The MPR Story
Tim Palin fell in love with racing in 1983 – all from placing a 25p each way bet on Teenoso in the Derby! He became a teacher in his 20’s and often went racing at the weekends and whilst looking on from outside the paddock, contemplated whether he would ever be lucky enough to be standing on the hallowed turf of the parade ring as an owner.
A few years later his dream was fulfilled when he took a small share in two horses, but soon Tim’s indelible forward thinking moved him to consider that owning a really good quality racehorse could surely be within reach of a group of like-minded people. Living near Middleham, he had a training centre on his doorstep and after making contact with Patrick Haslam, who loved the idea, the aptly named Middleham Park Racing was launched in 1995, with just such a syndicate in mind.
Our first horse was named China Castle - he won 26 races and £125,000 in prize money, so not a bad start and even Tim’s personal email address is ode to this legendary horse! This was the kind of beginning that fired Tim’s ambition and gradually the business has been built up to where we are now. With over 100 horses in training under both codes and trainers all around the country, the team has expanded with Tim’s wife Carol and Mike Prince joining as partners. Tim and Carol’s son Tom is now also part of the team, managing the Bloodstock & National Hunt side of the company (read more about the team’s roles here).
With the achievement of being the country’s winning most syndicate, you might suggest that Tim’s work is done, but how wrong that would be. He says "Our success is really down to the amazing owners who have bought into our syndicates over the years, with some still with us since the beginning. I am very grateful for their loyalty and when I see a new name come through as a registered owner, I remember how it was for me when I bought my first share all those years ago, and set about the task of realising someone else’s racing dream. We still have a Classic to win – we got so close with Ventura Storm - and some owners have told me they’d like a Breeders Cup Trophy, so still work to do for the sky blue and orange."
We are often asked where our colours came from; well Tim is a Manchester City fan and this is where the blue came from. The orange was chosen for the epaulettes as it fell at the opposite end of the colour spectrum and made an ideal contrast. These pale blue and orange racing silks are now recognised on almost a daily basis at racecourses all over the UK and Europe. How appropriate also that our trainer’s roster should now include Ben Haslam, Patrick’s son, who now holds the license at Castle Hill Stables in Middleham where it all began.