After the Richard Fahey Ebor Racing Club enjoyed it’s second winner of 2022 with Hello Power’s victory at Southwell on Monday, we put a few questions to Nick Brown and Dave Anning, co-managers of the club.
Have you yourselves always had ambitions to get into racehorse ownership?
DA – I didn’t. Prior to the early ‘90s, I didn’t have any interest in racing at all. My interest came through my boss (Petro-chemical industry), who owned horses and had shares at Patrick Haslam’s old yard in Middleham. He would invite us to the yard to see the horses, take us racing and show us a whole side of the sport that one wouldn’t normally see. I ended up taking a small share in one with his brother-in-law and that’s how it all started.
NB – Yes it was. My grandad got me into racing and York was my local track growing up, so I’d often go to their race meetings in my free time. It was always a hobby and then a relative of mine started buying a few shares with a well-known syndicate. One day, I tagged along to an open day and it all sparked from there.
As we speak, do you have any particular goals or ambitions for the club?
Surpassing our current record of thirteen winners for the calendar year would be one for 2022. With seventeen horses currently running under our name, we hope we’d have a good chance of achieving that.
Elsewhere, in a club such as this, we understand that communication is key. If your communication is good, then people are satisfied. With us both having shares with syndicates in the past, and seeing things from that side of the fence, we know the dissatisfaction that stems from under-par communication. Therefore, that is an ambition we’d have for any year – to keep our members as involved and informed as possible. If the members are happy then we are both happy!
And, as any club, syndicate or owner would tell you, we just want to see our horses running well and achieving the best they can on-track.
Do you both have a memory that stands out in your mind as the best day you’ve had with the club?
DA – In 2017 we had an across-the-card double on a Saturday. Penwortham won a Class 2 handicap at Chester under Paddy Mathers and Crownthorpe (still in training) won a nursery race at Sandown under Silvestre de Sousa. With the coverage and exposure that Saturday racing offers, it was a huge day for boosting the profile of the club.
NB – I love my days at York, so Crownthorpe’s victory there in October 2019 would be my pick. It was a competitive Class 2 handicap, and he was 12/1, but I did happen to quietly fancy him going into it. Sean Davis gave him a great ride and we had twenty or so members there to see him win. When it all works out like that and you see the guys have a great day out, it’s tremendously satisfying.
How would you sell yourselves to someone looking to enter into racehorse ownership?
The club is the first step on the ladder towards racehorse ownership. We have plenty of people (around 25% of our current membership) who’ve liked what they’ve seen with the club and have thus decided to take things further by joining our new syndicate. We must be doing something right! Coming to the yard, seeing the set-up and going racing 15-20 times a year is how one becomes interested in racing and ownership. That’s what the club offers people.
Its affordability is our other key marketing point. It offers the experience for a fraction of the cost of outright ownership. And with the number of horses we have in the club, the opportunities to go racing are numerous. Full access to the racecourse facilities through owners’ badges, meeting the jockey and trainer in the paddock, and following the other races on the card is what our members regularly enjoy. For £249 a year, their race-day experience does not differ from the day a fully-fledged owner would have.
The formation of life-long friendships is also a point to note. Being in a club like this gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people who share the same passion. Many of our members will meet up away from racing or yard visits for instance.
And tell us a little about the syndicate you’ve launched this year and how the idea for it came about.
We’ve had conversations with Richard over the last couple of years about setting one up. Based on our own thinking and feedback we’d had from our members, we were eager to become part of the step people take from club to syndicate membership. To facilitate people making this leap made sense because they like Richard, they like the set-up and they love the friendly staff at Musley Bank. Up at Ayr last season, Richard agreed to the concept and duly promised to buy us a couple of horses, which he did the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale.
We’re very happy and confident in the venture because we both have good experience of syndicates and like to think that we know what works and what doesn’t. The importance of communication – providing members with too much rather than too little information – is something we’re particularly keen to implement. And creating a feeling of exclusivity for the syndicate was also important to us, so we made sure not to sell more than fifteen shares in each horse.
We’ve managed to all the shares that we needed to for the year ahead and have been lucky enough to attract some completely new owners, so it’s all systems go.
And finally, to the big question of the week…how does Perfect Power run in the Guineas?
DA – I think he’ll stay. I wouldn’t be bold enough to say he’ll win, but if everything’s in order he’s got a very good chance of placing.
NB – I wasn’t too sure whether he was a sprinter or a miler at the start of the year, but after watching him in the Greenham I thought he would appreciate a step up in trip. I’d love him to run a massive race for everyone in the yard – it’d be great for them. Fingers crossed he can run a big race for everyone involved!
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