Skip to content
Horse Race

2013 News Archive – read about our successes and events for owners since launch in Q4, 2012

December 2013

Karl Burke with LibertarianOver the Autumn of 2012, we invested in our first four National Hunt horses – Quick Decisson and Lady Charisma with Philip Hobbs, Houndscourt with Jamie Snowden and Shantou Magic with Charlie Longsdon.  We were absolutely thrilled when, at Towcester on 30th November, Lady Charisma won her novice hurdle with a typically brave and resolute performance.  This means that all the first year’s jumpers have now won.  To have a 100% strike rate with a crop of horses who are not only winners but still on an upward trajectory, is no mean achievement.  Many thanks indeed to everyone involved in their buying and training.  Quick Decisson will probably come out again at the end of this month at Uttoxeter;  Lady Charisma won’t run again until the New Year, and will then be aimed at the valuable mares’ 2m 4f novice hurdle at Newbury in March;  Houndscourt is going to be stepped up to 3m novice chasing, with a particular eye on a Spring campaign on good ground, at tracks such as Ayr, Aintree and Cheltenham;  and last but not least, Shantou Magic will be making the transition to Graded company at either the Challow Hurdle at Newbury after Christmas or the Leamington Spa at Warwick in January, prior, hopefully to a crack at one of the staying novice hurdle races such as the Neptune or the Alfred Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival in March.  They really are a Fab Four.  We have another set of four lovely NH horses waiting in the wings – Bilbrook Blaze (Philip Hobbs), Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden), Primo Capitano (Martin Keighley) and Wilde Oak (Anthony Honeyball) – so there is a lot to look forward to as we move into 2014.

Jamie and Lucy Snowden hosted our 7th “Meet the Trainer” day at their yard in Lambourn on 30th November, prior to many of the owners going on to watch the Hennessy at Newbury.  There will be two more of these visits lined up – to Charlie Longsdon and Philip Hobbs – at the end of the winter, and then one on the Flat with Karl and Elaine Burke around the York Dante meeting.

In terms of the Flat horses, Aran Sky is now enjoying his winter holiday up at Middleham, and the two yearlings, Jolievitesse and Lord Ben Stack, have been broken and ridden away and are taking their first steps into the wider world with outings on to High and Low Moor as they begin to learn the ropes of being racehorses.  There is only one share available now in each of these yearlings, so if you fancy buying yourself a Christmas present, do please let us know.  Just drop an email to  Jolievitesse’s sire, Elusive City, has produced many speedy 2yos for trainers such as Richard Hannon, so he may be out relatively early in 2014.  Lord Ben Stack is by Dylan Thomas, and he will need a lot more time.  Karl Burke and his daughter, Kelly, really like this scopy and athletic horse (always referring to him as “the big fellow”);  so much so that we made a decision to enter him for the 2015 Derby.  You can but dream in this sport.

Finally, with best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.  Have lots of winners and be lucky.
November 2013
Wilde Oak with owners
Wilde Oak bonding with one of his owners

All our trainers are doing everything possible to engage every owner through visits to their yards and “Meet the Trainer” mornings.  The sixth in our 2013 series was held at Anthony Honeyball’s yard on the Dorset borders, ahead of an Owners for Owners box at Wincanton Races on Badger Ales day, 9th November.  Over 20 owners came along to Wincanton, and really enjoyed the whole experience.  A great day.  Our horse with Anthony – Wilde Oak – charmed everyone, as can be seen in the photos below and alongside. 
On the track, all the horses have impressed.  Lady Charisma reappeared at Towcester on the day that A.P. McCoy had his 4,000th winner.  Those of us who were there felt that we were watching a real piece of racing history, so congratulations to him – a great result for A.P. and racing.  Perhaps the biggest cheer at Towcester was when it was announced that drinks were on J.P. McManus, who had flown in by helicopter especially.  A few days later, Shantou Magic followed up his Fontwell win with a devastating performance at Market Rasen.  He didn’t just beat the opposition, but annihilated them again, and barely had to come out of first gear to cruise to a 12 length victory, heavily eased up at the finish.  He has gone straight into the notebooks of many commentators as a possible for the Neptune or the Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival.  Timeform have rocketed him up to 133p, the same as Taquin du Seuil at this stage last season, who won the Challow by 9 lengths before starting at 6/1 for the Neptune.  Having had two races in quick succession, he will have a break now, and reappear after Christmas.  Noel Fehily’s comment was that he was “above average” – apparently the last time he said that was about Rock On Ruby!

The next day, Houndscourt won his novice hurdle on his reappearance at Southwell on 11th November – somewhat luckily, it must be said, but he showed great resolution to win on ground that he absolutely detested.  He will now be switched to novice chasing and will appreciate being stepped up in trip, as well as racing on better ground.  As a super jumper, he should do well.
October 2013
Karl Burke with Libertarian
Getting ready for victory at Fontwell

Well, the “new term” got off to a real flyer, with Shantou Magic not just winning, but annihilating the opposition at Fontwell.  We’d always known that he was a good horse, but after a little setback last season we had to be patient.  As he came to hand earlier this month, he showed us that he possesses both speed as well as stamina, and it was hard to disagree with the Racing Post when they described him as putting in a “deeply impressive display”.  We’ll find another novice hurdle for him, and take stock afterwards.  At the moment, Charlie is hoping that we might be able to go for a race such as the Challow at Newbury at the end of the year.  He is already in the ante-post prices for the Neptune!  Last year our first runner – Quick Decisson – won for us and to do the same again with Shantou Magic was fantastic.  Really well done, Team Longsdon.

Martin and Belinda Keighley were kind enough to host one of our “Meet the Trainer” mornings.  Fifteen owners went down to their yard on Saturday, 19th October, saw Primo Capitano, met other owners (photos below), went off for a scrumptious breakfast at the Plough at Ford, and then on to Cheltenham for Day 2 of the Showcase meeting.  A really enjoyable day, so many thanks to everyone at Condicote.

Finally, wedged in between Cheltenham and Fontwell, a couple of us went over to the Deauville Arqana sale with Karl and Elaine Burke.  I don’t think we appreciated the huge amount of work they put into spotting the horses.  It was a real lesson in how to buy yearlings.  Having eventually identified 20 prospects, we bought two:  firstly an Elusive City colt for €20,000, out of the top-drawer French mare Volvoreta who won the Prix Vermeille before coming 3rd in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2000.  He is a horse who could well be running relatively early next season at 6f or so.  We then bought an absolutely gorgeous, big, scopy Dylan Thomas colt for €50,000.  He will be a much longer-term prospect and is very likely to be a 1½m+ horse over time.  Indeed, we’re hoping that he can be both a Flat horse and a jumping prospect.  Who knows – Ebor one year, Supreme Novices Hurdle the next (?!)  Shares are available in both horses, so please let me know if you’re interested in getting involved on the Flat in 2014.  We deliberately bought in France because of the much higher prize-money when we race there, and also the huge additional premiums available if you run a French-bred horse.  If we win a maiden, we’ll win at least four times more money than in the UK.
September 2013

Karl Burke with LibertarianSeptember always feels like “start of term” – everyone back from holidays, and lots to look forward to.  All the jumpers are now in full training and hopefully we will start to see some of them out in the first half of October.  It was also great to welcome back Karl Burke as the designated trainer at Spigot Lodge in Middleham after 1,491 days away.  Everyone joked it was a long time to be on the cold list!  Seriously though, it is excellent news for us because we are fully committed to Team Burke as the only trainer we use on the Flat.  It probably wasn’t a surprise that Karl hit the ground running with a purple patch that included six wins from eight runners.  One of these was at Longchamp, and in view of the much greater prize money in France it is likely that he will be targeting more races like this.  We’re right behind this approach and our next yearling with him will hopefully be bought at the Deauville Arqana Sales in October, ensuring eligibility for the valuable 2yo French premiums.

Philip Hobbs also had his first ever success in France when Balthazar King won the Crystal Cup Cross-Country Chase in Craon at 15/1, bagging €30,000 for the owners.  He also had three winners including The Disengager at 10/1 at Newton Abbot over the bank holiday weekend.  For those who listened closely at his recent Owners’ Day, they were well flagged up.  Not a bad 150/1 double.  All the final shares in the beautifully bred 3yo Kayf Tara gelding have now been sold.

News of other Owners’ Open Days:  Jamie Snowden’s was his biggest and best ever on 1st September.  Houndscourt and Future Gilded looked magnificent.  Charlie Longsdon’s is on Saturday, 14th September;  Anthony Honeyball’s on 28th September and Martin Keighley’s on 29th September.

Moreton show fancy dress classTalking of Martin Keighley, he has also kicked off the new NH season in fine fettle and is firing out the winners.  Congratulations to the team at Condicote Stables.  However, a special mention has to be made this month of Belinda Keighley.  Not too many trainers’ wives would be prepared to dress up as a tomato.  However, Belinda, game as ever, did just that as well as roping her boys and their pony in on the act as well.  Everyone at the Moreton Show must have found her vegetable antics hilarious.  I think we’ll need to
introduce an Owners for Owners Special Award for the most ridiculous activity of the season – at the moment I think Belinda will be odds on to win it, but who knows, there may be some real competition for this out there in the trainer ranks.
August 2013

A fairly quiet month, with all the jumpers now coming back from their summer holidays and beginning their pre-training.  It has been a marvellous year for good paddock grass and every horse is looking so much better for having put on condition.  A number of owners have been down to Timmy and Verity Murphy’s stud at Cilldara near Northleach in the Cotswolds, and they were delighted by the way Shantou Magic looked.  He has definitely grown over the summer.  He was a big horse before but is now a real bull of an animal.  Bring on the staying hurdles in the Autumn!  There have also been a few trips down to see Houndscourt and Future Gilded at Kingwood Stud.  All the horses with Philip Hobbs are back in training and have just started light cantering.  There is a trip coming up to Karl and Elaine Burke in Middleham at the end of the month, just ahead of the Ebor meeting at York.  As well as seeing Paradise Spectre and Aran Sky, it is a good excuse to visit a few Wensleydale hostelries.

Philip Hobbs held his Owners’ Open Day on Sunday, 25th August, and almost 200 owners turned up for an excellent parade of horses and lovely lunch.  Our three horses – Lady Charisma, Quick Decisson and the Kayf Tara unnamed 3yo – were all paraded and looked magnificent (photos below).
July 2013 Houndscourt jumping at Stratford

Middle of this month marks the time when many of the National Hunt horses come back in from the paddocks for pre-training.  This has happened down at Philip Hobbs’ with Quick Decisson, Lady Charisma and the unnamed Kayf Tara.  15th July was very much “start of term” at Bilbrook, with lots of clipping, shoeing and worming going on.  Primo Capitano has really enjoyed the rich grass and sunny weather down at Martin Keighley’s in the Cotswolds, and he will be brought in towards the end of the month.  Similarly Shantou Magic has enjoyed very similar conditions at Cilldara Stud, and appears to have summered exceptionally well.  Timmy Murphy has started the pre-training and Shantou will be back with Charlie Longsdon at the end of August.  The unnamed Oscar has continued to impress Anthony Honeyball and Rachael Green in his backing and early training;  indeed, I think he is quite a favourite of Rachael’s, who has liked him right from first sight in Ireland. 

Houndscourt has had a minor wind op and once he is over that, in a week or two, will start pre-training with Jamie Magee at the wonderful facilities at Kingwood Stud near Lambourn.  He has also summered very well.  A few of us went down to see him recently and I’d like to thank Chris Guy for the great reminder of why we are such big fans of National Hunt racing.  He took this photo of HC at Stratford when he ran a blinder to come 2nd to the former Cesarewitch winner, Darley Sun.  Also at Kingwood is  Future Gilded, our latest purchase in this round of horse buying.  Jamie Snowden found him at the Arqana Deauville sale earlier in the month.  Full details can be found in Shares Available.  He is by the excellent jumps sire Lost World, and has already won, on his only outing to date, at Aix-Les-Bains.  There is a link to a great video of him on his page on the site, which shows him attacking the big French hurdles with real enthusiasm.  He won going away.  There are shares available in all the new purchases, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to see any of them.  It should be an exciting Autumn.
June 2013

Anthony Honeyball with Regal EncoreIt may be quiet on the actual racing front at the moment – with Paradise Spectre recovering from a minor wind op, Aran Sky building up strength for his first outing and all the jumpers out on their summer holidays – but there is a lot going on in the background.  We’ve added a new NH trainer in Martin Keighley (full details elsewhere on the site) and already have our first horse with him, Primo Capitano, bought at the recent Brightwells sale at Cheltenham.  We’ve also bought a cracking 3yo store horse by Kayf Tara, and he has now been broken at Philip Hobbs’ and turned away for the summer.  Additional NH horses are being sought at the moment and we’ll be looking closely at the store horses at the Goffs Land Rover and Tattersalls Derby sales in Ireland later this month.  We would also like to congratulate Elaine and Karl Burke for the magnificent run of Libertarian to come 2nd in the Derby – hopefully he will bag a Classic over the season, and looks a terrific prospect as he fully matures.

Indeed, on the NH buying front we have already moved forward with Anthony Honeyball.  He bought us a really athletic and very correct 3yo store gelding by Oscar for €31,000 at the Goffs Land Rover sale in Ireland on 12th June (photo alongside).  Full details of shares and costs are in the Shares Available section.  Also, Jamie Snowden is looking at a number of ex-point-to-pointers at the Tattersalls Derby Sale, again in Ireland, on 27th June.
May 2013

Paradise Spectre ran another cracker at Hamilton and would have won, but for his jockey’s easing up.  We were nailed on the line, beaten a short head into 2nd.  All the jumpers have now started their summer holidays and we began the buying cycle at the Doncaster Store Horse Sale on 15th May.  The plan is to buy a number of National Hunt horses over the Summer and early Autumn, so if you’re interested in getting involved for next season, just let us know.

The highlight of the month, though, without any doubt, was the “Meet the Trainer” visit to Elaine & Karl Burke’s yard at Middleham.  Although only a small number of us were able to get there, we had all been to the Dante at York the previous day, when we cheered on the Burkes’ strong Derby prospect, Libertarian, to a 33/1 win.  As most of us had a good bet on him as well, there was much celebrating in York hostelries that night, before travelling up to Middleham to see Aran Sky, Paradise Spectre and Libertarian himself (photos below).  There couldn’t have been a better time to visit a trainer ...  particularly as it was Karl’s 50th birthday.  After a really enjoyable morning on Middleham High Moor gallops we adjourned to the Wensleydale Heifer for a good lunch and even a surprise cake for the birthday boy himself.
April 2013

Anthony Honeyball with Regal EncoreParadise Spectre ran well in defeat to come 4th at Kempton recently, and will have a few more runs before the Doncaster sales.  The second half of the month saw Houndscourt turn in another excellent performance, coming 2nd at Stratford, while Lady Charisma stepped up on her last run to come 3rd in a bumper at Ffos Las.

We also had the third of our “Meet the Trainer” mornings at Charlie Longsdon’s (photos below).  It was a well-attended event and as well as admiring Shantou Magic on the gallops, we had a convivial lunch in the Royal Oak at Prestbury before going on to Cheltenhan races.

After such an enjoyable and successful first season – with a strike rate now of 1,2,3,4,6 2,2,2,1,4, 2, 3 – we are already planning to buy at least four more horses for next season.  If you fancy having a horse with such trainers as Philip Hobbs, Charlie Longsdon and Jamie Snowden over jumps, or Elaine and Karl Burke on the flat, then do let us know.  Just go into “Contact Us” and send a short email, or phone 01451 850780.

Also this month we are delighted to announce that Anthony Honeyball and his partner, Rachael Green, are joining our trainer roster for 2013/14.  They will be looking for a really promising store horse for us at the Doncaster Sales on 14th – 16th May.  Anthony has already had considerable success with this type of horse, most notably Regal Encore and Eleven Fifty Nine.  Full details are in “Trainers and the Team” and “Shares Available”.
March 2013

Quick DecissonAll the runners in the first half of March acquitted themselves well, albeit with a string of seconds. Our strike rate since launch on Boxing Day is 1,2,3,4,6,2,2,2. Lady Charisma ran very promisingly on her debut at Newbury; Paradise Spectre ran twice at Kempton coming second on both occasions, only beaten ½ length and a neck; and Houndscourt ran a blinder on his hurdling debut at Southwell, splitting two 130+ rated horses and gaining a very favourable Timeform comment and rating of 115p. Lots to look forward to. All the horses purchased in the autumn are showing real promise.

We also had our second “Meet the Trainer” visit, to Philip Hobbs’ yard at Sandhill on 7th March, pictures below. Philip and Sarah could not have been more welcoming and there was a real buzz about the visit, particularly as it was just before the Cheltenham Festival. Our two horses there, Lady Charisma and Quick Decisson (pictured right), are developing well, with lots of potential for the future.

In the second half of the month we have improved again on the strike rate, with another winner at Wincanton. Quick Decisson duly won his first 2m novice hurdle with an impressive performance, where he out-classed the opposition (photos below). Will now step him up in trip to 2m 4f before giving him a summer holiday. The plan is to come back novice chasing in the autumn.

February 2013

A busy but very enjoyable weekend over 9th / 10th February.  Quick Decisson maintained our “in the frame, in the money” strike rate when coming 3rd in another bumper, at Exeter on 10th February, giving 7lbs to the field.  He came up against a smart one in Vieux Lion Rouge, who is going to the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.  We will now switch QD to novice hurdling.

We encourage all our owners to visit their horses in their trainers’ yards as frequently as they want.  In addition we are setting up “Meet the Trainer” visits.  The first was held at Jamie Snowden’s and there was a grand turn-out of more than 20 owners and friends (photos below).  We braved the Arctic weather and watched Houndscourt do a proper 1m gallop alongside one of Jamie’s top horses, Present View.  After demolishing breakfast, we went on to enjoy an excellent day’s racing at Newbury.  Most of us even had a few winners!

January 2013

We’ve had a magnificent start on the track.  Our first runner Quick Decisson came out in a 2m bumper at Wincanton on Boxing Day and duly won it most convincingly, staying on readily in heavy going to demonstrate that he combines both speed and stamina (photos below).  Then at the end of the month, Houndscourt duly made his debut for us in a 2m “jumpers’ bumper” at Lingfield and ran a fine race to come 2nd, just outstayed by the high-quality Spoil Me from Jonjo O’Neill’s yard.  Two runners, two races and both times in the prize-money!  We’re all now looking forward to our first “Meet the Trainer” event at Jamie Snowden’s on Saturday, 9th February. We will be visiting the yard, seeing Houndscourt on the gallops and, after a convivial breakfast, going on to Newbury for Betfair Super Saturday.

December 2012

The latest acquisition is Shantou Magic, bought at the DBS Newbury sale straight after the Hennessey meeting on 1st December.  He has a similar profile to Houndscourt:  by an up-and-coming NH sire (Shantou);  the dam Supreme Magical is from a well-established NH line (Supreme Leader);  and he is a really good-looking sort, with plenty of size and scope for fencing.  He has already won an Irish P2P decisively.  Charlie Longsdon will start him off bumping in the new year.

November 2012

Delighted to report that Tom Malone has found us a powerful, good-looking jumper, Houndscourt.  We have bought him out of Philip Fenton’s yard in Ireland and he has an excellent NH pedigree.  His sire, Court Cave, is rapidly making his name as a jumps stallion (notably with Champion Court, 2nd to Sir Des Champs in last season’s Jewson, and Silviniaco Conti at Aintree), while the dam, Broken Rein, has already produced several RPR140+ NH horses and that great warrior Dorans Pride was by her sire, Orchestra.  Has already won a P2P and will start off in 2m 4f novice hurdles.  Bought in line with Jamie Snowden’s mission, “Chasing Winners”, Houndscourt should make up into a fine chaser in time.

October 2012

All our three recent purchases have settled well into their new yards.  We are now looking for the next two NH purchases – Tom Malone is over in Ireland buying on behalf of Jamie Snowden in Lambourn, and Tessie Greatrex is working alongside Charlie Longsdon at Chipping Norton.  We expect to buy over the next few months.

September 2012

Owners for Owners gets off the ground with the purchase of three horses, two with Philip Hobbs and the other with Karl and Elaine Burke.  Quick Decisson has had two runs in Irish point-to-points, and Philip thinks “he will make a decent chaser in time, but should certainly win over hurdles first”.  He is by Azamour, out of a top-quality American dam line.  Lady Charisma is an immaculately-bred filly by Presenting, out of a superb, five-time-winning NH dam, Lady Cad.  She will be given plenty of time to develop, with the longer-term goal being to sell her back into the breeding industry, after a number of wins for us.  Aran Sky was a bargain purchase from the Tattersalls Ireland yearling sale, by Arakan (sire of low-cost winners such as Dick Turpin and Trumpet Major).  He goes into training with the Burkes at Middleham.

Owners for Owners has been set up by Jon and Jacqueline Hughes who have had well over 30 winners during eight years of ownership, and whose goal is “Bringing Experienced Owners Together – Joining Forces to Buy Better Horses”.  We have formed a team of top-quality trainers and bloodstock agents who share our vision and values.

Quick Decisson Scores Again at Wincanton in a Class 3 handicap Hurdle, 16th January 2014

Quick Decisson at Wincanton Quick Decisson winning race at Wincanton Quick Decisson with his happy owners

“Meet the Trainer” day – Another enjoyable visit to Jamie Snowden’s yard at Lambourn, 30th November 2013

Jamie Snowdens "Meet the Trainer" day Jamie Snowdens "Meet the Trainer" day Jamie Snowdens "Meet the Trainer" day

Meet the Trainer” Day – Being charmed by Wilde Oak at Anthony Honeyball’s before Wincanton Races, 9th November 2013

Wilde Oak with his owners Wilde Oak with his owners Wilde Oak with his owners

Shantou Magic wins on his debut over novice hurdles, Fontwell Park, 23rd October 2013

Shantou Magic winning at Fontwell Shantou Magic in Winners enclosure Shantou Magic's happy owners

Meet the Trainer” Day – Enjoying watching Primo Capitano with other owners at Martin Keighley’s, 19th October 2013

Owners at Martin Keighley's Primo Capitano Primo Capitano

Owners’ Day at Charlie Longsdon’s – Shantou Magic looking powerful, but Millie steals the show, 14th September 2013

Shantou Magic Shantou Magic Millie

Owners’ Day at Jamie Snowden’s – Future Gilded and Houndscourt impressing everyone, 1st September 2013

Future Gilded Houndscourt Houndscourt

Owners’ Day at Philip Hobbs – Lady Charisma, Quick Decisson and the Kayf Tara enjoying the parade, 25th August 2013

Lady Charisma Quick Decisson Kayf Tara

Owners for Owners welcomes Martin Keighley and Primo Capitano to our ranks, June 2013

Primo Capitano Primo Capitano Primo Capitano

“Meet the Trainer” Day – Admiring Aran Sky, Paradise Spectre and Libertarian at Karl & Elaine Burke’s, 17th May 2013

Owners at Karl & Elaine Burkes Karl & Elaine with Libertarian Arun Sky and Paradise Spectre

“Meet the Trainer” Day – Admiring Shantou Magic at Charlie Longsdon’s, before going racing at Cheltenham, 17th April 2013

Meet the Trainer Day - Charlie Longsdon Shantou Magic Shantou Magic
Shantou magic Meet the Trainer Day - the Gallops Owners at Meet the Trainer Day

Owners for Owners welcomes Anthony Honeyball to our trainer roster, April 2013

Eleven Fifty Nine Anthony Honeyball with Regal Encore Rachael Green with Regal Encore

Quick Decisson excels again at Wincanton in his first novice hurdle, 24th March 2013

Quick Decisson winning at Wincanton Quick Decisson's owners collecting their prize Quick Decisson with his owners in the winning enclosure

“Meet the Trainer” Day – Quick Decisson and Lady Charisma impressing the owners, and Jack the Dog, at Philip Hobbs’, 7th March 2013

Meet the Trainer Day Philip Hobbs yard Meet the Trainer Day at Philip Hobbs
Quick Decisson and Lady Charisma Quick Decisson and Lady Charisma Jack the dog at Philip Hobbs

“Meet the Trainer” Day – Braving the elements on the Lambourn gallops with Jamie Snowden, 9th February 2013

Houndscourt Owners for Owners Owners! Houndscourt
Owners Houndscourt Houndscourt on the gallops

Quick Decisson stays on well to win at Wincanton on his first outing, Boxing Day, 2012

Quick Decisson wins at Wincanton Quick Decisson Quick Decisson