He's Very Nice


            Last Sunday afternoon, when I had finished and published the ‘Sunday Sermon’ on the website we learned of the sad passing of Rob Burrow. You will all be aware of Rob and the journey he had been on with Motor Neurone Disease for the past 4 years. To say that he was an inspiration is an understatement. This was a battle that he knew he had no chance of winning, an opponent he would never defeat, and yet he continued to live as full a life as he possibly could as this horrible disease rendered him less and less able. Supported all the way through by his wife Lindsey and a team of friends he continued to draw as much awareness as he could to his condition – raising millions of pounds for research and development into a possible cure in the process. We had the pleasure of meeting Rob and his team at Doncaster last January when the bumper won by Dino Bellagio was run in his honour. He was a true inspiration – RIP.

Dino Bellagio syndicate members, Brain Hughes and Rob Burrow in the winners enclosure. 

            It has been a quieter week again – all bar two of the race team are on their holidays – hopefully they will get to see a bit of sun before they are back in their stables in early July! Alan King called to chat about the latest addition to the team – the 3 yr old filly that he will be training from July onwards. She is currently being broken in with Janie Magee just over the hill from Alan’s Barbury Castle stables and we arranged to go and see her on Thursday.

            Tuesday, with it being a quieter week, and having had a number of conversations with trainers and their racing secretaries last week, about the new regulations that are coming into force at the end of the year  regarding syndicate managers, I thought there was no time like the present and cracked on with the two on-line modules that the BHA have created which have to be completed in order for those of us that manage syndicates as a profession, to receive our licenses when they are introduced at the start of 2025. I have long been in favour of increased regulation for Syndicate managers and would even advocate even more stringent qualifying restrictions if I am honest. Syndicates are the only part of the racing industry that is undergoing any sort of growth. With the costs of having a horse in training seemingly forever rising – sole ownership is beyond 99% of the population, and to encourage new owners into the industry, and ask them to pay so much to have a horse in training is a luxury only afforded by a very small number of people. The fact that we are able to group together like minded individuals and enable them to share the costs, and enjoyment of racing is something that the BHA should be encouraging enormously. As such, the syndicate manager often becomes the first point of contact between new owners and the sport of racing, and as such a syndicate manager should be armed with the tools to make that first experience as enjoyable as possible. I have been syndicating horses for 25 years and have seen and heard of some horrific examples of syndicate management, which in the end simply gave new people into the sport an awful introduction and turned many of them away for good. Once they have gone, they are very unlikely to ever return – so you can see why a good Syndicate Manager is so important. I have seen syndicates that have been set up by people that simply know nothing about, horses, racing or the bloodstock industry as a whole – how are they going to ‘sell’ the sport to men and women that enter it via a syndicate for the first time? There needs to be further qualifying criteria if we are to maximise the opportunity of growing ownership within the sport that syndicate managers are gifted. Anyway – the modules were straightforward and completed – we are on the way to being fully licensed!

            I had been looking forward to Wednesday for a long time! Slightly later than planned as he had manged to get a slight infection a couple of weeks ago, ‘Barry’ our homebred 3 yr old by Blue Bresil out of Savingforvegas made the short trip from Ivy Lodge Farm to Tom George’s yard to do a swinging piece of work up his woodchip gallop. Jason has always loved Barry since he broke him in last summer, and he has certainly done nothing to change his mind since he has been back there this spring. When we break them, they are given the full education, they do plenty on the sand gallop, and we even do a lot of jumping with them at 2 – the six week ‘Primary School’ period ending with them just cantering upsides another horse. At three, they do plenty of the same, but this time they will be jumping hurdles on the schooling lane and their ‘Secondary School’ culminates with them doing a swinging piece of work on the woodchip gallop. Wednesday was Barrys day – paired with a flat bred filly, he spun up the gallop twice. The first time Tom had a job to go slow enough to allow his workmate to keep up, and second time, Barry simply put his head down and lengthened right away from his workmate in very impressive fashion. Speaking to Jason later in the morning – he was very impressed – he has always said that ‘Barry’ was a very nice horse, ever since he first sat on him last year – and this piece of work illustrated that he was not wrong! He is a very exciting individual – and hugely exciting for his owners, many of whom have been involved in him since before he was born – what a journey they have been on already!


Don't forget we still hava a share for Sale in Old Blue Eyes - Barry's full brother - you have seen what Barry can do - it wasn't a huge surprise as we already know that Old Blue Eyes is well above average judged on his impressive homework last autumn. Have a look at his details on the For Sale Page and get in touch to secure a share in him! He will start off in a bumper in October, and is in training with Donald McCain. 

Buoyed by the images of one of our youngsters doing his first faster piece of work – I set about getting details of the Lindas Lad filly out to lots of interested parties – the uptake of shares in her has been excellent, and there are very few shares left unreserved now!

            Thursday, we set off early and headed down to Barbury Castle to watch a couple of lots and to head over The Ridgeway and see the Lindas Lad filly for the first time in a couple of weeks. Kingy’s yard is simply stunning – what a place to train a racehorse. Such a beautiful spot and set in such wonderful countryside – I can honestly say it is the most beautiful yard I have ever been to. The facilities and views are matched by the history that goes with the place – not just the prehistoric history – but racing history – for example we watched a group of lovely looking 2 yr olds canter on the same gallop that was used to prepare Brown Jack for his Champion Hurdle and Ascot Stakes wins in 1928 after which he won six consecutive renewals of the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot along with the Goodwood and Doncaster Cups in 1930, and the Chester Cup and Ebor in 1931 – he was some stayer! Later that morning we would pass the pub in Wroughton that is named in his honour – the horse was a real local hero!

First Lot warming up. 

Alan gives them their instructions

Two nice 2 yr olds canter on the same grass gallop that Brown Jack was trained on

Second Lot walking home after working on the Sharpridge All Weather gallop. 

Barbury Castle has to be seen to be believed - a simply stunning place to train! 

After watching first lot, and grabbing a quick coffee, we jumped in Alan’s 4x4 and headed 5 minutes down the road to Jamie Magee’s breaking and pretraining yard where he has the Lindas Lad filly. Having not seen her for a couple of weeks I was very impressed with the progress that Jamie has made with her. She is a fine filly – as we know she has a superb pedigree, and she certainly has the size and scope to go with it. She is a hair under 16.2hh, with a very nice step to her. We did not see her on the lunge as Jamie had forgotten that we were coming, and she had already done her work for the morning, but he reported that she went very well, and he was very impressed with her. Although she has size and scope he said that she was certainly a filly that you would crack on with – and not give a break to between being broken in and going into training – so when he thinks she is ready, she will head straight over to Barbury Castle and be trained – with the plan being to debut her in a Junior Bumper in October. It was good to se Debbie, and she was on hand to take a few pictures of this lovely prospect, which were sent out to all of the people that have reserved a share in her. Debbie has become an invaluable part of NBR and we are very lucky to have her helping us!



Lindas Lad Filly - very few shares remain - don't miss out - shes a beauty! 


Just look at her pedigree - £130/month - all inc! And you get to run for some massive bonuses!! 

Thursday was a good day for Maria’s Flame who got to spend her first day in the paddock at Connor Brace’s Condicup Stables. Maria suffered a small pelvic injury in January and has been given plenty of time to get over it – she is a filly that Fergal and the team like a lot, and we are delighted that she can have a few weeks out in the paddock before returning to Ravenswell Farm and starting out on her hurdling career.

Maria's Flame (right) in the field at last! 

Another one that was heading out into the field was ‘Barry’ who after finishing his second stint at Ivy Lodge Farm with that impressive work the day before, arrived back at The Elms where he will enjoy the rest of the summer. He actually grew about an inch in the last month, and is a big lad now, and having shown us that he has plenty of ability, he will be treated like the nice horse that we all think he is and be brought along nice and slowly. He will remain in the field at The Elms until the weather changes in the Autumn, when he will return to Ivy Lodge Farm – and his career as a racehorse will begin. Jason will tip away gently with him for a couple of months, after which we will put our heads together and decide where he will head into training and when. The likelihood is that he will go to a trainer in January and be introduced into a full  training environment – before either running in a bumper around March time, or at least having an away day gallop at a racecourse.

Barry arriving back at The Elms 

As ‘Barry’ stepped off of the lorry – his half brother (and lookalike) Floyd (by Falco out of Savingforvegas) and Finbar (by Falco out of Molly Childers) stepped on to it and made the return trip to Jason for their turn in ‘Primary School’ – to be broken in. As we often hear so much about a horse being broken in – I felt it would be an interesting exercise to document the process – and show everyone what goes into ‘breaking’ a horse. To that end, we will document Floyd’s progress through the whole process, and produce a video on the members area of The Red Sash Racing Club website – this documentary style piece, will follow Floyd through the whole six week process, the highs and lows, and you will be able to see how he goes from an unbroken young horse fresh out of a field, through to cantering on the gallop and jumping a hurdle. All you have to do is head over to www.redsashracing.co.uk splash out £75 (New Members) or £49 (renewing members) and you will get access to the Members Area – in the process you will of course have purchased a share in a racehorse as well – you will have a small share in Ridin Solo who is currently on holiday in Cheshire, but who we are very much looking forward to in the autumn. He has had three runs over hurdles, and we think he has a very workable handicap mark – he looks sure to win his share of races over the winter! Subscribe to Red Sash Racing – and get all the benefits of membership, including all of our ‘In Behind’ episodes – which will chart the progress of Floyd over the next few weeks!

Floyd leaving The Elms and heading to Ivy Lodge Farm - follow his progress on www.redsashracing.co.uk


Floyd arrived safe and sound at Ivy Lodge Farm

            Friday – I had to keep the diary fairly clear as I had to (via zoom) attend the first of my two speed awareness courses in 5 days. As I have booked to do both of them with the same company, via zoom – I did have to laugh when the lady presenting the course, at the conclusion said words to the effect of ‘ I hope you have taken plenty away from this course, and as a result I hope I never have to see you again’ – I am really hoping she is presenting when I do my second course on Tuesday – it will be fun to wave and say ‘Me again!!’

The course started at 11.15 and finished at 2.15pm which was a bit awkward as when it stated I was just in the middle of negotiating a deal for a horse in France! Timing could have been better!

In the afternoon I got the first video of Floyd taking his first steps to being a racehorse! As mentioned, he is the spitting image of ‘Barry’ – let’s hope he has the same level of ability!

And so it begins for Floyd

            Saturday – Mamoon Star was entered in a conditional jockeys handicap hurdle in Market Rasen next Friday. It was good to get him back on the track in Hereford last month, after which Johnny Burke said that he would be better suited to a track like Market Rasen, and a step up in trip – so the track should suit, along with the extra 2 furlongs.

Saturday afternoon – great to see Northampton win the Gallagher Premiership Final in Twickenham! Sadly England cricketers faired less well in Barbados – getting a bit of a drubbing from Australia.

An evening well spent a a BBQ – a slightly fuzzy head this morning.

            Sunday – Auditoria declared to run in Southwell on Tuesday – hopefully I can get there after the second round of speed awareness! She is in fine form and drops back in trip in a mares handicap hurdle. Sean Bowen has a plan – and he once again takes the ride.

            The rest of the team are all enjoying their summer break – the 2 yr old by The Grey Gatsby continues his education at Ivy Lodge Farm and goes nicely. The remainder are out in the fields, and summering well.

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