"Lochnager was such a good 'oss and so strongly fancied, I don't think I've ever been so nervous before a race. I couldn't stop sweatin', just thinking about it. The one thing I told, over and over again, was not to come too soon. Lochnager was an 'oss with all the gears. What made him so brilliant was that he was so switched off - he'd pick grass on't side of a gallop at home while others galloped past him. But when you asked him to pick up in a race, he was like a Ferrari in overdrive, he had an unbelievable burst of speed. I couldn't watch t'race from the stands. I ended up watching it from t'weighing room ... I've never had an 'oss like him and never seen a better sprinter. He was a machine." - Mick Easterby
Lochnager was a brown horse by Dumbarnie who was bought for a modest sum by Charles Spence. He was bred by E A Dandy, Lochnager's dam Miss Barbara not coming from a particularly distinguished family but having won six races. He was sent to us to be trained primarily as a jumps horse due to his immense size and strength. He ran as a two year old over the minimum trip recording his first win in August 1974 at Thirsk in the Studley Stakes.
As a three year old he improved as he filled into his huge frame. In 1975 he won at Haydock, Newcastle and twice at Ascot.
However, his peak came at the age of four when he won the Temple Stakes, the Kings Stand Stakes, the July Cup and the William Hill Sprint Championship (the Nunthorpe Stakes). Timeform rated him at 132 and he was bestowed the honour of Champion Sprinter. Retired at the age of four, he had won nine of his sixteen starts. He was sent to Easthorpe Stud and sired some very fast horses, the most famous of these being the great Lochsong who was Champion sprinter in 1993. Lochnager also sired Peckitt's Well who went on to be the dam of Lochangel, one of Frankie Dettori's famous "Magnificent Seven".
Lochnager died in 1994 at the age of 22. Never have we seen a horse so quick.
The Lochnager story did not however finish there, and among his offspring was the nine times winner Penny Hasset who we trained between 1991 and 1994. She in turn was the dam of Happy Times who was a dual winner for the yard in 1999!
Thank you to Brian Bivens and Mr Spence for the photographs.