YOU don’t have to be super-rich to own a racehorse – and more and more people are living the dream of ownership by becoming members of a syndicate.
One such band of enthusiasts is the 160-strong Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group (GROG), who have just tasted success with the latest runner Goodwood Atlantis.
The horse was purchased last year for the group’s 18th scheme and delighted members with a win at Salisbury last month.
A son of the successful sire Elusive City, Goodwood Atlantis was bought by bloodstock agent Richard Frisby at a Tattersalls yearling sale.
GROG racing manager Gail Brown said: “His elementary training under Arundel stalwart John Dunlop, who handles all GROG horses, went smoothly and he flourished in early summer and ran a very encouraging race at Sandown first time out in July.
“His finishing position of ninth did not represent the strength of that run because he was badly drawn, was hampered during the race and twice had to switch across the track as the field elected to come down the stands’ rail in search of better ground.
“Then on August 11 he won in good style at Salisbury. Ridden by Ted Durcan, he overcame congestion to score over his 14 rivals.”
In doing so he secured over £12,500 in prize money supported by the Racing Post Yearling bonus scheme, leaving GROG members eagerly anticipating his next run – likely to be Newmarket next Thursday in a one-mile nursery contest.
Goodwood Atlantis follows in the footsteps of Goodwood Starlight, their previously-purchased colt, in delighting GROG members
A son of Mtoto, he caught the eye at the sales and was purchased for 32,000 guineas.
He made his racecourse debut at Salisbury in August 2007 over seven furlongs. Members were not confident of a winning debut, but sent off at 12/1 in a field of 14 he quickened up strongly under Eddie Ahern inside the final quarter-mile to win decisively.
A day of celebration followed and the dream was alive.
Next the colt ventured to Goodwood over a mile and Kerrin McEvoy guided him to a dead-heat victory.
As a three-year-old in 2008, a blip at Newmarket where he failed to finish led to him being fitted with a ring bit and crossover noseband.
A fourth-place finish at Goodwood set him up for a stab at the Crimbourne Stud Stakes, also at his ‘home’ course, and as 9/4 favourite, he did the business.
A win at Ascot netted more than £9,000 in prize money and earned him a go at the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Voice of Racing Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, but could finish only ninth.
Next Goodwood Starlight was to try his luck on the all-weather surface at Kempton Park, finishing a respectable fifth but with all realistic chances of Listed victory fading fast.
At the Tattersalls horses in training sale, he realised 33,000 Guineas, having netted GROG members more than £18,000 in prize money.
GROG pride themselves on offering members the chance to be involved in every aspect of their horse’s early education, learning about the breeding and sales process as well as the training process.
Trainer Dunlop’s record speaks for itself, with two Derby winners among a host of notable successes.
The Group were formed in 1994 and no fewer than 12 winners have carried their red and yellow colours to victory.
GROG offer a new scheme annually, and a one-off payment buys a share in a horse for two years with all expenses and fees included. Members receive their share of the prize money and any resale value of the horse.
The cost of the next scheme is £900 per share – but this rises to £925 after October 1.