THE numbers – both on the track and off it – tell their own story. It is one of success for Keith Dalgleish.

The 72 winners that the Carluke-based trainer has saddled have helped him bring in almost £700,000 in prize money so far this season.

His walls are adorned with pictures of past triumphs, while his stables packed with horses that could take him beyond the record tally of 82 that he set last term.

The benchmark has increased year by year, as has Dalgleish’s reputation as he continues to make impressive strides forward.

It is Dalgleish that takes the acclaim, but the burden and the glory is shared. It is a team effort.

“We have had another good year, I think we are on track prize money wise and winners wise,” Dalgleish told SportTimes.

“We are just thankful for every one that comes along, really.

“It kind of sorts itself out. We were a bit further behind here weather wise, so we never truly hit top gear until June.

“I couldn’t do it without the people here, like my brother, Kevin. We have got quite a steady team that have been here a while.

“You are only as good as them, really, so I am fortunate to have them with me.”

It is six years since Dalgleish assumed control at the Belstane Yard, whose previous incumbents have included Ian Semple, Linda Perratt and Noel Wilson.

The trajectory has been upwards in every season as more and more winners have been returned and the strength and depth of his string has increased.

In terms of quantity, Dalgleish is happy with his lot. Now, it is about the quality.

“It is steady progression each year,” he said. “We have more horses, about 100 in training now.

“Each year we have steadily increased our numbers, it is not like we have jumped from 50 to 100, we just increase by 15 or so.

“To be honest, numbers wise, I am probably comfortable. I wouldn’t want too many more.

“Being in Scotland, if we had too many more then it might become an issue in terms of race planning. I am comfortable around the 100, 110 mark.

“I just want to keep doing well, that is the main aim, and hopefully the quality improves too.”

After giving up his ambitions of forging a career on the Flat due to a constant battle to make the weight, Dalgleish had to dream of training winners rather than riding them.

He has struck multiple times with likes of Taxmeifyoucan, a winner at Haydock earlier this month, Whatsthemessage and El Hombre as he has put in the hours and the miles in search of success.

If his plans come to fruition, there will be plenty more to come, with three-year-old Clem Fandango one to watch out for when conditions suit.

“It does make it all worth it, but I don’t see it as a job,” Dalgleish said. “This is my life.

“Ever since I left school, I have been in racing, which is 24/7. I don’t really know what that Friday feeling is like! I wouldn’t change it.

“I really enjoy living in Scotland and hopefully we will have a decent back end. A few of the horses, we have looked after them because they want soft ground and there are targets towards the end of the season. Hopefully we can land a nice race.”

Dalgleish can count Royal Ascot victories on-board Helm Bank and Fantastic Love on his CV and now he has another success at the meeting in his sights.

The next runner, the next winner is always the most important one. The focus is on the here and now, but there has to be a consideration as to what could lie ahead.

“We have about 30 two-year-olds, and about 20 or so have ran,” Dalgleish said.

“About ten of them probably won’t run until they are three, they have got slower pedigrees and need a bit of time.

“Even though you are concentrating on this year, you always need to keep next year in mind. You have always got to know that you have got another crop coming through.

“Every time you bring in an unraced horse, it could be that one that you have been looking for.

“I would really like to win a two-year-old race at Ascot. If we get the right horse for the right day and it happens, great. I just want to train winners and provide a good service.”

As Dalgleish’s strike rate increases, so does his standing in the sport. The prizes are important, but the plaudits are not why he does what he does.

Businessman Gordon McDowall put his faith in Dalgleish when he handed him the keys to Belstane and he inherited 20 horses. The risk has brought significant rewards.

“A lot of my owners have been with me since I kicked off, really, and I have been fortunate that they have stood by me,” Dalgleish said.

“They maybe started off with a couple of horses and have ended up with six or seven. They have been massive in helping me get to where I am today.

“Of course they took a risk on me. I was fortunate that when we started we got a few winners early and that attracts people.

“We try and offer a good service, keep them well up to date and, touch wood, they seem to stay. I must be doing something right.”

The rise and rise of Dalgleish is just one of the positives for Scottish racing at present as the sport continues to grow north of the border.

One For Arthur’s Grand National triumph in April for trainer Lucinda Russell was the highlight and put her Kinross stable on the map.

Dalgleish is making his own mark. The same can be said across the country.

“You hear the same thing from owners all the time, that the Scottish tracks seem to provide for them better than most,” Dalgleish said. “That is good.

“I suppose we do extra travelling compared to other places, but we choose to be here and we like it here so we have to do it.

“The prize money is good, there is plenty to be had. In general, all the tracks in Scotland do a great job. They look after everyone well and that is why they all attract a lot of runners.

“If you look at the amount of good horses that have won their Maidens in Scotland, that says a lot.

“There are Royal Ascot winners that have won their Maidens here in the past ten years. I think the quality of racing here is good.”