Happy New Year racing fans! In today’s post Phil Boyle returns with the next in his excellent series of ‘Owners Insight’ articles.
Hello again and Happy New Year one and all!
Last time I described our first and somewhat unsuccessful venture into horse racing ownership, well I’d like to tell you that our second horse was a different story….
I’d like to tell you that, but to be honest it was not much better!
In early 2008, Peter Bickley confirmed that High Moor had purchased a two year old colt out of Diktat and as Maid of Lamancha was no longer in ownership he asked whether we wanted to get involved. With positive reports coming out of John’s yard about the youngster we decided to take the plunge. After all we had not set the bar very high with our first venture into ownership and figured things could only get better!
The first excitement was a naming competition with every owner invited to submit suggestions and then a vote amongst the shareholders for their preferred choice. This is how Diktaram (sire Diktat, dam Aries) came to be registered with Weatherbys.
Diktaram proved backward as a 2yo and looked like he would need a decent trip, hence it was November before he was deemed ready to race and a 9f race at Wolverhampton was chosen for his debut. Unfortunately for us, his odds of 50-1 belied the way he ran and 10th of 11 beaten nearly 20 lengths was the result. There was no immediate alarm though as we felt that he would improve if we stepped him up in trip.
We decided on extra 2f and the slower fibresand of Southwell early in the New Year and his run into 5th of 13 gave us cause for optimism that we might find him a small race somewhere. That said we could not see him winning a maiden and felt that a handicap would be the best target. With this in mind, we selected a 12f maiden on grass at Musselburgh as the race to get Diktaram a handicap mark and a 6th place saw him rated at 52 which we thought we could work with.
May 09 and run number 4. Not the most convenient for Surrey based owners, a race at Hamilton was selected and despite his 25-1 SP we were hopeful that Diktaram might do enough to earn us some prize money. Sadly this hope was misplaced though as he trailed in 8th of 9. The post race jockey report was starting to get quite familiar in that he was a nice horse and he tried hard, but the results were just not coming.
The 20th June 2009 was a significant day in my ownership career however as Diktaram was declared to run at Lingfield in a 12f handicap and the location meant that for the first time, I was able to get to the races as an owner. I can remember the thrill of picking up my first ever owners and trainers badge and meeting up with Dave Dunford and some of the other owners in the pre parade ring. Those moments made the two or three years of paying out seem suddenly so much more worthwhile and after some photos in the paddock it was with great anticipation that I took my spot in the stands. I was certain that my presence would be enough to spur Diktaram on to his best ever performance.
Two and a half minutes later, those dreams were in tatters as Diktaram trailed in 8th of 9 again with jockey Eddie Creighton reporting despite trying hard, he was basically a slow horse who would be unlikely to be up to winning a flat race. His only suggestion was that we possibly look at hurdling!
It was a disappointing end to the day and it proved to be almost the end of the day for Diktaram as well. One more roll of the dice later (7th of 7!) and the decision was taken to stop throwing money down the drain and Diktaram was retired.
Despite our two less than successful horses, High Moor Racing continues to operate and has had several winning horses giving many other owners some successful days at the races and I am sure there will be many more in the future. Peter was keen that we stay involved, but we were already spending our spare money elsewhere and so we decided to have a break from High Moor ownership although to this day, Peter and I still talk racing on a regular basis and we are always invited to High Moor open days which are always enjoyable. We hope to be able to take a share in a High Moor horse again in the future.
Our ownership with High Moor ceased in July 2009 and at the time, Sarah and I were already six months into another ownership journey. Next time I will tell you how it all came about!
All the best – Phil
NTF New Years Sale!
Since we have now rolled into 2012 (or is that blown!?!) I have decided to pull together an exclusive discounted package for the NTF National Hunt season for those of you looking to join until the end of the season (Cheltenham, Aintree & Punchestown guides included!).
All details can be found here – www.narrowing-the-field.co.uk/join-ntf
There are also a couple of free guides on there to give you a better idea of exactly what NTF is all about.
Happy punting – Ben (NTF)