Middleham Park out to 'gatecrash' the Group 1 Party

Features | 7th May 2021

When former school teacher Tim Palin syndicated two horses back in 1995, he had no idea the sky blue silks of Middleham Park Racing would go on to celebrate over 1,000 winners, including success at the highest level.

Today Palin heads up a passionate team that runs around 120 horses on the Flat and over jumps, spread among 45 different trainers in all corners of Britain and abroad.

With his son Tom and business partner Mike Prince by his side, Palin is looking forward to bringing further top class success to his shareholders this year following investment in some expensive new recruits.

They are hoping 150,000 gns purchase Dubai Station will represent them in this years Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot while The Rosstafarian could head to the German 2,000 Guineas following a creditable run in the Craven Stakes.

Trainer Robert Cowell has charge of two six-figure breeze-up purchases and a filly by Acclamation called Rattling has been working well enough to excite Richard Hannon and her shareholders.

“We are committed to improving the quality of our horses and are really hopeful about the season ahead,” says Tim. “We want to gatecrash the Group 1 party!”

They did just that in 2013 when another Hannon star Toormore gave them their first top table success in the National Stakes in Ireland – a result Palin describes as a “game changer”.

“We’d had nice horses before he came along, such as Penitent, but never a Group One winner. That day catapulted us into a different stratosphere. Suddenly we were taking on the likes of Godolphin and Coolmore and beating them,” he recalls.

Toormore’s achievement prompted Palin to quit the classroom and run the syndicate full time. “We went from having about 40 horses to 75 thanks to him. He also gave us the honour of becoming Europe’s Champion 2YO that year,” adds Tim.

His decision was justified when G Force and Ventura Storm also achieved success at the highest level and with more strength in depth, the class of 2021 promises to deliver more red letter days for over 960 shareholders.

Middleham Park are also keen to strengthen their hand in the National Hunt scene after achieving 15 wins from 27 horses last season. Fiveandtwenty was third in a Grade 1 hurdle at Aintree while Marie’s Rock was runner-up in a Grade 2 at Doncaster.

“We’d love to emulate the success we had with Junior, who won at a Cheltenham Festival, and ideally we’d like to increase our jumps team to 50,” explains Tim, a Manchester City fan who has named many of his horses after club legends.

Middleham Park has certainly come a long way since its first horse China Castle won 26 races from the late Patrick Haslam’s yard in the North Yorkshire town. “It was a hobby that got out of hand,” he says. “I grew up in a council house in Runcorn, dreaming that one day I’d become a racehorse owner, but I never expected any of this.

“When I started Middleham Park I wanted to bring the Sport of Kings to the man in the street and I’m proud that we’ve achieved that over the years. It’s all about fulfilling dreams.”

For more information on Middleham Park Racing, you can visit their In The Paddock profile HERE.