Inside the Rails – An Owner’s Perspective

We’ve all been there, standing around the paddock, making a final check on the horse to be entrusted with our £10 bet.  In the Summer you might see Aiden O’Brien with John Magnier and Michael Tabor briefing Ryan Moore or John Gosden with Andrew Lloyd Webber chatting to Frankie Dettori on the lawn in the centre of the paddock.  If it is winter, then maybe it’s Willie Mullins and Rich Richie in conversation with Ruby Walsh or Nicky Henderson and JP McManus discussing their chances with Barry Geraghty.  It’s all seems a bit unattainable for us “normal” racegoers doesn’t it?  

Well it shouldn’t.  Syndicate ownership and racing clubs are becoming more common and are bringing the ownership experience into reach for the “normal” racegoer, I know this because despite some inevitable protestations from my friends (and maybe my wife!), I consider myself to be a fairly normal chap and I have been involved in ownership for around ten years now.

So, what are the benefits of ownership and why should you care?  Ownership is something I am passionate about and I believe that everyone who loves racing would have that experienced enhanced if they were able to get involved in ownership.  

I am often asked to sum up the ownership experience and I usually use the same example which seems to resonate with most people.  Most people have been to a football match and many follow a team.  Imagine having a VIP season ticket for your club, that provides pre-match access to the manager of your team to discuss tactics for the game and then the chance to sit in on his tactical briefing to your star striker.  After the final whistle, it entitles you to go and find them again so that the striker can give you his insights into what happened on the pitch, including his thoughts on how the game was won and lost and the manager can let you know what he intends to change in advance of the next match.  

As far as I know, the Premier League Club’s don’t offer such a ticket, but the Premier League horseracing trainers do, and it is available to all their owners large and small.

In a short series of blog posts, I would like to take you inside the rails and give you a bit of insight into the ownership experience on race days and in between races.  I will also explain the differences between sole ownership, syndicates and racing clubs and why I think that shared ownership options are so exciting, and I will round out the series by looking at ownership from a betting perspective and lift the lid on whether “inside information” is all it is perceived to be.

Look out for the next post and if the above has whetted your appetite, then why not download my free e-book which provides more information on all aspects of ownership.  It does require you to enter an email address (which I only used to send a monthly newsletter and which you are welcome to opt out of at any time) and can be downloaded here:

Phil Boyle

Phil Boyle has been a racing enthusiast since his teens and bought his first share of a racehorse in the early 2000s. For the last ten years, Phil has been running BG Racing Syndicates and aims to provide fun, friendly and affordable access to racehorse ownership. Phil is always happy to talk about ownership and can be contacted via his website, Phil enjoys a bet every day and uses Race Adviser’s Racing Dossier software to help him to identify his selections.


  1. As horses are raced so infrequently is it more usual that people buy a small share in several horses than
    put all their money on one horse?

  2. Hi Tony

    That is a good question and the answer very much depends upon the individual. Several of the shareholders I have in BG Racing were interested in a specific horse and own a (usually larger) share of that horse but are not involved in others. Many other people however do as you suggest and have a shareholding (often smaller) in multiple horses to spread their risk and to give them more opportunities to see their horse race.

    Just using BG Racing as an example, I probably have about a 50-50 split in terms of those who are only involved in one horse and those who are involved in more than one.

    I hope that helps – but if you have any follow up questions, feel free to leave another comment or drop me an email to and I will be happy to answer them.

    All the best

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