Horse racing syndicates can be an affordable way for racing fans to get more involved in racing. For a small yearly fee you can own a share in a racehorse and enjoy the perks of being a racehorse owner, from regular updates to owners badges when your horse is running at the races. I have shares in multiple racehorses through the Owners Group and recently they have had a real superstar in Stage Star.
Stage Star the Challow Hurdle Winner
Trained by Paul Nicholls for his 4,000 owners, Stage Star has been heavily featured in the press after his impressive win in the Challow Hurdle. While he isn’t one I have a share in, being a member of a Facebook group with many Owners Group members, I have been able to follow a lot of his journey. He has impressed everyone. Nicholls is considering races at both Cheltenham Festival and Aintree for him, which is incredibly exciting for any racehorse owner. He has already been shortened to 8/1 by betting companies for the Ballymore Novice’s Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival in March.
But Stage Star wasn’t an expensive purchase. He was purchased from the sales for £60,000. When he was first syndicated, a share was just £49. He had some success in Bumpers (National Hunt Flat Races) with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in good company. He had his first run over hurdles in October. He won this Class 5 by 6 Lengths, showing plenty of promise. He backed this up a month later, stepping up in class and landing another win. The Challow Hurdle in December was just his 3rd start over hurdles, so it really was an impressive performance on his part.
With so much hype around Stage Star at the moment, including making the front page of the Racing Post, there was a lot of anticipation around him coming up for renewal. The way the Owners Group works, means you buy a share in a horse for a year. You pay a one off payment what includes the price of your share in the horse and upkeep costs for the year. A few months before your year is up, you are invited to renew your share, only paying the upkeep costs for the following year as you already own a share. If you choose not to renew, you will get back the cost of your share.
So for those owners who already owned a share in Stage Star, their renewal for this year was probably around the £30-£35 mark. But for those wanting to purchase one of the few shares what had been given up by owners, these shares were £118 for the year! This is after Stage Star was revalued from £60,000 to £300,000.
Stage Star isn’t an exception either
Stage Star has really flown the flag for syndicate owned horses this year. But he really isn’t an exception to the rule. 60% of racehorses in the UK are owned by multiple people, often syndicates. So many of our winners at all levels will be owned by syndicates. Even Owners Group have been in this position before.
I first discovered Owners Group watching the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. Pentland Hills won the JCB Triumph Hurdle and a few owners were interviewed claiming for it only cost them £50 (ish) a share. This imediately peaked my interest and I kept my eye on Pentland Hills, watching him follow up this win at Aintree, landing the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle. It was around this time I decided to buy my first share in a racehorse.
Arguably one of the most famous syndicate owned horses in recent years is Dream Alliance. He was bred and owned by a small syndicate from a Welsh mining town who each paid £10 a week. He went on to win the Welsh National and has had two films made about him. Dark Horse, a documentary film and more recently Dream Horse, a feature film.
Syndicate Horses Are Not Second Class
For some reason, there seems to be this opinion that syndicate horses are second class horses. Or at least horses owned by large syndicates with thousands of owners. But this just doesn’t seem to be the case, especially in national hunt racing. I personally think it just makes it more exciting, that you can buy into a horse relatively cheaply, and that horse can not only take you to the top races and festivals, but also win them. There has been a lot of talk over the last few years that racing needs to attract new fans and new owners and I think syndicates is a fantastic way to do this. It is making racing more accessible, which can only be a good thing.
Last Updated on 03/07/2022