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Weekly Update 12-12-19

By On 12th December 2019

I was down at Neil Mulholland’s all morning and early afternoon on Monday and I have a load of video and photos of our horses and updated progress reports on each of them.  We are back down at the yard this Sunday for the shareholder’s Christmas visit and if anyone out there is interested in buying shares in any of the BG Racing horses and wanted to join us, then please get in touch as I would be happy to show you around the yard.

This is an ideal time to join BG Racing and the prospectus providing full details of the new share options and background on each horse is now on the website here.  Please contact me, via the website contact page if you want any information on any of the options.

Purchase Options

I am happy for people to make payments to me via monthly standing order across the year if this suits them better and in the sections below, I quote share prices for 1% purchases and discounted rates for 5% and 10% purchases.  If you would like shareholding in multiple horses that adds up to more than 5% or more than 10%, then please contact me as I may be able to offer some discount even if your share of a specific horse is less than 5%.

Fun and Games at Sandown

For those that did not see it last Saturday, the last race at Sandown was “won” by Neil Mulholland’s Doing Fine and would have provided Phil Donovan with his biggest ever win as a jockey.

Unfortunately, there was a horrible incident heading towards home on the first circuit when Houblon Des Obeaux suffered a heart attack and collapsed. It was distressing to watch and obviously the horse medics were on the scene as soon as they could get there. Sadly the horse could not be saved which was very sad. The area where he collapsed was just passed the pond fence and with not much room there, Richard Hoiles on commentary wondered if the race could be completed with still a circuit to go.

As the field headed towards the pond fence for the last time, a yellow flag was displayed (which is a stop racing flag – let’s not get into why they use a flag the same colour as the one that they often use to start races as well!!!) and with the benefit of hindsight, it would appear that the intention was for the jockeys to pull their mounts onto the hurdles course to stop racing. One or two jockeys at the back did pull up, but with some later claiming not to have seen the flag or being confused about whether they were just being directed around the fence, the rest carried on racing, squeezing through a gap between the rails and the screens around the stricken horse and racing up the home straight where Doing Fine passed the winning post in front.

There is no doubt that the yellow flag means stop racing and it was no surprise that the race was subsequently declared void. Under those circumstances, it is also inevitable that the jockeys that ignored the flag would pick up bans. This is however another instance of racing not doing the best for its stakeholders.

There are apparently only three stop flags at a course like Sandown and this surely is not enough. The gap between the screens and the rails was never going to change in size and the decision to stop the race should surely have been able to have been communicated earlier.  One flag in a location very near to the danger and held pointing away from the fence rather than being waved urgently is not enough and could have resulted in an even more serious incident.

On top of that, in a void race, punters are entitled to their money back. The obvious decision that the race was void, was however delayed until after 40-minute stewards enquiry, with punters and bookies left standing in the dark and cold waiting to settle bets and it is good to see that there are plans being discussed to ensure that void races are announced quickly to avoid a repeat in the future.

I am most sorry for the connections of Houblon Des Obeaux who lost a much-loved horse, but I also really feel for Phil Donovan who would have been braver than me to have pulled up when more experienced colleagues were still racing and who lost a big result and picked up a ban. It is also sad for the members of the Neil Mulholland Racing Club who own Doing Fine and it was not a great day for racing in terms of building confidence in how reacts to an issue.

Neil was quoted in the Racing Post with a headline that suggests he “blasted” Sandown for how they handled the situation. Neil’s thoughts are of course a bit more measured than that and he was not responsible for the headline. Neil is obviously very disappointed to have “won” the race and had it taken away and he would far rather that the race had been stopped much earlier leaving no one knowing who would have won. Despite this, he was quick to note that at least he has a horse that he knows is capable at that level and can win in the future and sadly that is not something that connections of Houblon Des Obeaux have.

My Brother

There are no problems with My Brother.  I did not see him this week as he is at the satellite yard where the rehabbing horses are often housed.  Neil did, however, confirm that he is still on the walker every day and all is progressing to plan.  Up to now, everything has been as expected and if that continues to be the case then we are expecting the go-ahead to put My Brother back into full training to prepare him for a return to racing in February.  It normally takes two to three months to get a horse ready to run after a break, but My Brother has been walking already which is usually the first 3-4 weeks of that process, so he should be back ready to run earlier than that and we are still well on course to see him back racing towards the end of the season.

His current valuation will look a bargain by the end of the year if he returns to the racecourse at the expected level, as the valuation has to be the best estimate of the price we would obtain if selling now.  This means that new shareholding can be purchased at £65 per 1% share (£300 for 5% and £550 for 10%).  The training fee to October 2020 is £250 per 1% share (£1150 for 5% and £2100 for 10%).

Fr Humphrey / Mount Oliver

I saw Fr Humphrey this week, interrupting his “chilling in his box” to have him brought out for a couple of photos.  He was really calm and well behaved and is enjoying his break.  Neil plans to get him back into work from the second week in January to commence his build-up to have him peaking for his final in March.

Mount Oliver is working away and I watched him on the gallops.  Neil is really working him hard and it is paying off as Neil thinks he should be ready to make his BG Racing debut early in January, about three weeks from now which is earlier than I was expecting and I will start to look for suitable races.

The two of them are still available on a “two horses for one share price” option until 30th April 2020.  With Fr Humphrey now qualified for the big prize-money veterans chase final and with Mount Oliver hopefully running at least 5 times in the same period.

Fees to end of April 2020 are £270 for 1% (£1250 for 5% and £2,250 for 10%) and this gets you ownership of both horses and full share of any prize-money won (which will be significant if Fr Humphrey runs well in the veterans chase final).

Anjaal / Silver Miss Filly

The Anjaal filly is good and there are no problems.  We are on track to see her at the races hopefully around the end of January and I will go and see her again next week.

The fees for her cover the period to 31st December 2020 and are £240 per 1% share (£1,100 for 5% and £2000 for 10%).

Yeats / Alverstone Filly (Dynamic Kate)

As mentioned last week, I have been speaking to the breeder (Aidan Aherne) and we have been agreeing on the lease.  This has now been filed with Weatherbys and Aidan has confirmed that we have her for three years minimum if we want her for that long.

Aidan names horses after people with who they share a birthday and our filly is therefore known as “Kate” as she was named after the actress Kate Hudson.  Aidan has now named her Dynamic Kate, so she is no longer the “Yeats ex Alverstone filly”!

I saw her work this week and she is going very well.  She will be given a break over Christmas and brought back to run at the end of the season.

Whilst she may only run three or four times between 1st November this year and 31st October next year, she really could be anything and whilst she might end up being quite ordinary, she could be a top-level performer able to contest big races.  She is £250 per 1% share (£1150 for 5% and £2100 for 10%) covering the period to 31st October 2020.

From The Stables

Last Tuesday, Johnny Farrelly’s Sandford Castle was pulled up and on Wednesday, Michael Attwater had three runners at Lingfield, where Real Estate was a fast-finishing 5th but outside the places and Chromium and Music Major also missed the places.

On Thursday, Neil Mulholland’s Chirico Vallis was 2nd at Leicester and at Wincanton, Frau Georgia ran OK to finish midfield.  In the 1.30 there, Cesar Et Rosalie and Fingerontheswitch both ran well with the latter finishing 2nd and the former just outside the places and in the next, Milkwood made it three 2nds for Neil, with Novis Adventus unplaced.  Johnny’s runners did not fare well.  Deja Bougg was pulled up, Bermeo unseated and Love The Leader was unplaced.

Things did not pick up at Exeter on Friday when Ali the Hunter (Johnny) finished 7th, Gastara (Johnny) finished 14th and Percy Pops (Neil) was 8th.  On Saturday at Chepstow, Neil’s Indian Brave ran well and was 2nd, but Chinwag was well beaten.  At Wolverhampton, Neil’s Hidden Depths was 8th and Last Enchantment just missed the places in 4th, with Princess T also 4th later on the card.  Running alongside Doing Fine, Carole’s Destrier unseated in the void race.  There were no runners from our stables on Sunday.

Getting Involved

If you are interested in finding out more about what is involved, then please do get in touch as I would be delighted to discuss things with you.

I issue weekly shareholder updates (which go into more detail than the blog) and frequent updates on social media.  Feel free to like the FaceBook page and follow the Twitter updates.

I also have an e-book entitled “Racehorse Ownership – Everything You Might Have Wanted To Know But Would Not Have Known Who To Ask“.  This is free and the download page can be accessed here.

Have a great week.



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