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.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

HAVE WE SOLD A ROYAL ASCOT WINNER OR IS THERE ONE WAITING IN THE STALLS?

It's been an extremely busy and eventful few weeks in the lead up to Ascot and today Middleham Park Racing announced that we have completed the sale of our extremely promising filly SANDIVA to Sheikh Johann Bin Ahmed Al Thani and that she will run in his colours in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday.

I'm sure a lot of people will wonder why the syndicate has chosen to sell a young horse, that is potentially on the verge of greatness, when that is surely our dream, to own a horse that can run in all the top races. A very valid question and one that all the syndicate members had to ask themselves this week.

When Middleham Park Racing but any horse, they are always looking for potential improvers or great value yearlings that have the potential to win prizemoney and hopefully increase their value. The majority of our syndicate owners are normal working men and women who love the sport and invest what they can afford in order to be involved as an owner in our wonderful sport. The pleasure we all get from watching our horses on the track, at the stables or on the gallops is immeasurable and worth every penny.

When SANDIVA was bought last August for just £18,000, her breeding value was already in place as a half sister to a Listed winner and Richard Hannon's exciting Wentworth. What she did on the track exceeded our expectations and it was inevitable that offers would come flooding in after winning so well at Naas. We turned down a number of deals before we got the 'offer we couldn't refuse'. Whilst it is a shame to lose out on a possible superstar, the money will be re-invested, no doubt in further purchases, to enable the syndicate owners to continue to enjoy their ownership experience for a while longer.



The financial reality is that we need to win prizemoney to pay the training bills and sell at a profit on occasions to offset the many that don't work out so well!!. Middleham Park Racing's fantastic placing of their horses is an enormous help - 3 More Yearling Bonuses won this year and a number of BOBIS bonuses bear testament to that.and their ability to buy well, alongside their trainers, is uncanny.

ON TO ASCOT -

When one door closes, another opens or in this case, a stall opens!! The question will be whether the mercurial MAD MOOSE chooses to wander out of it, on his way to racing in the 2m 6f Queen Alexandra Stakes on Saturday at Ascot.

Since he got the better of us again at York, we've left it to Nigel and his team to 'Sort him Out'. He has recently enlisted the help of the brilliant and very successful Gary Witherford to help Moosie and he will be with him at the start on Saturday in order to improve Moosie's chances of getting away on terms.

MAD MOOSE is the horse who 'Dreams and Disasters' could have been invented for, but he has massively exceeded all our expectations as well as frustrated us with his antics (Trips from Somerset to both Aintree and York to see him stand still!!!)
However Moose has a very decent chance in this long distance race. Despite running over 1m 4f and 1m 6f on the Flat so far, Moose was third over a very testing 3 mile hurdle last Autumn, so no reason not to be confident he will stay the trip, something a lot of his opponents won't be able to match.



Will he start - Will he Win? Nobody will know until the last race of this years Royal Ascot on Saturday but we will all have a wonderful day, whatever happens.


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