I dreamt of owning a racehorse ever since those first vists to Taunton Races at the age of 11. Those dreams came true when my friends and I bought our first horse, a 4 year old mare called Tashlee Grove in training with our friend Brian Forsey when I was 18. She never got to the racecourse but a few horses later I had my first ever winner in my own colours on 14th May 1991, when Lady Primrose won a selling handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot under young jump jockey Carl Llewellyn (who went on to win the Grand National on Party Politics the following spring).

There followed one more winner in my colours (Aldahe at Lingfield Park over hurdles) before grown up things like work, mortgage, marriage and children took up more of my finances. I became a serial Syndicate member with Elite, Full Circle, Henry Ponsonby to name but a few before I took a share in Outset with Mark Kilner Racing. Outset was very successful on both the flat and over jumps and took me to some big racedays which gave me a taste of the life of the owner.

In Autumn 2005, I took the plunge and took a share in a 2 horse syndicate with Highclere Thoroughbred Racing. The 2 horses were Squadron trained by Amanda Perrett and Treat trained by Mick Channon. Treat surpassed all my wildest dreams by finishing 2nd in the Fillies Mile at Ascot as a 2 year old and then 4th in the 1000 Guineas before eventually being sold to Sheik Mohammed to stand at Darley Stud in Japan.

In Jan 2008, I bought into my first horse managed by Middleham Park Racing, Bonnie Prince Blue, quickly followed by my first 2 year old Victoire de Lyphar. I have become very impressed by the syndicate and Nick, Tim and Mike who run it and have got carried away to the extent of now owning shares (generally 5 percent) of 18 different horses in separate syndicates with MPR.

I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences with anyone who might be interested. If you have any interest in racing, I hope that my experiences may tempt you into the wonderful world of racehorse ownership.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Busy Old Week

Guava ran a storming race to finish 3rd at Brighton behind the two Godolphin horses. She was much more prominent than last time and Sean Levey went for home 2 out. Guava was passed by the winner but ran on again very gamely. She can clearly continue to be competitive off this sort of mark on the all-weather and I guess we will keep her going as long as she's in form.

Friday saw 2 more runners with My Moment looking to bounce back from his disappointing run at Market Rasen and Refusetosurrender visiting the last chance saloon at Wolverhampton. With work extremely busy I managed to avoid the results and text messages and let good old Sky+ and Attheraces provide me with the excitement on my return home at 7pm.

Refusetosurrender has been very disappointing since being bought for 35,000 euros at Arqana Breeze Up Sales last spring. She was injured at two and Richard Fahey couldn't get a run into her until January this year. She ran three times on the all-weather, failing to settle each time and basically looking completely out of love with the game. She was nicknamed 'Refusetorun' by her connections and then suffered another setback, which kept her off the track until September when, again, she ran disappointingly off a ridiculously low mark. Today at Wolverhampton, she broke well and travelled like the best horse, in behind the leader, until she was brought wide for her challenge in the home straight. Whilst she ran on really well for 3rd place, she still seemed reluctant to go past the leader, despite looking the winner all the way round. She is in the sales at the end of the month but is impeccably bred and hopefully someone will fancy her as a broodmare.

My Moment was bought by Tim Vaughan out of the Henry Daly Draft at Doncaster in May for just £19,000. He had been a tremendously promising young hurdler and chaser but lost his way at Henry Daly's yard last season particularly after a very bad fall at Haydock dented his confidence. He was the perfect horse to get the Vaughan Magic Touch. He showed improvement in his first 2 chases for us, only just getting caught by AP McCoy on the line at Stratford after making all. He then went to Market Rasen for their Ultra Competitive Summer Jumping Finale (alongside Mad Moose). He was unable to get to the front and soon appeared to be hating things boxed in amongst horses in the big field. He sulked a little and was pulled up on the second circuit.

Nick Bradley from MPR was certain that My Moment needed a small field and the chance to make all and the Fakenham race was selected as the perfect opportunity to regain his confidence. Against only 4 opponents, My Moment was sent off in front by Richard Johnson and quite simply jumped his rivals into the ground. AP McCoy was again the challenger on the favourite Court Red Handed but despite his urgings, My Moment stayed on really well to win by 3 lengths. I am convinced that our boy just likes galloping and jumping out on his own and doesn't want any of his mates spoiling his fun by being in front or close to him. A decent prize of over £6000 was won by brilliant placement, a top ride and a brilliant training performance. We will almost certainly look to find a similar race before the ground turns against him.

Last 4 runners 3rd-3rd-1st-3rd - Not Bad for a Syndicate Owner.

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