VILAZ (2.00pm Wolverhampton) Son of Byron and a half brother to our smart sprinter Ballesteros.Was in need of the race behind his stablemate Agent Murphy on his only outing so far, and is sure to come on again for this outing after his six month break.
RED STRIPES (3.05pm Wolverhampton) Is improving with racing and deserves to get his head in front after occupying the runner up berth on his last two outings.Should continue on his upward curve and another big run anticipated.
RECOVER (4.40pm Kempton) Showed ability during the Summer and was not disgraced on her first outing for three months on this course 22 days ago.Will be sharper for the outing and should step up on that performance here.
MOON RIVER (6.50pm Kempton) Well bred daughter of Exceed And Exceed and showed ability during a light campaign in the Summer, most notably when fifth in a good maiden at Goodwood on her latest start.Is making her first appearance for three and a half months here and is sure to come on for the run.
When Niamh Cavanan took a syndicate share in two novice racehorses, she hoped her involvement would bring some great racing days out, with visits to some of the country’s top racecourses.
She was delighted when one of the horses, an early two year-old called Faithful Creek, took her to Newmarket, Epsom, and then Glorious Goodwood this summer.
Within weeks, Deauville and Leopardstown had been added to the list – and today [TUE] she jets out to Santa Anita Park, California, to watch Faithful Creek compete at the world-renowned Breeders’ Cup meeting.
Faithful Creek, trained in Manton, Wiltshire, by Brian Meehan, is one of 16 British horses due to compete in the Breeders’ Cup, the biggest weekend in American horseracing. He is entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Friday, a mile-long race for male two year-olds which often features tomorrow’s top racing stars.
Niamh, who’s in her twenties and works in finance, said: “I’ve never been racing in American before. This meeting is on my bucket list so I’m definitely excited. I didn’t sleep for quite a few nights when I first heard we were going.”
Faithful Creek is half of a two-horse syndicate, one of several run by Decadent Racing. The company was founded by Sam Sangster, son of successful racehorse owner and breeder, the late Robert Sangster, and places emphasis on the social side of racing, as well as success on the racecourse.
Niamh, a keen racing fan, says she was persuaded to join the syndicate in January because she liked the look of both horses on paper, but also because she was impressed by the professionalism of Sangster.
“I kept an eye on how he ran the business for a while before I joined, because the way a syndicate is managed makes all the difference,” she said. “As two year-olds, the horses weren’t tested, but I thought they looked promising.”
Ten months on, Niamh’s hope that she would get more enjoyment from closer involvement with racing has been more than surpassed – and she’s delighted she took the plunge.
“Having a vested interest takes it to a different level,” she says. “On the one hand, you’re more nervous, especially when it’s a bigger test for a horse, but you’re sharing the experience with people who love racing as much as you do.
“I enjoy the social side, both at the races and when we’re invited to Brian’s stables. Sam and Brian are consummate professionals. They’re so patient with everyone and take time to answer all our questions, whether they’re from members with a basic understanding of racing, or whether it’s something more complicated.
“I’ve also made a very good new girlfriend who’s in the syndicate, which I didn’t expect. We now travel together to the races all the time.”
Niamh added: “I’m originally from Ireland so when I joined this syndicate I was looking forward to having a stake in a racehorse in England. Now I’ve found myself with an international horse and it’s just amazing.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Faithful Creek settled at his stables over there on Thursday morning. I think it’s only then I’ll really believe he’s taken me to the Breeders Cup!”
A party of 12, made up of most of the 10 syndicate members and some partners, are making the trip to California to support Faithful Creek.
He was bought for a relatively modest £35,000 at the Tattersalls Book 2 Yearling sales, and Sangster says he hoped the Bushranger colt would fulfil his promise as an early racer.
“I paired him with another yearling, who hasn’t raced yet, as I hoped they’d complement each other. We have a lot of first-time owners in the syndicate and the idea is that with an early and a late horse, you get to see both develop at their own pace and, of course, get double the racing experience.
“This syndicate has got off to a roaring start, thanks to Faithful Creek, which is pretty amazing for our members.”
Sangster is putting together a new partnership of two unnamed yearlings for the 2014-15 Flat season. One, a sharp early type, is sired by Monsieur Bond, and the second is by Bushranger, the same sire as Faithful Creek. For more information, see the Decadent Racing website [http://www.decadentracing.com/] or call Sam Sangster on: 07810 698778.
GREGORI (2.20pm Nottingham) Enjoyed a very good season on the All Weather during the 2013-14 all weather season winning five races.Warms up for a return to the artificial surfaces here, and is expected to come on for what will be his first outing for six months.
© 2011 Brian Meehan at Manton