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.

Monday, 26 March 2012

FLAT Season here we come.

Hot on the heels of a fun Jumps season, the Flat 2012 kicks into action this weekend with the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster.

I am very fortunate to have a really exciting team for this Flat season and am looking forward to a lot more luck than last year, which was littered with disappointments and injuries.

I have shares in a total of 7 horses with 4 different trainers and a very interesting mix they are.

Richard Fahey looks after 3 of them. OUR BOY JACK a 3 year old gelding, who may be on a competitive mark for handicaps following his gelding op late last year, LEXINGTON PLACE, a 2 yr old Compton Place Colt who might be quite early and TATLISU another 2 yr old colt by Red Clubs, who is very well bought and might be out quite early.

The Master Trainer Richard Hannon has 2. SIR LEXINGTON, a fantastic specimen of a horse, was unable to run at 2 as he had a small bone chip removed from his knee just as he was preparing to debut in one of the decent late season maidens. A very expensive purchase as a yearling, this Desert Sun Colt could be a bit special. Another Compton Place 2 yr old colt, DOUGLAS PASHA, is well liked by the Hannon team and will probably debut mid-summer.

Ann Duffield looks after the well bred 3 yr old filly, MIDNIGHT TRYST. A half sister to the decent sprinter Midnight Martini, our filly made a very encouraging maiden debut late last season, she could be anything.

Last but not least is the Superstar of the team VICTOIRE DE LYPHAR with Sprint King Dandy Nicholls. Victoire had a stellar 3 yr old career, winning easily at Doncaster before running away with York's Reg Griffin Trophy, Europe's most valuable 3 yr old sprint handicap. Flying up the handicap, Victoire continued to improve, coming 2nd in the Stewards Sprint at Glorious Goodwood before a brilliant 2nd place as the only 3 yr old in the Ayr Gold Cup in September.
Big things were expected from Victoire last year, but he was a disappointing favourite at Haydock on his debut behind Bated Breath (2nd in 2 Group 1s later in the season), Society Rock (Group 1 winner at Royal Ascot) and Royal Rock (Group 3 winner), not too shabby in retrospect. Victoire then ran very disappointingly in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot and the Stewards Cup at Goodwood, without explanation. It transpired that he had been carrying an injury all season and needed box rest for the rest of the Summer and Autumn.
Our plans to join Dandy's raiding party to Meydan were thwarted by a reduced handicap mark but it means that we have a very fit and very fresh horse to go to war with this season.

If he is fully recovered we hope that he will be a force in all the top Heritage handicaps and will hopefully progress to Listed and Group class. He is a big long striding horse so a bit of give will always be preferable, so foreign raids may be on the cards and Dandy is a genius at scouring the European Pattern Book.

Victoire has his first entry at Doncaster on Sunday in a 0-100 6f Handicap and if he runs, we will be watching to see if that old spark is still there. Definitely a Dream to follow last season's Disasters.

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