The Stamford Bridge Racing Club is taking a unique approach to racehorse ownership, combining the racing manager’s love of Chelsea Football Club with his passion for horse racing. In this syndicate, everybody involved, from the trainer to the shareholders, and even the jockey hired to ride, are all Chelsea fans. Tonight in the 7.30 at Salisbury, racing in Chelsea blue silks, Prophecy made his debut for the syndicate.
It was on a freezing Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge back in 1972 that seven-year-old Graham fell in love with Chelsea. Dave Mackay’s Derby County, the current champions, were the visitors that day. In a game not for the faint hearted, Chelsea held their own against the champions, drawing 1-1. Graham sat in the West Stand with his dad and his dad’s mate, who coincidentally was a Derby fan.
Fifty years on and Graham is keeping the blue flag flying high with his newly established Stamford Bridge Racing Club. The syndicate has launched with an opportunity to buy a stake in the six-year-old gelding, Prophecy – trained by Chelsea fan Seamus Durack. Already, a third of the 150 shares have been snapped up and Graham is confident that the remainder will sell quickly.
Prophecy returned to the track on the 5th July, after a lengthy break of about nineteen months, finishing fifth of nine over six furlongs at Ffos Laas. This was an encouraging return after such a long absence. According to connections, “the reason the horse hadn’t run for a while was because the owner and trainer were looking for a training yard in Yorkshire which sadly fell through.” After “taking a while to get re-established” down in Lambourn, Berkshire, Prophecy is now fit and ready to race under his new owners, Stamford Bridge Racing Club.
Having relocated from North Yorkshire to Newlands Stables (the former base of Brian Meehan and Brendan Powell) Ritchie Fiddes and fiancée Hazel (who has a background in equestrianism) have turned to Seamus Durack to be their employed trainer. Prophecy has remained with the yard despite now being owned by Stamford Bridge Racing Club.
In 2020, as a four-year-old, Prophecy’s form was a little ‘Timo Werner’ (hit and miss). Three second places: a couple of missed chances and some poor finishes were all that he could manage. Now trained by Seamus Durack, it is hoped that the former jump-jockey can get the best out of him on his long awaited return to the track.
Tonight’s run at Salisbury promised plenty and with the odds shortening from 9-1 into 4-1 before the off, hopes of a good performance were high. However, Prophecy was a little lively in the parade ring and going down to post. This was never going to be his day. Given every chance by his jockey, Thore Hammer Hansen, he ran prominently early on before losing ground in the final two furlongs. It’s fair to say that the occasion may have just got the better of him tonight and I’m certain there will be more memorable days to come.
Joining a syndicate is an affordable way to get into racing, become an owner and enjoy the excitement of race day from the owner’s perspective. Spreading the cost of ownership over the year seems to be the way that many racing fans are taking their love of the sport to the next level. Although the Stamford Bridge Racing Club is one of many, the idea of a Chelsea fans only syndicate is sure to take off.
If you are a Chelsea fan and interested in joining the Stamford Bridge Racing Club, you can contact Graham on Twitter @StamfordRacing or visit the website at http://www.stamfordbridgeracingclub.com