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, 16 September 2013


Apologies for the lack of posts over the summer months but I have been busy setting up a new venture, which I will tell you about shortly.

Following Mad Moose's abortive attempt to entertain and frustrate in equal measures at Royal Ascot, it's been a busy summer with trips to Goodwood, York and Newbury although the vast majority of the runners have been at the Northern tracks, making constant travel to watch, financially prohibitive.

Star of the season has to be Lexington Place, a horse we had very high hopes for early in the season and who disappointed for Richard Fahey before getting a new lease of life at David O'Meara's and rattling up a quick 4 timer to add to his early maiden win. Very good runs at Goodwood and York have marked him down as a sprinter with a lot of potential and with his half brother Rex Imperator winning the Stewards Cup and half Sister Heavens Edge winning her 2 year old Maiden, a very good season for the Dam, Elidore.

Tatlisu came back to form with 2 wins already in his 3 year old season and looking to be improving. Ruth Carr got a win out of good old Victoire De Lyphar (his first since his 3 Year old Career) and the Ultra Consistent Our Boy Jack has been placed 5 times, without a win, his consistency and honesty meaning he gets little respite from the handicapper.

2 year olds Go Jamesway and Maupiti Express have been disappointing, Strange Magic has been waiting for some soft ground (better handicapped for the Autumn) and Stand my Ground is just back following a mid-season break.

Of course I musn't forget the tremendous success of Sandiva, which led to her big money sale to Sheikh Johaan of Qatar. I couldn't have been happier to see her win easily in France and she will almost certainly go into the winter as one of the favourites for 2014 1000 Guineas.

Which Brings me to my Mission..........

Regular Readers of my blog will know that my roots are in jump racing and that I have previously run my own partnerships and kept my connections with the West Country jumping fraternity. My experiences with Mad Moose and the fantastic Twiston-Davies team, have whetted my appetite to increase my connection with the yard and when I visited Moose in the Summer, I was shown a lovely 4 year old gelding that Nigel had bought at Brightwells April sale at Cheltenham. He immediately took my eye and I decided to try and form a partnership to buy him. My sale proceeds from my share in Sandiva, enabled me to buy 50% of the horse alongside a long standing friend of the Twiston-Davies family, David (Willy) Langdon. A combination of friends, Twitter and advertising on the excellent RaceHorseTrader website, enabled me to set up a small partnership under my Staplegrove Racing name.

And here he is .....

Mission to Mars has had 1 run in an Irish Point to Point, finishing 3rd to two horses who were also sold at the same Cheltenham sale. He is closely related to both Bosun's Mate and Nigel's superb chaser Young Hustler. His sire Presenting is responsible for jumping stars Denman, War of Attrition, First Lieutenant, China Rock, Ballabriggs and of course our own Mad Moose!!! amongst many others.
Mission to Mars (Marty) is working well at home with a Bumper debut on the cards in the next 3 to 4 weeks. It is incredibly exciting to be in at the very start of what we hope will be a long career over the sticks as we follow our boy through the various learning stages of the jumps game. I also hope that Marty will be the first of many Staplegrove Racing horses over the coming years.
Just hope that he doesn't listen to advice from his illustrious stablemate!!

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