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, 21 July 2015


Doesn't time fly?!!

It's taken me until now, sitting in a bar in Cuba, to find the time to post the latest update, but there are lots of exciting things on the horizon, not least my relationship with the Alexandra Dunn Stable & my thoughts for expanding Staplegrove Racing into more than just a Racing Syndicate.

Firstly the horses!

ARRAYAN didn't quite manage to get the win his efforts deserved but following discussions with Alex, it was decided to retire him from racing & he is now learning how to be the Master of the Hunt's mount in the Worcester Area. It is massively important to me that horses that have given us great service, go on to find new jobs & lives after racing. Lots of new entrants to the 'Syndicate' game make very grand claims about their horses & but the proof is available to anyone who cares to look deeply enough.

TEACHMETOBOUGGIE proved to be a revelation when we finally got him on course in a very hot bumper at Ffos Las. 6 of the 9 runners had cost between £40k and £70k at the sales and had some very decent form, so we were hoping to hang on to them for as long as possible. Bouggie ran a blinder, running very green, but keeping in touch until the straight, where the experienced horses quickened, but he kept on really well under hands & heels to finish only 10 lengths behind Middleham Park & Nicky Henderson's highly rated Premier Bond. Bouggie picked up a Racing Post rating of 108, which would have won 90% of the bumpers run in the last 2 months of the season but Alex, Tom & myself decided to put him away for decent ground in the Autumn & try and win his bumper. Not bad for a £2200 purchase and testament to the ability of Alex & Tom as a very talented and hugely enthusiastic team, especially given the right ammunition.

Very exciting for the Staplegrove Racing Team after the disappointment with poor Marty and great to have two new members Neil & Dan, joining us on this exciting new venture.

I was also delighted to get my good friends ONTOAWINNER RACING involved in a deal for BLEU ASTRAL to run in their colours this summer. I've known the lads since we were fellow owners in VICTOIRE DE LYPHAR with Middleham Park and they have been extremely successful with their own venture with many winners in the Yellow & White sllks, including the top class TOOCOOLFORSCHOOL, FAST SHOT & YOURARTISONFIRE. They have asked me to look after the syndicate with Alex and despite a slightly disappointing start, we hope to get another winner for the lads and their owners & hopefully start a fruitful relationship with the Dunn yard.

My Middleham Park interests have cut back considerably & I now have interests in 5 with Richard Fahey and 1 with Nicky Henderson.

The Fahey team is headed by the ever improving sprinter TATLISU. He has done nothing but improve and with a bit of luck would have won 2 or 3 major handicaps in the last 12 months. His latest repeat 2nd in the Scottish Stewards Cup at Hamilton, came on the back of an uncharacteristic poor run in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, where everything transpired against him. He goes next to Goodwood for the Stewards Cup, one of my favourite races of the season. Fortunately, I will be home to watch him and hopefully he can get the big win he undoubtedly deserves, before the end of the year.

OBSIDIAN was a cheap purchase from the John Gosden yard last Autumn, after picking up an injury at the end of his 2 year old season. Nursed back to health by Richard, he has won his Maiden at Thirsk after being beaten 14 lengths (giving 17lbs) to no less than Storm the Stars!! He has run really well in three subsequent handicaps with no luck in running and remains, to us, extremely well handicapped at present off 81. He may well go to Thirsk at the beginning of August for a valuable 3 year old handicap. I wouldn't be surprised if he is operating at a higher level by the end of the year.

The 3 year old filly SIGNORET has been a little frustrating after winning her maiden at Thirsk in May. She's a classic example of a horse whose running style (sprinter) contradicts her breeding (should be better over a mile). I loved her very fast breeze and hopefully we will revert to letting her kick on over 6f after failing to get home over extended 7f at Chester. I would be surprised if she doesn't pick up a couple more handicaps this season.

Last years exciting middle distance filly LATENIGHTREQUEST has taken a long time to get ready this year. Softish ground is essential for her, but hopefully we can get a good Autumn campaign out of her, where picking up some Black Type would be a real priority. 

The beautifully bred filly CODGERS GIFT is another who has taken a while to get ready. Ready for a step up in trip for handicap debut, she is another one for the Autumn.

Over at Nicky Henderson's, Middleham Park have built up an impressive string of beautifully bred bumper & store horses, the envy of many an owner.

My involvement is with the 6 year old mare QUIET CANDID. Bought after winning a ptp in Ireland, she won her Novice Hurdle at Towcester in November and then a Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen in March before just failing to finish off her race in a good quality Mares Listed Hurdle at Cheltenham in April. 
She is likely to go Novice Chasing in the Autumn, and there is an excellent programme for Mares at all the top meetings through the Jump Season. 

That's quite a lot of info for one blog. In Part 2, I will expand on my plans for Staplegrove Racing and let you have details of my first Irish Investments with the great Willie Mullins as well as a brilliant new Racing Club with Alex Dunn.

If you've enjoyed my Blog, please retweet and tell your friends.

If you would like any info on Racehorse Ownership or would like me to source a horse for you, or are a trainer looking for owners, or would like an experienced professional to run your syndicates, or even better manage your horses for you, please get in touch by email dave@flutter61.co.uk or DM at Twitter at either @flutter61 or @StaplegroveRace or good old fashioned phone 07967 725295 and I would be delighted to chat to you. 

Many Thanks

Dave Arthur

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