Brian Meehan launches racing club for 2020's Flat season - the horse has been chosen but not his name
Manton trainer Brian Meehan is launching a new syndicate in the form of a racing club for the new Flat season and on Saturday (February 29) members and potential members were at a special open day to see the chosen, unnamed two-year old.
It has to be said that the day's weather - heavy rain, hail, an unfriendly wind, a little sunshine, black clouds and more rain - did not make the start of the Flat season seem that close. But it was, after all, the last - and extra - day of February and the Brian Meehan Racing Club was getting ready for the new Flat season.
He has been gelded and within a few weeks will be going to 'barrier trials' run by Lingfield Park racecourse and Witherford Equine. These are designed to give debutante racehorses the feel of the racecourse and practice with starting stalls in the company of other horses.The bay colt is by Gutaifan out of Tan Tan.
It is the first time that Brian Meehan has run this type of racing club. The club will comprise thirty shares at a fee of £2,000 ('and no hidden extras') for each share - giving each member of 3.3 per cent stake in the horse.
Brian Meehan told marlboroughequestrian.news: "We designed it so people can own a piece of the horse. A lot of clubs in the past just leased a horse. The club gives you the chance to get all the excitement of owning a racehorse, at an affordable price, without the hassle - and cost - of buying and then training a top quality thoroughbred racehorse."
Apart from regular updates on the club horse's progress, members will meet trainer and jockeys, have stable visits and owners' badges when the horse runs, with requests for badges drawn from a hat so all owners get an equal chance.
Local jockey Martin Dwyer gave the horse a run up the six furlong all weather gallop. He was delighted with the performance on show: "He's certainly got an engine - and a nice attitude." Meehan called him: "A straightforward young horse."
To these fairly inexperienced eyes he looked like a really good prospect. And back at the stables, he showed he has a nice and calm temperament as well - when faced with a crowd of people, clicking cameras and young children.
Members of the club still have the intriguing task of choosing a name and choosing the club's racing colours. Attempts were made at both these - though even over a lunch at the local Manton pub, no firm decisions were made.
Several names were put forward. Three played on Tan Tan - his dam's name: Tantafan or Tanfastic. Another suggestion went back to his second dam, Sahara Star - combining with his first dam to give Saharan Tan.
A fourth suggestion came from club member David Smith who had come to Marlborough from Edinburgh for this open day. He picked up on Gutaifan's sire Dark Angel as a name that reminded him of carvings in St Giles' Cathedral of angels playing bagpipes. His suggested name Angelswithbagpipes just hit the maximum 18 letters for a registered name!
Apart from Tan Tan, among Sahara Star's fifteen foals was Land of Dreams who was dam to Dream Ahead. And Dream Ahead became 2010's Joint Champion Two-year Old in Europe and 2011's Champion Three -year Old Sprinter in Europe - with lots of black type and prize money totalling £810,186. In the racing game you need a good dollop of optimism.
Brian Meehan is enthusiastic about the club and is looking forward to the new season: "Last season was good for us - we had nice big winners. That's what we aim for - I'm more interested in quality races than in the numbers of wins."
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