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.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

It's a Mad Mad World

As a long time Annual Member at Cheltenham, December has always brought a visit to the follow up chase to the Paddy Power. Most recently known as the Boylesports Chase, this year under the sponsorship of the tremendous Stewart family in support of their inspirational son Paul, the Spinal Research Handicap Chase was the big Saturday Betting Race.

Our tremendous novice chaser Mad Moose, crept in at the bottom of the weights and even though the presence of the Paul Nicholls trained Woolcome Folly kept the weight down for his well fancied stablemate, we were only 3 lb out of the handicap and to our mind, in with a much better chance than our 50/1 outsider tag.

The perpetually ebullient Sam Twiston-Davies, told us that he was going to sit handy and then see if he was in touch coming into the straight and see what happened. Moose looked tremendous going round the paddock in the winter sunshine and the team moved round to the grandstand to get a good view of the race.

Blocked out at the first two fences, Moose was soon at the rear and Sam brought him wide up the straight and got him jumping better than a lot of his much more experienced rivals. As the frenetic pace began to tell. Moose's jumping took him right through the field down the back straight and coming down the famous hill he moved into second challenging the long time leader. He hit the second last and as the hold up horses started to finish up the hill, Moose paid the price for chasing the pace so early and stumbled over the last to weaken into 8th position.

Sam Twiston-Davies returned to unsaddle, grinning from ear to ear from the great ride he had had on our young novice in this top handicap chase at the home of Steeplechasing. Sam, being ever honest, admitted that he couldn't believe how well Moose had been travelling and knew he had got there too quickly. Given his time again, he would have crept through the field and came with his run up the final hill. He may get that chance on Jan 1st back at Cheltenham, before Moose gets a well deserved break as he has been on the go since the summer without a break.

I feel very lucky to be involved in owning such a tough genuine and talented young horse and such a brilliant team as Nigel, Carl and Sam. Lots to look forward to with Moosie!!! 

                                                                              MAD MOOSE
 Guava left my team after a fine win over 9.5 furlongs on Saturday evening in a Wolverhampton claimer. Claimed for £5000 by Frank Sheridan after her win, she will be in the record books for ever for being Richard Hannon's 217th winner this year, breaking Mark Johnston's record for the most winners in a calendar year.
Whilst Guava didn't quite get to the levels we had hoped, she ran 12 times in a busy 2 yr old career, winning twice and finishing in the first 4 a further 5 times. Interestingly she had 9 different jockeys in her 12 races. Perhaps an indication of current prize money is that she earned only £5200 for all that consistency, hence it made sense to allow her to be claimed.
I wish her and her new connections every success and she goes with my thanks for a great season.

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