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  • Writer's pictureEmma Berry

New syndicates for 2023

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

We are putting together two separate syndicates this year, each hopefully to run for a number of years as both are relatively young horses who I am very hopeful will develop into durable, serviceable racehorses. I own both horses and the syndicates will lease them from me. There are two benefits of this. Share-holders don’t have to buy their share, and there is consequently no commitment for any specified length of time, but people can drop out at any time. There is no set length of the syndicate: I will keep training the horses for as long as I feel that they have a worthwhile racing future. Share-holders can remain involved for as long or as short as they like.


Four-year-old chestnut filly by The Great Gatsby ex Queen To Be (King’s Best)

The first syndicate is for Duchess. I say ‘first’ because she is closer to running and I will have the syndicate running from 1st March as I feel that she should be running from the start of the new turf season onwards, whereas the other filly (Flying Star, an unraced three-year-old) won’t be running in the first half of the year, and I don’t want to get anyone involved with either horse until I feel that we have started the run-up to the horse starting to race for this stable. So I won’t be doing anything about syndicating her until the second half of the year. Hopefully if we start Duchess’ syndicate on 1st March share-holders won’t have too long a wait before having a runner, although obviously nothing can be guaranteed.

Duchess is a French-bred four-year-old filly who raced a few times in France last year, trained in Deauville by Romain Le Dren Doleuze. She was placed in the country (second at Durtal over 2900m, third at Brehal over 2300m, fourth at Haras du Pin over 2350m) without winning, and I feel she is ready to progress. She is a tall, lanky, slow-developing filly who was very unfurnished last year and who should get stronger as she gets older. She is by The Great Gatsby, who could probably be described as a genuinely dual-purpose stallion, from a good family which contains numerous very good Flat horses plus the Champion Hurdle-winning mare Annie Power. We’ll start off in handicaps around a mile and a half and see how we go. (Her French rating is 25, which I assume will be translated to 55 here, which I’m pleased with as I feel that she ought to progress from there and end up better than that). Looking ahead, she is the type who appears to have obvious dual-purpose potential so I’d be having it in mind to try her over hurdles at some point, maybe in the autumn, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I’m quite protective of horses and I’d only run her over hurdles if she was finding the jumping easy and natural, so I’m definitely not saying that she’ll definitely be going over hurdles. I’d just say at the outset that she might, so that’s something to bear in mind if you are thinking of getting involved.

Duchess came over from France in the autumn, had a break turned out at Hilborough Stud, and returned to the stable in the first week of January. We started off trotting and she is now cantering every day, and I am very happy with her. She moves very well and freely, and she strikes me that she should be a sound horse, which of course is the main thing. I obviously haven’t galloped her yet, but she can start fast work in the second half of February, and everything that she has done so far has impressed me, as she moves well, seems to find things easy and to have a very good temperament. The intention is that each syndicate will run indefinitely for as long as the horse looks to be a worthwhile racing prospect. One is not obliged to stay in for any specific term.

The cost of each syndicate is £190 per month for a 10% share or £95 for a 5% share, all in, covering all training and racing expenses. I think that that’s a fair approximation of a horse’s costs: in quiet month the horse’s fees would be significantly less than that, but in a month when the horse has a race or two, she would have run up expenses considerably more than that, so I think that figure is a fair one and it’s easier to keep it a regular monthly amount. Obviously each share-holder receives the equivalent percentage of whatever prize money she earns.

The name of Duchess’s syndicate will be decided by discussion among the syndicate in March. The preferred method of group-discussion and regular photo and video updates will be WhatsApp, with email being the alternative if anyone isn’t on WhatsApp.

John Berry, February 2023


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