Owning a racehorse can be one of the most thrilling experiences for sports-mad fans.
There are ample opportunities to get involved with owning a racehorse, with many people willing to spend thousands of pounds.
But for fans with more modest budgets, there are syndicates available online enabling them to own a racehorse from a leading trainer.
They give people the chance to rub shoulders and compete with the most established names in the game, and you don’t even have to be a racing aficionado to enjoy success.
Sometimes it can be as simple as picking the right horses and the right trainers to fulfil potential. Here are some of the standout owners in the field who have managed to build an empire of racing success with savvy moves.
Joe and Marie Donnelly
Joe and Marie Donnelly have enjoyed great success on the track over the last five years. Joe has a history in the racing game in Ireland, beginning life as a bookie before becoming an art investor and accruing millions.
However, the couple have been just as wise in the selection of their racehorses and trainers. In 2019, they made their breakthrough in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Al Boum Photo as the tandem of Willie Mullins and Paul Townend steered the French thoroughbred to victory.
The following year Al Boum Photo along with his jockey, trainer, and owners joined a rare company of competitors to win successive Gold Cups. It’s not only Al Boum Photo that has brought joy to his owners.
Shishkin won the Arkle Chase with a dominant run in 2021, while State Man won the County Handicap Hurdle in 2022. They don’t have a huge empire compared to other owners, but when it comes to selecting the right horses Joe and Marie Donnelly have been on point, earning £3.5m from the track alone over the last five years.
Gigginstown House Stud
Owner of Gigginstown House Stud and Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, is a divisive figure in the world of business, but you can’t argue with his success on the track. He famously split from trainer Willie Mullins in 2016 citing the cost of placing his charges in his Closutton Yard. After that, he placed his horses in the hands of Gordon Elliott, who has moulded some of the greatest distance horses of all time.
Of course, Tiger Roll is the crown jewel of their empire, who became the first horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals in 2018 and 2019 since the legendary Red Rum achieved the feat in 1973 and 1974. Gigginstown House Stud also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2016 with Don Cossack along with a number of crowns in Ireland and the UK, including the Cross Country Chase and Irish Gold Cup.
O’Leary has since rebuilt his relationship with Mullins, so there will undoubtedly be more success in his future in one of the deepest yards around.