A fun day was had in our private box, for the launch of the flat turf season at Doncaster
After the success of our box in the last 2 years, we returned once again to Doncaster for Lincoln day to celebrate the start of the turf flat season, with 200 owners and their guests. As our attendance numbers had increased by 40% since last year, we were 'upgraded' to their largest private space, the Conduit Suite on the 2nd floor of the Grandstand overlooking the finishing line.
The day began at 11.30 with guests met with a glass of bubbly and copies of the Racing Post to peruse, as introductions were made and syndicate friends were reunited! Our Director of Racing Tim Palin welcomed everyone, set the days programme and announced the details of the charity raffle in aid of Racing Welfare. Dawn Goodfellow their Chief Executive told us about the amazing charity and the work they do and encouraged everyone to buy a raffle ticket to win a free 2.5% share in one of our horses for a year, with three runners up prizes generously donated by the raceourse.
The three course lunch was served at 12.30 and then the racing began, with the runners in the first 'roared' out of the stalls as if it were Cheltenham! The box had a large seated balcony over looking the winning post and we all gathered there to watch each race.
Afternoon tea was served at 4pm and then at 5pm, Dawn drew the raffle and the four prize winners were announced!
The top prize winner was DUNCAN SMITH and here he tells us what the win meant to him and how he chose his horse: "What a wonderful set of prizes were on offer for the Racing Welfare Charity Raffle and I for one was very grateful for the generosity of MPR for donating such a generous first prize, as I am sure everyone else who was present thought too. The three runners up prizes were fantastic as well. It was heart warming to witness the level of support for the Racing Welfare Charity and to listen to Dawn Goodfellow help us to understand the work of the charity that supports ALL the people who work in racing. It is only when you take a step back and consider how many people will have been involved in the care and support of our horses that it really hits home. It certainly served as inspiration to dig deep and support our very worthy charity partner.
ABOUT MY WIN
Goodness me, I still cannot quite believe how very very lucky I was to have the winning ticket for the Racing Welfare Charity Raffle, from so many owners and friends present and so many tickets sold on the day! I honestly felt like Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka - (I suppose I am more like his Grandpa Joe really!!) – I really did have the Golden Ticket!! As Tim prepared to call out the winning number, he hesitated and asked what colour the ticket was, it was BLUE, the groans of purple ticket holders was clearly audible! “NUMBER 37” was the call – and there it was, the very first ticket I had bought, 37 Blue!! Trembling and full of a heady mixture of disbelief and excitement I approached the stage area to be congratulated by Tim and the rest of the MPR Team and the Racing Welfare representatives and was presented with the winning prize. It is all a blur really, but I recall Tim asking me which horses I was already involved in and I made a spirited attempt to recall them all – this one would make it 10! A nice round number!
WHY I CHOSE THIS HORSE
Tim asked me the $64,000 question, “So Duncan, have you given any thought to which one of the 2 year olds available you might like to choose?” Just for fun, we had been looking at the ones available and I had been going around various share owner friends and asking them what they were going to pick if they won? The one that really caught my eye was, the Oasis Dream ex Albamara colt with Sir Mark Prescott. Perhaps this horse wasn’t the most obvious choice as a precocious ‘free 12 months period’ 2 year old, as he is likely to be a horse that needs a little time and may be second half of the season type? This didn’t concern me at all, as I was more than happy to take a longer view of his career. I have always wanted a horse in training with Sir Mark Prescott, for whom I have tremendous respect, and this would present an ideal opportunity. So, it had to be the OASIS DREAM colt with Sir Mark. He is beautifully bred with many ‘black type’, Group performers and Group 1 champions and a total of 13 Group and listed winning horses in his pedigree trained by Sir Mark. I have over the years followed, with interest, the success of the Kirsten Rausing breeding operation and her main breeding family, which includes horses such as Albanova, Alborada and Alouette and the grand dam of this horse being none other than the champion filly Albanova, who is a full sister to the champion filly in Ireland, Alborada; with both horses being trained by Sir Mark from his Heath House Stables in Newmarket. Another thing that attracted me to this horse was that he is from the Listed-performing mare Albamara, from the same family described above, and who is by the Champion sire Galileo. Albamara won as a 2 year old and was again trained by Sir Mark. This horses’ stallion, Oasis Dream, who is himself by Green Desert, doesn’t really need too much of an introduction, he is a sire of sires and a champion in his own right – a great champion winning gene pool on both sides of his family! There was one other factor that influenced me in this choice, I had remembered from the December Edition of the MPR Newsletter that this Oasis Dream colt was Tim’s choice of horse to follow in 2019; well, that will do for me!
I am so pleased with my good fortune in winning this prize that I decided to buy into him as well and I will be looking forward to naming him in the not too distant future!
Thank you to all at MPR and Racing Welfare Charity for this wonderful opportunity!"
We wish Duncan the best of luck with him. If you would also like to be in his syndicate, there are share opportunities remaining. See his details here: OASIS DREAM COLT (Sir Mark Prescott).
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes were won by:
- A private box for 24 people at Doncaster on the 16th June. *WINNER - TONY H/DAVID O
- 2 x county tickets to St Leger day on September *WINNER - JANET V
- 2 x county tickets to racing followed by music by James on August 17th *WINNER - RONNIE M
We are very grateful to everyone who came to the event and purchased a raffle ticket, as we raised £2,750 for RACING WELFARE and Dawn and her colleague Mark Loades (Head of Fundraising) who was also present were thrilled with this news.
A selection of photos can be seen in the gallery.