grateful to the Captain for the chance he gave them when theplace was being set up - I for one.

"He had a vast depth of knowledge and Sheikh Hamdan had enormous respect for him and what he contributed to Shadwell in those early days."

Dolbey suffered a stroke a year after retiring from Shadwell and until his death on December 19 was cared for by his wife, who fell seriously ill last summer and died six weeks after her husband.

Their son Alex said: "The family are holding a small celebration of their lives in the Jockey Club Rooms, and everyone who knew them is welcome to attend."

 

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