Over the past few years, the Chelsea Thoroughbreds name has made a notable mark in British racing.
The instantly recognisable light blue silks with dark blue sleeves and a white cap, have stood out with a series of fascinatingly-named racehorses.
Names like Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Blofeld, Mr Scaramanga, Harry Callahan and George Formby, have leapt from the silver screen and stage, onto the racecourse.
The names are eye-catching, but London-based Chelsea Thoroughbreds is about a lot more than your average racing syndicate and has enjoyed with terrific success.
Few syndicates can take their owners to the rarified air of Epsom or Royal Ascot.
Humphrey Bogart won the 2016 Lingfield Derby Trial, before going on to finish fifth to Harzand, in that year’s Investec Derby at Epsom.
Tony Curtis is another name many will recognise, as a Listed juvenile winner, who contested the Craven Stakes and many other Group races.
In early March, the Martyn Meade trained Ebury made a hugely exciting debut when landing a Kempton Park contest by 2 ¾ lengths.
But there is something else that discerns Chelsea Throughbreds from run of the mill syndicates.
Becoming a member gains you access seven days a week to a Club, located at The Sydney Arms, situated just off the Kings Road in Chelsea.
This takes the social side of racehorse ownership to a whole new level and there are regular Club gatherings.
The website extols the virtues of Club membership: “We also have great personal friendships with all of our trainers and everyone we deal with attached to Chelsea Thoroughbreds and want to extend those friendships to people who join Chelsea Thoroughbreds as owners. We act as your personal racing concierge and offer a very professional and personal level of service so that gives you the ownership experience we would want for ourselves.”
So how does a Chelsea Thoroughbreds syndicate work?
There are a number of racing partnerships and syndicates to suit a variety of financial means.
Depending on the cost of the horse, syndicates are usually formed of 10 people.
Syndicate membership starts from £5,000 to £15,000 and costs reduce in subsequent years to just cover the training fees.
The share price covers all expenses including the purchase and the training of the horses up to the end of their racing season, including all vets bills, entry fees, transport, owners badge for race days and stable visits.
Horses are bought through a top team of trainers and Chelsea Thoroughbreds has had horses with: Richard Hannon, Charlie Hills, Ralph Beckett, Andrew Balding, Charlie Fellowes, Martyn Meade, Nicky Henderson, Michael Bell, Robert Cowell, Hugo Palmer, Paul Cole and Mark Casse in America.
Being part of a syndicate brings the added privilege of attending a yearling parade, where you have an opportunity to view horses ahead of deciding on which ones to invest in. There are also opportunities to visit trainers’ yards to watch the horses being trained later on.
Syndicate members are kept up to date through email and phone contact on running plans for horses. Chelsea Thoroughbreds provides one owner’s badge for each 10% shareholder (or full share) for collection from the owners entrance on the day their horse runs. Sometimes extra badges can be purchased depending on the course. A badge gives owners access to the paddock and pre-parade ring before the race as well as owners’ facilities provided by the track.
At the end of a partnership, accounts are reviewed by the auditors and any surplus income over expenses, is distributed to the shareholders. The Club is responsible for any deficit.
A list of Chelsea Thoroughbred horses in training
HUMPHREY BOGART – Six year old gelding trained by Nicky Henderson
MAX ZORIN – Five year old gelding trained by Andrew Balding
HARRY CALLAHAN – Four year old gelding trained by Mick Channon
THREE YEAR OLDS:
JOHNNY KIDD – Australia gelding trained by Andrew Balding
SAM COOKE – Pour Moi gelding trained by Ralph Beckett
EDDIE COCHRAN – Society Rock Colt trained by Richard Hannon
CHUCK WILLIS – Kodiac gelding trained by Mark Casse
BRIAN EPSTEIN – Dark Angel Colt trained by Richard Hannon
GLENN MILLER – Exceed and Excel gelding trained by Martyn Meade
RITCHIE VALENS – Helmet Colt trained by Richard Hannon
DINAH WASHINGTON – Australia Filly trained by Michael Bell
RUDY LEWIS – Excelebration gelding trained by Charlie Fellowes
GEORGE FORMBY – Mayson gelding trained by Hugo Palmer
MISS GRADENKO – Foxwedge Filly trained by Robert Cowell
OLIVER HARDY – Foxwedge Colt trained by Paul Cole
TWO YEAR OLDS:
THE CINCINNATI KID – Charm Spirit Colt trained by Richard Hannon
OWNEY MADDEN – Oasis Dream Colt trained by Martyn Meade
THELMA TODD – Australia Filly trained by Michael Bell
DUTCH SCHULTZ – Golden Horn Colt trained by Ralph Beckett
TOMMY DE VITO – Dandy Man Colt trained by Charlie hills
RICK BLAINE – Ruler of the World Colt trained by Andrew Balding
JACK RUBY – Havana Gold Colt trained by Richard Hannon
For more information on Chelsea Throughbreds and how to get involved, please visit: www.chelseathoroughbreds.com