Where are you based & what is your day job?
I’m a Coastguard Watch Officer. I live in Hull but I’m stationed in Bridlington.
How & why did you become involved in WRS?
I got to hear about WRS through Twitter and after following @wildcard_racing for a while, I knew Andy had Henry ready to go for the 2012 season and the price was too good to resist. After all, you only live once and you have to make your dreams a reality.
I’m still pretty new to racing. I’ve only been going to Beverley since 2009 and I’d fallen in love with it entirely but I started to get bored of being an ordinary punter. So I decided I wanted to get the buzz from inside the parade ring. It matters more when it’s your own racehorse.
Which horse(s) do you co-own?
Why did you choose this horse(s) to be involved with?
In a way, I think Henry chose me as I only had 2 criteria when it came to deciding – it had to be a sprinter and not a filly. Fillies are a bit unpredictable and I prefer the flat so much more to jump racing.
As this was all new to me, all I wanted was a horse that we could have fun with and some good days out. I knew he had potential, as he’d already made a promising debut on the all weather, finishing 3rd, then backing it up with a 2nd, both at Wolverhampton so I didn’t want to miss out on much more of his career. Little did we know he was going to be the perfect syndicate horse.
It was love at first sight as soon as I saw him. He’s big, powerful, full of character and handsome too (his handlers call him “The Dude”).
How long have you been part of Team WRS?
Since 21st January 2012
What’s the best thing (in your opinion) about owning a racehorse?
Being with them on a race day – that anticipation in the days leading up to the race, seeing what the pundits have to say about him, being in the owners and trainers bar with everyone, excited for what might happen, especially if you know your horse has a chance. When it comes to the off, the adrenalin rush is immense, no matter where they finish, there is no feeling in this world like it. It’s addictive.
Favourite racing experience with WRS so far?
So many to choose from and it’s very tempting to say meeting Tom Queally at Ripon. However, not just my favourite racing experience with WRS but also one of the greatest days of my life was 7th July 2012, in front of my home crowd at Beverley, for Henry’s maiden victory. Everything was going against him but he proved just what we knew all along and a superb ride from Freddy brought us into the Winner’s Enclosure with him for the first time. Even now, there are still lots of tears and a massive smile when I see the video of the race or read my blog from the day. If you see the footage I took myself of the last furlong, you’ll see just what it all means.
If that wasn’t stuff of dreams alone, less than 2 weeks later, we were back in the Winner’s Enclosure once more at Haydock Park, where the Dream Team came from last to first, up in class, to complete the double.
July was a champagne month!
How often do you go to visit your horse(s) at the yard?
I try and get up there every couple of months, even if it’s just for half an hour to give him a cuddle and some Polos.
Apart from your own horse, which other racehorse would you love to own & why?
Frankel. He is the greatest and single reason I started to really get excited and passionate about horse racing. It’s a real testament to his legend to know people will speak of him and his achievements for years to come. I’ll settle for one of his offspring though!
If I had to choose a horse in training, this may come as a surprise but I’d love to own Imperial Commander. He’s a magnificent jumper and any horse that can run down Denman and Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup is pretty special. I’ve also got a soft spot for Captain Chris.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking of joining WRS?
WRS is extraordinary and like nothing else. The success rate speaks for itself and even though it’s in its infancy now, Andy and the team have the vision and belief to be extraordinary. It’s only a matter of time before we have our first Group winner and the navy and pink silks become famous. We all share the dream, not just of our own horse but of all the others too. It isn’t just about the horses either; you become a part of a family. I’ve made lifelong friends and had experiences that money cannot buy.
It’s been so incredible that within a few months, my fiancé couldn’t resist any longer and wanted to play too. He’s now the proud owner of Bunce.
Talk to any of us already involved, we’re a friendly bunch and you’ll find most of us are on Twitter or Facebook. Failing that come for a day at the races or on a yard visit to see what it’s all about. We’re living the dream – you don’t want to miss out.
Follow me @airliesbird