Continuing our series on horse race syndicates, how sometimes tearing up the best-laid plans can lead to the greatest of luck.
The previous four articles on getting an edge in the world of horse race syndication concluded with suggestions on how to structure and manage a syndicate. The fruits of this approach were borne out on 17 October 2020 at Ascot, where one of the syndicate’s horses, Trueshan, demolished a top-class field of stayers in spectacular style. In so doing he established himself as one of the favourites for the Ascot 2021 Gold Cup.
May is a favourite time of the racing year – after the Grand National and before the new flat season takes off. It’s when the ‘breeze-up’ sales take place in Newmarket. Breeze-ups are so named because two-year-olds (think young teenager, in human terms) advertise their worth by ‘breezing up’ (galloping) three furlongs of the Newmarket Old Rowley course. In addition to a close perusal of bloodlines, it offers prospective buyers an insight into the horses’ racing potential.
Agents, trainers and buyers study these breeze-ups in detail – what time do the horses put up, how relaxed and balanced are they at full stretch, how strongly are they finishing, do they give any sign of being unsound in either wind or limb? As an enthusiastic amateur committed to finding horses who will stay and are athletic, study of the pedigrees and the breezes are a means of identifying a shortlist of horses to further view in the Tattersall barns immediately prior to the sales. This shortlist is normally rendered wastepaper when findings are discussed with Anthony Bromley, our bloodstock agent. It’s hugely time-consuming, fun to pore over and creates a veneer, if only for oneself, of seeking to invest syndicates’ money wisely.