In the first week of July it may seem a tad quirky to be mentioning a National Hunt syndicate, but the preparation of horses in both codes is far less seasonal than the casual onlooker might guess.
So it is that I have acquired another fine beast to syndicate with fellow Geegeez readers and, if that sounds appealing, read on for all the info you might need to know to decide whether you’d like to join us.
He was bought at Goff’s Land Rover Sale in Ireland three weeks ago (lot 348) for €18,000. Here is a link to his pedigree and below is a photo of him when he arrived at Anthony’s (he will be trained by Anthony Honeyball at Potwell Farm in Dorset).
Aged three, he seems quite forward and Anthony is really pleased with him, and thinks he ought to turn out to be a real bargain. Quite a big lad – bigger than The Geegeez Geegee at any rate – he is 16.1 hands (for those of you in the know) and has scope to grow further, as you’d expect for a relative baby.
By Winged Love out of an Opening Verse mare, this 3yo bay gelding is a son of Eastender (should be some fun naming him!)
Winged Love won the Irish Derby and finished close up in Lammtara’s King George Stakes. His dad is In The Wings, and Eastender’s mum is Trude, and that pair ‘combined’ to bring Westender into the world.
Westender, you may remember, won ten races, and was second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (behind Like-A-Butterfly) and then second in the Champion Hurdle behind Rooster Booster. He was placed in numerous Graded hurdles after that as well.
Winged Love is a relatively unfashionable stallion for some reason, but he actually has an incredible runners to winners record. Specifically, he has had 80 individual winners from 202 runners (40%). Compare that with, say, Presenting (39% winner to runners), Oscar (39%) and Stowaway (30%), and you can see the sort of company he keeps.
Moreover, he has sired the likes of Twist Magic, Bostons Angel, Hunt Ball, Josses Hill, Magnanimity, Bless The Wings, and Cannington Brook; as well as further prolific winners such as Barito, Firebird Flyer and Tora Bora.
Our new lad has three full siblings currently racing:
6yo BOOLAVARD KING was 3rd in bumpers at Punchestown and Fairyhouse before changing hands for £35,000 to Kim Bailey. Sadly he was pulled up on his only start for them in December last year.
5yo JUST GET CRACKING won a handicap hurdle in Tramore in January and has been placed a few times as well.
4yo COEUR BLIMEY was 2nd in a Uttoxeter bumper in March on his only start to date.
The vendor said that this one is the best of the bunch. Though, of course, he would say that!
East Wing (I just thought of that, it’ll do as a pen name until we decide on something better!) has been transported from the sales in Ireland and is being tacked up and ridden at the moment (see video below). The loose plan will then be to turn him out for a while before bringing him into training with a view to running around the turn of the year.
He will run initially in bumpers (National Hunt Flat races), and we’ll make further plans from there.
I’d like to keep things as affordable as possible, but you are buying into a racehorse, and such animals are ‘not cheap’. The cost of the horse, transport from Ireland to Dorset, and two months (June/July) stabling and ‘breaking’ (pre-training) he’s receiving prior to our monthly obligations starting is probably more than the £16,000 (+VAT, reclaimable) that Anthony has quoted.
It’s a very fair price, for a really exciting young untried horse, and my intention is the following:
16 equal shares at £1,100+VAT = £1,320
Monthly payments, from August 1st, of £125 per month (no VAT, will recoup it on a quarterly basis against training fees).
There are no ‘admin fees’ or hidden costs with this, or any of my syndicates. The ‘kick back’ for me is that the horse will run in the colours of geegeez.co.uk. I have added an extra £100 to the base price to allow for any initial unforeseen expenses, and all funds are held in the account and will be distributed between members at the end of the term.
In summary, it is £1,320 up front and then a monthly standing order/direct debit for £125 starting on 1st August.
The monthly covers training, feed, stabling, shoes, minor medicines, minor vet’s bills, racecourse transit, race entries, and jockey fees. So it’s all inclusive, barring significant unforeseen incidents (those that would cost more than £100 per syndicate member to address). In those cases, we discuss as a syndicate what to do.
The shares are offered on a first come first served basis – I am taking one naturally, I have already had firm commitments for eight more from existing syndicate members (who, naturally, get first refusal on new horses), leaving seven shares left.
STOP PRESS: As at 2.30pm Friday 3rd, I have had firm commitments for 15 shares, meaning there is ONE LEFT. I will manage a short waiting list as well if it comes to that, so do please email me as per the below if you’re interested.
STOP PRESS 2: As at 4.30pm Friday 3rd, I have 16 firm commitments, and the syndicate is FULL. However, things don’t always work out that way, so if you’d like to join a waiting list, please contact me as per below. If any shares become available, this list will be offered the available share(s) on an individual first come first served basis.
We’ve had mixed fortunes with our recent syndicate horses – The Geegeez Geegee proving very competitive and still on an upward curve (a fantastic syndicate horse in every way), while Bien Faire was disappointing before suffering a bad injury. That perfectly illustrates the highs and lows, and the risks, associated with racehorse ownership, and I’m sure I don’t need to say any more on that!
WHAT YOU GET
As well as outright ownership of an equal 1/16th share of the horse, you will receive an owner’s badge every time he runs. You’ll also be able to visit him at the stables, either as part of a group get-together or when you’re in the area (by prior arrangement, obviously). All owners will receive an equal share of prize money, which is divvied up at the end of the initial two year term.
And finally, all owners have a say in any significant decisions affecting the horse/syndicate. For day-to-day operations, that’s left to the trainer (Anthony) and the syndicate manager (me). Naturally, we will keep members in the loop with regular updates on progress, entries, chances and so on.
I’m really excited about this guy, and I think Anthony is too. He’s a pretty straightforward sort of bloke (Anthony, though ‘East Wing’ seems to be too!) and I can hear real optimism in his voice when speaks about the horse.
If you’d like to join the syndicate – which will run for a minimum term of two years, please email me by clicking here.
I will be seeking fees for the horse in the next couple of weeks – if you need to pay over a couple of instalments, we can discuss that, no problem. And I will ask members to sign and email/post the last page in our syndicate agreement when they come on board.
Really looking forward to getting started, and I’m excited to share this prospect with a very knowledgeable group of racing fans.
One last thing: if there’s anything I haven’t answered in this post, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help if I can.