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, 5 February 2012

2012 String - National Hunt

The ice and snow put paid to Mad Moose's challenge to Oscar Whisky in the Welsh Champion Hurdle on Saturday, with Ffos Las failing to beat the freeze. Great shame as the Prize Money was superb and Moose was well up to picking up some cash.

Whilst we have a cold spell forecast for next two weeks, I thought I would do a brief summary of the horses that I currently part own, jumps and flat, with my views on their prospects for the weeks and months ahead.

I won't pretend that owning a share of a horse is cheap but it is surprisingly affordable with the right team. I own all my shares in individual partnerships managed by Middleham Park Racing. In general my 5% shares cost 5% of purchase costs plus between £125 and £145 per month depending on the trainers costs. All the MPR syndicates give you a genuine share of all prize money plus sale proceeds and are a great way to get involved with fellow enthusiasts at the races (where you will get an owners badge every time your horse runs). There are currently shares available in 2 year olds with Richard Hannon, Richard Fahey, Michael Bell, Sir Henry Cecil, Ann Duffield and David O'Meara to suit all budgets as well as a number of other unexposed horses. Please visit www.middlehamparkracing.net for full details.

Mad Moose (Presenting - Sheshollystar)

Nigel Twiston-Davies agreed to sell 50% of Mad Moose to Middleham Park Racing after his runaway hurdles win at Newton Abbot and his second Novice Chase win at Uttoxeter. Moose went straight into a competitive handicap at Market Rasen off a mark of 144 (His new hurdle mark, 15lb higher after his 15length win at Newton Abbot). He ran really well in a very competitive race to finish 15 lengths 7th under his regular pilot Sam Twiston-Davies. His next race at Cheltenham was over 3m 1f and again he ran a blinder, leading into the home straight before fading up the stiff Cheltenham hill.
Moose then stepped up in class in two of the best novice chases of the season running fantastic races in 2nd behind Silviniaco Conti and 3rd behind Bobs Worth and Cue Card. On both occasions Sam eased Moose right down once his chance had gone. The handicapper very kindly dropped Moose a few pounds for his next run in an ultra competitive handicap over 2m 5f at Cheltenham's December meeting, where Moose came from a long way back to challenge turning into the straight before weakening again up the straight. Sam believed that he might have made his move too early and that a more patient ride might help him go very close next time. Both Tatenen and Calgary Bay (who both finished close to Moose) have gone on to win valuable handicaps in their next runs. As Moose ran from 3lbs out of the handicap (138) he now has a mark of 135, some 9lbs lower than at Market Rasen.

Moose has been on the go since the Summer and Nigel is keen to let him go to the Festival Novice Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in March off his current rating, so he will probably have just one run before then, possibly over hurdles if we can find a suitable alternative to the cancelled Ffos Las race.

Moose has picked up over £13,000 in prize money by the very shrewd placement by Nigel and the Middleham Park Racing Team and we hopefully have a trip to the Festival to look forward to as well. I have been incredibly impressed by all the Twiston-Davies team, Nigel, Carl Llewellyn, Sparky and of course the incredibly enthusiastic and very talented Sam and would thoroughly recommend anyone to get involved with them if you get the opportunity.

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