Thursday 15 November 2012

Make Mine a Mackeson

I’m writing this on the eve of the three-day Open meeting at Cheltenham. This has always seemed to me to be the real start of the jumps season, even though I always call the 2m 4f feature chase “the Mackeson” and never “The Paddy Power”. Fortunately many of my racing friends are equally stuck in the past. It brings back happy memories of illicit gambling at school, and trying to convince landlords to serve me beer, even though I barely reached to the top of the bar counter. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking of many of the top races by their former names – of which the Schweppes and the Whitbread immediately come to mind.

Anyway, enough of that. The other great thing about this year’s National Hunt season moving up a gear is that we at Owners for Owners are really pleased by prospective owners’ reactions to what we’re trying to do. We already have three excellent NH trainers in Messrs. Hobbs, Longsdon and Snowden and there is a fourth waiting in the wings as well. Will keep everyone posted via the web site.

In terms of the horses, our immaculately bred, three-year-old Presenting filly with Philip Hobbs is now fully subscribed. We have another potential horse with Philip in Quick Decisson with shares still available for those who would like to be involved in this top yard. The two younger trainers – who I definitely see as “Future Champions” – have been actively involved in sourcing young chasing types as well. A five-year-old gelding, Houndscourt, arrived last weekend at Jamie Snowden’s, having won a point-to-point in great style for Philip Fenton in Ireland; there are six shares available in him. He is by the increasingly important NH sire, Court Cave, who has already done well in passing on characteristics of his sire, Sadler’s Wells. Finally, Charlie Longsdon and the Highflyer team are all in attendance at the Brightwells sale tomorrow night and we’re hoping to secure a horse either there or, more likely, through the point-to-point network in the not too distant future. There are already several partners committed to being involved when we find the right horse at the right price.

Just to remind everyone that I’m not running Owners for Owners to make any profit on running the partnerships – the goal is to find experienced owners who want to “join forces to buy better horses”, so if we take the example of Houndscourt, the purchase price was £30,000 so a sixth share is £5,000 + the ongoing training fees and expenses. If you fancy getting involved with Jamie in this horse in Lambourn, please phone me as soon as possible on 07958 763159, or drop me an email on

So, as Ena Sharples and her cronies in the Rover’s Return always used to say, “Make mine a Mackie” (or at least something pretty similar – if my rapidly fading memory recalls correctly). I suspect I’ll be having something considerably stronger if my long-range antepost selection of Grands Crus hacks up in the Mackeson on Saturday. Cheers!!


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