The popular seven-year-old fought out a thrilling finish to give Hambleton Racing, trainer Archie Watson and jockey Hollie Doyle their first taste of success at the very highest level.
Since then Hambleton has enjoyed another memorable year, with four individual stakes winners. No syndicate has had more, but a repeat victory for Glen Shiel in the six-furlong dash would be an unforgettable highlight.
“We head there full of optimism,” says Hambleton’s co-founder Simon Turner. “It’s so exciting to be going back to Ascot for a proper Group 1 with a horse who has a genuine chance of winning.”
Watson, who has transformed the gelding from capable handicapper to top class sprinter from his Saxon Gate base in Upper Lambourn, is happy with his preparation for the end-of-season showpiece.
“We’re really looking forward to him defending his crown,” he adds. “He’s in very good order and ran a solid race in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes over course and distance in preparation. He loves Ascot and is at his best on soft ground so we’ll be hoping for more rain.”
Glen Shiel’s success has established him as a firm favourite among racegoers and has helped to encourage more of the sport’s enthusiasts to get involved in shared ownership. “What he achieved last year was massive for horse racing and massive for syndicate ownership in general. His win, and his partnership with Hollie Doyle, has opened up the sport to a whole new audience,” he points out.
Hambleton has certainly seen a growing demand for shares with around 40 horses in training this year, including a few new recruits to the National hunt scene spearheaded by exciting Huntingdon bumper winner Alazwar.
Since Glen Shiel’s Group 1 breakthrough, they have won Listed races with the Watson trained Outbox and Mehmento and David O’Meara’s Twilight Spinner, as well as a Group 3 in France with their longest serving trainer Kevin Ryan’s Atomic Force.
“We’re very proud of our record since we started with one horse 15 years ago, but particularly over the last 12 months,” adds Turner. “Our top level success has been achieved without spending huge amounts. In fact, our stakes winners cost between £15,000 and £45,000.
“You could say it’s the stuff that dreams are made of but thankfully we’ve kept on repeating that success,” he says. “We pride ourselves on helping our owners enjoy every winner, whether its at Wolverhampton on a Monday, Ripon on a Tuesday or a big meeting on a Saturday.”
Owner engagement is key to Hambleton’s success, adds Turner. “All our owners enjoy the whole process, from seeing their horses on the gallops, the entry stage of a race and greeting their jockey and trainer in the parade ring and winner’s enclosure.
“Being part of one of our syndicates is such a special involvement and takes the interest and enjoyment of racing to another level.”
Lifelong racing fan Mike Smale had never been part of a syndicate until joining Hambleton but has visited Qatar, Ireland and France with the Watson-trained Maystar and also owns a share in Outbox. “Hambleton’s team keeps me informed and involved every step of the way and I never get any unexpected bills.”
John Ford was also new to ownership when he became involved in Maystar. “I didn’t know what to expect from a syndicate but I couldn’t feel more involved if I owned my own horse outright,” he beams.
Hambleton Racing is firmly established as one of Britain’s leading syndicates with a maximum of 12 owners per horse.
With Hambleton you’re welcome to visit the stables to see your horse on your terms on private stable visits, when you’ll be accompanied by one of our friendly team.
We have a friendly and honest approach and perhaps that is one of the reasons why some of our owners have owned with us for over 15 years! Though undoubtedly our many winners help too!
We are always looking for new members so please get in touch to enquire!