Features | 28th June 2024

Proud owner Isidore Carivalis shares the euphoria of cheering home a Royal Ascot winner as part of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Soprano syndicate.

“Beyond this stratosphere!” That’s how part-owner Isidore Carivalis describes the excitement of cheering home Sandringham Stakes winner Soprano at Royal Ascot.

Isidore is one of 20 shareholders in Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s three-year-old, who spreadeagled a field of 30 to win the famous mile handicap for trainer George Boughey and teenage jockey Billy Loughnane.

“I worked my way down to the rail for the race as I didn’t want to watch it on the television,” he recalls. “I couldn’t see her to start with among a sea of horses but then I caught a glimpse of her sky blue silks.

“I was so close to the action as she came bursting through to win. I couldn’t believe it. It took a few moments to sink in. It was the greatest thrill. Just a feeling of huge euphoria.”

That winning feeling got even more memorable for Isidore, a retired accountant, just a few minutes later. “I made my way to the entrance to the track and was there to greet Billy and Soprano when they pulled up.

“Luckily I was able to walk in with her, which made the whole experience even more incredible. I’ve been involved with Highclere for 15 years and have an interest in several other horses but never truly believed that a day like this would happen.”

Isidore, from West London, had been fortunate enough to experience the privilege of a Royal Ascot runner with Highclere duo Title and Lysander a few years earlier. Both horses finished third in the King Edward VII Stakes in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

That was a thrill, but Soprano’s victory in the prestigious fillies’ handicap was the highlight for him and his fellow shareholders, who were out in force to drink in the atmosphere, the anticipation and then the sheer delight of owning a Royal Ascot winner.

“I was fortunate enough to gain entry to the parade ring to meet George and our young jockey before the race and afterwards we all managed to squeeze onto the winner’s podium for a great photo that we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives,” he adds.

Isidore says the young team behind the £110,000gns daughter of Starspangledbanner deserves great credit for making the day so unforgettable.

“New talent is the future of racing and George has done a tremendous job with our filly. I was also so impressed with our jockey, who has a great maturity for a young man of 18 and gave us all such fantastic feedback after the race.”

Now Isidore and his co-owners can look forward to more big days with Soprano, who was bought at the Tattersalls Book 2 sale as a yearling and syndicated for just £10,900 a share, including all running costs.

“None of us could even think about the next target at the time,” he adds. “We were far too excited about what had just happened. Of course, we hope that Soprano will go on to run more big races as the year goes on but whatever happens it’s such a thrill to be part of a well-run syndicate, meeting new friends and like-minded people who all share the same passion.”