You may remember in my last blog, that I was celebrating an unexpected win for one of our horses in a novice hurdle at Fontwell?
Well things went on from strength to strength for that individual, Fr Humphrey! We headed to Kempton in late October for Fr Humphrey’s final race before his lease expired, where we enjoyed a great Sunday afternoon at the races. The team at Kempton were really generous and made a box available to us as we had a large group of owners on hand and we had a brilliant afternoon watching the racing from the balcony. The enjoyment was capped by another cracking run from Fr Humphrey, who flew home to finish 2 nd, beaten a nose in a photograph. Whilst it was inevitably disappointing to lose by a narrow margin, we were delighted to have run so well.
In the days that followed Kempton, the BHA announced a new veterans chase series for horses 10 years and above, rated up to 125 and ridden by conditional jockeys. This looked perfect for Fr Humphrey except that he generally would prefer better ground that we get in the winter and that we were due to send him home! We hatched a plan however to try to get him qualified in November and then to put him away for the valuable final in March and we were grateful that his owner was happy to extend our lease for the winter to allow us to do this.
The first part of that plan went into action at Huntingdon on 12 th November. The main goal was to get him round to qualify for the final, but as the race progressed the chance to do even better started to look a real possibility and it was absolutely thrilling to see him pull a length clear on the run-in to win. The prize-money for Huntingdon was decent, but now we have a horse that if he does not run again, will go into the final with recent form figures of 121 and surely a decent chance of getting involved in a race that will probably be worth about £30,000 to the winner!
That is something to look forward to through the winter!
Why I Like A Lease
You might wonder what is meant when I mention having a horse on lease?
This is possible when the owner of a horse does not want to pay to have a horse in training but does not want to sell the horse for some reason. Lease horses are attractive to me as there is no upfront purchase costs and there is reduced risk should the horse pick up an injury as there is always the option to return the horse to the owner. This means in syndicate terms, I can sell shares much more cheaply than if shareholders had to pay a share of the purchase price.
Fr Humphrey is leased from an owner in Ireland and I have paired him with another horse from the same gentleman for the winter, so shareholders have one horse to race more frequently and another to chase the big prizemoney on offer in the veterans’ chase series. The owner wants to keep the horses in retirement but does not want the training costs at the moment, hence he is happy to lease them to us.
I have added two other leases horses to the BG Racing “stable” for the coming year, one flat racer and one national hunt prospect. Both are fillies and owned by studs who want to breed from them in due course. They are quite happy for someone else to race them in the hope that they can deliver success on the track and increase their breeding value. Both may have been outside my budget to buy them at auction and hence leasing brings horses of this quality into my budget and allow us to “own” such a horse for a period of time.
Busy Time of Year
This is the time of year when I put together my share packages for the following year and I have been launching these during November. I had a trade stand at Ascot last week for their Discover Racehorse Ownership weekend and it was great fun to talk to loads of people who had an interest in ownership. I love talking to people about ownership as many people love the idea and perhaps do not realise that it is as affordable as it can be.
I will keep you posted on progress over the winter through these blog posts and if you want a more regular update, then there is a news update on my website www.bgracingsyndicates.co.uk every week and I also post on Facebook and Twitter. If you have any specific questions about racehorse ownership, I would also be happy to respond to them, just drop me a note via my website contact page.