Middleham Park, the most successful syndication company in Britain with over 1,000 winners, are hoping Raymond Tusk can secure what would be their greatest triumph so far when he lines up in the Melbourne Cup in Australia on Tuesday (5th November).
Twenty-four shareholders and friends have flown Down Under to support the Richard Hannon four-year-old in the two-mile spectacular at Flemington, widely regarded as the greatest race in the Southern Hemisphere.
“They call it the race that stops a nation, but I think it’s a race that stops the world and to be part of it is beyond our wildest dreams,” says Tom Palin, of Middleham Park.
“I know it’s a cliché, but this really is a dream come true. It’s why people get involved in racehorse ownership and whatever happens it’s going to be a trip of a lifetime for his owners.
“When my dad (Tim) set up Middleham Park 25 years ago he never imagined we would be part of an adventure like this one. We’ve had a lot of very nice horses and some big winners since those early days but just to be involved in this race is unbelievable.”
Raymond Tusk set off on his journey to Australia shortly after finishing an encouraging fourth from a difficult position in the first £1 million Ebor Handicap at York in August, and preparations have gone well since.
Mustajeer took the first-ever £1m Sky Bet Ebor Handicap yesterday!
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) August 25, 2019
“Jamie Spencer, who will ride him in the big race, was on board for a piece of work at the training track the other day and said he couldn’t be happier with him,” adds Tom.
“We did plan to run in the Caulfield Cup as a ‘prep’ race but Jamie advised us against that as he felt the track would be too sharp for him. He really needs a galloping track like Flemington and goes well fresh so we’re not at all concerned about not having a run.
“The stars have aligned and everything is in place for a big run. A lot of emphasis is placed on the draw but our horse is versatile and has a lot of tactical speed so even if he is out the back he could be finishing like a train.”
Though the outcome remains in the lap of the racing gods, Tom has no doubt that Middleham Park’s son of High Chaparral will give his best. “He wears his heart on his sleeve and you can’t say that about every horse. I know it sounds soppy but he tries so hard that it’s almost moving. Hopefully he’ll get the result his efforts deserve.”
Raymond Tusk has won three of his 12 races so far, amassing almost £250,000 in prize money. He won a Group 2 in Italy last year and has competed in the St Leger and the Ascot Gold Cup, but even a placing in Melbourne in those familiar sky blue silks would be a momentous results for racing syndicates everywhere.
Raymond Tusk worked very nicely alongside Marmelo this morning according to Jamie Spencer, who believes he is up to the task. 👀 pic.twitter.com/vy9st7H4tW
— Racing.com (@Racing) October 29, 2019