Keith Dalgleish began his racing career working as an apprentice jockey for Mark Johnston, winning nearly 300 races on the flat. Two of those wins came at Royal Ascot, whilst he also won in Europe thanks to a victory in a German Group 1 event. He retired as a jockey aged 21, with his height of six foot meaning that he often found it difficult to make the weight.
He soon turned his hand to training and broke the record for the most winners in a flat season by a Scottish trainer several times in succession. In 2023, he announced that he planned to retire from the sport aged just 39, though admitted he might return at some point in the future.
When Keith Dalgleish decided to walk away from being a jockey, he couldn’t stop working in racing altogether. Instead, he turned his hand to training and in 2011 based himself at the Belstane Racing Stables in South Lanarkshire. It was a decision that proved to be a successful one, breaking the record for the most wins on the flat in a single season by a Scottish trainer for the first time in 2014, repeating the trick another four times in the years that followed. In 2017, he became the first trainer from Scotland to send out more than 100 winners in a calendar year. He enjoyed success both on the flat and over jumps, though had more flat winners at over 800.
When you saddle nearly 1,000 winners, it is fair to say that you know how to win races. Here is a look at some of the key ones:
- Join Racing TV Now Handicap
- Two-Year-Old Trophy
- Harry Rosebery Stakes
Having seen a wealth of different horses move through his yard, Dalgleish gained a huge amount of experience as a trainer before deciding to retire at a relatively young age. There are two horses out of all of them that stand out above the rest, though obviously each trainer will have their own favourites that they have enjoyed working with the most over the years. Here are the two we’ve selected:
Foaled on the 17th of February 2016, Summer Daydream enjoyed some early success in her career thanks to a victory at Carlisle in her first race on the flat. Slightly disappointment at Ayr followed, but any concern that that might have been her level was allayed when she won at Redcar in the Two-Year-Old Trophy in her very next race. That could’ve been seen as the end of the winning for her, given she finished eight, seventh and seventh in her next three races. Indeed, it took until the end of the year for her to get another win, which came in a six furlong event at Newcastle having been given odds of 17/2.
When Clem Fandango ran for the first time at Beverley, she finished second and gave her trainer a hint at what she could achieve on the flat. Having been the jockey that led Attraction to success prior to seeing her win the 1,000 Guineas, Dalgleish knew what he was talking about. He sent her off at Catterick in a five-furlong maiden event, which she won by four and a half lengths. That win was followed by another second place and two third place ones, dropping to sixth in her next race before returning to winning ways at Ayr. Two more second places came in before 2017 reached its conclusion, proving Clem Fandango’s ability.