Weekly Update 23-04-19
By BG Racing Syndicates On 23rd April 2019
I trust you have had a good Easter. The Irish Grand National meeting at Fairyhouse which concludes today has provided some good quality jumps racing and we have the UK season finale meeting at Sandown this weekend and then the Punchestown Festival still to look forward to. I spent a couple of days at Cheltenham last week which was their last main meeting of the season. Great weather and not too busy it was an excellent couple of days.
I still not got quite enough interest to progress with either of the new horse options at the moment, I am sending out an email to my mailing list this week to see if I can get enough interest to move forward with one or both. If you or someone you know is interested and you have not yet fed back to me, then please let me know and see below for more details.
I have been trying to use the weekly update to share some new content and this week, I wanted to focus on what goes into race planning and ensuring that horses are provided with the best chance of winning. It might seem easy, but I know from experience that a lot of time can be spent identifying the right race or sequence of races for a specific horse and I thought it might be interesting to go through the process.
It is possible to leave the whole process to the trainer and, watching the racing on TV, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is the only way! We always hear things like “Willie Mullins is deciding what race to run him in at Cheltenham” or “Nicky Henderson is aiming him at….”, but the reality is that the owner is paying the entry fees and has a right to get involved. We (like most owners) own fewer horses than our trainers have in their yards, so I am able to spend more time working through options than our trainers are able to and in my experience, trainers appreciate the input, as long as the approach is collaborative.
So how does the process work? You will probably be aware that except for certain major “early closing” races, most races allow entries to be made up to noon, five days before the date of the race. Entries can be made some days in advance of that, but the entries are fixed at the time of closing and at this point, the entry fee (which varies depending upon the course and the class of the race being entered) is charged. Only entered horses may run in the race, but a definite intention to run is not made until “declarations” close which happens at 10am two days before the race (all flat races and some major jumps races) or at 10am the day before the race (most jumps races). Once a horse is declared to run, they must race unless injury or illness prevents them from doing so, or unless the ground changes significantly in the interim.
The big decision surrounds what race or races to enter your horse in and it may be necessary to make multiple entries if the horse prefers a certain type of ground and the weather is looking changeable. The three main factors I consider are when the race is, what distance it takes place at and what type of race it is. Most horses have a distance preference and you will probably be familiar with the fact that there are level weights races and handicaps. Both may be restricted based on the age and/or sex of the horse and level weights races may be restricted to horses that are classed as “novices” (usually in their first year in this type of race) or “maidens” (horses that have not previously won). Once a horse has run several times, it will be allocated a handicap mark and each handicap race has upper and lower handicap qualification limits for runners. To make this job easier there are online tools available to owners and trainers that allow the input of filters to display only races that have the required qualification conditions. These allow input of date ranges, race class, prizemoney, race distances, age of runners, sex of runners, handicap ranges and other criteria to ensure that a sensible list of races is produced and armed with this shortlist and confirmation from the trainer that the horse will be ready to run on the date of the race and that the ground conditions are likely to be suitable, a decision can be made on whether to make an entry.
Once entries are published, there are “number of runners” limits to consider, as it is possible that the horse will not be able to run if the race is oversubscribed. The ground needs to be monitored to check that it remains suitable and then a decision needs to be made regarding whether to declare to run, but if all still looks good and the declaration is confirmed, then your horse is going racing!
New Ownership Opportunities
I have two new opportunities and I am trying to gather interest before deciding whether to proceed. Please take a look and get in touch if you think you might be interested in either as this will allow me to keep you updated regarding whether they are going ahead.
Summer Jumper on Free Lease – I have the option of bringing in a new horse for the summer. The horse in question is an 11-year-old chaser and I have the option of bringing him in on a free lease which means that I can send him back to his current owner at the end of the period unless I want to negotiate an extended lease. He ran in November and December, winning and then finishing quite close in his next start and he is a 3-mile handicap chaser who likes good ground. Basically, an ideal sort to have as a summer jumper and very capable of winning, he could be a lot of fun. The existing owner cannot afford to keep in training at the moment, so my plan would be to bring him in on a six-month lease from May to October. I would need to pay transport one way and all training fees and entries and I would probably offer the current owner 10% of net prizemoney as well as a gesture of thanks for letting us have the horse, but the remaining prize money would be distributed to shareholders as I normally do. The upshot of this, however, is that I could offer 1% shares at only £125 per 1% share for the summer (to 31st October). I could do 5% for £600 and 9% for £1000. Please contact me if you might be interested and I will provide you with further information and keep you posted.
New Sprinter – Some BG Racing shareholders want to go racing more regularly and the best way to do this is to get ourselves a hardy sprinter who can run around 20 times per season if injury free. I would like to have such a horse in the BG Racing “team” to cater for such people. Whilst it is unlikely that such a horse will be a prolific winner, the main aim will be to run and go racing regularly with hopefully occasional wins and some regular minor prize money. This would be a full purchase though (so of the order of £350-£500 per 1% share) and again, I cannot afford to start looking to make such a purchase without some good indication that I would be likely to get the shares sold. If this would be of interest to you please contact me and I will provide you with further information and keep you posted.
The Way You Dance
It was a solid week of training for The Way You Dance and I am delighted to report that he seems to be taking the workload with no issues. Neil is stepping him up this week and I am hopeful that we can discuss entering him for a race in the next week. Goodwood on Saturday 4th May is my preferred option at the moment.
Shares in The Way You Dance remain at only £360 per 1%, with 5% will be discounted to £1750 and 10% to £3400. I only charge 10% to cover my time running the syndicates and this is further reduced for the 5% and 10% rates which really are excellent value. Quoted costs are “all in” costs to 31st October 2019 and you will receive your share of prize money, plus full owners benefits and the sale proceeds from your share should you decide not to renew or if we sell the horse. If you are interested in taking a share, please contact me and I will provide you with further information and the relevant paperwork.
My Brother is doing well and I hope to pop over to see him if I go down to the yard later this week. Now is the time to let me “do you a deal” on a shareholding. If you are interested, please contact me and I will provide some details for you.
From The Stables
Last Tuesday, both Black Noah for Johnny Farrelly and Vinnie Rouge for Neil Mulholland were unplaced and there were no runners from our stables on Wednesday. Thursday saw The Wicket Chicken ran a fine race for Neil in the 3.50 at Cheltenham, snatching second on the line. Johnny’s Hell of a Lady was unplaced at Bath on Friday before things got busier at the weekend.
The results were nothing special though as on Saturday, Last Enchantment at Brighton and Molly Carew at Haydock were both unplaced for Neil and Johnny had Love the Leader and Mr Lando unplaced at Newton Abbot. On Sunday, Alan Fleming’s Tully East unseated his rider at Cork. Cintex was placed for Neil at Plumpton where Morning Sequel was beaten and Johnny ran Deja Bougg, Satoshi and Sporting Boy at Ffos Las, with the latter managing to come third after the first two named were unplaced.
Yesterday, Champayne Lady ran well for Alan in a very competitive handicap at Fairyhouse. She finished 5th, but it was a nice run nonetheless. Green or Black was third for Neil at Huntingdon, but Harbour Force weakened to be well beaten at Plumpton.
Fees for both horses are all inclusive to 31st October 2019 and buying a share in a BG Racing horse is a decision that you will not regret. All quoted prices include the purchase price of the horse and should you decide to renew for a second year, you will only need to pay training fees which are under £200 per 1% share. 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 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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