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Racing mourns as Solna dies, aged 90

Solna Thomson Jones has died aged 90 (1940663)
Solna Thomson Jones has died aged 90 (1940663)

Newmarket’s racing community is mourning the death of Solna Thomson Jones, a member of the famous Joel racing dynasty, who died on Friday at the ago of 90.

She was the granddaughter of multi-millionaire diamond magnate Solly Joel who once owned Newmarket’s Moulton Paddocks estate which he bought in 1922 and where he died.

Solly’s interest in racing was shared by his son Stanhope, who was a hugely successful owner. His wife, Gladys, bred and owned the 1970 Oaks winner Lupe.

Solna and her sister Dana Brudenell-Bruce, shared the family’s racing interest and after their father’s death they took over the running of the family’s Snailwell Stud, where they bred and raced the likes of top two-year-old filly Circus Ring, Irish St Leger winner Opale and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Alverton. The stud had been in the family’s ownership for for than 70 years when it was finally sold in 2016.

In 1950 Solna had married Newmarket trainer Harry Thomson ‘Tom’ Jones with whom she had two sons, Tim and Chris, and a daughter Di Haine. The pair later divorced.

A talented horsewoman, Solna followed what had become something of a family tradition by winning the 1948 running of the Newmarket Town Plate on Filius.

In February, at her Newmarket home she celebrated her 90th birthday in style with a party for family and friends, many from the racing industry which she still followed keenly. Right up until her death she read the Racing Post every day.

Her funeral service will be held at St Peter’s Church, in Snailwell, on Thursday, May 17, at 2pm and she will be buried in the churchyard close to her sister Dana and her niece Sara Hood.

Recently, Mrs Thomson Jones did a series of interviews with the Journal about her life and the history of her family. “I have been very fortunate because I have had a very full life,” she said.

“And I have some wonderful memories which will be with me always.”


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