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Andy Gargan’s new Club call
IF Adam Sullivan needs a hobby to fill “all this spare time” he’s inheriting after retiring from York City Knights, he could do worse than follow a former colleague of his into the Sport of Kings.
Andy Gargan swapped the rigours of life as a semi-professional rugby league player at Huntington Stadium to become a racehorse owner and the former half-back has now taken that one step further by heading up a new racing club for Malton trainer Richard Fahey.
Gargan, whose oval ball exploits included representing Great Britain amateurs while a York Acorn ace, is a part-owner of Penitent – the double Group-winning miler trained by David O’Meara at Nawton.
Now, as administrator of the Richard Fahey Racing Club, he’s hoping to take his own members on a winning journey as horses go from being yearlings to, hopefully, becoming victorious on the track.
“It is giving people an opportunity to come and be owners,” Gargan said. “We’ll be off to the sales in the next couple of months and we’ll be looking to buy four or five yearlings.
“Members will be there from the beginning then. They will see them as they are when they are bought and watch them develop as they are trained.
“We would be hoping to run the yearlings this time next year. We sense there will be a bit more interest with yearlings – there is the element that we don’t know what they are going to be like.”
York is a particular focus for the club, with Fahey, leading trainer on Knavesmire for the last seven seasons, always keen on landing winners at his local track.
“I got involved in the sport with a few people I knew,” said Gargan of how he became swept up in racing and ownership. “I was a part-owner of a few horses and it just moved on from there. I got hooked.
“I know Richard through having had part-shares with him before and I always used to go to York.
“I always wanted to get involved in owning and it just gave me a focus and something else away from rugby league.”
Gargan believes implicitly in the idea of syndicates because, with Penitent, he has been lucky to have been part of a phenomenally successful one.
The seven-year-old, owned by a Middleham Park Racing collective, has racked up eight victories so far with a Listed race at Doncaster and Group 2 wins at Newmarket and Sandown among the highlights.
“Penitent finishing second in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp last year has to be the highlight along with winning a Listed race with him at Doncaster,” added Gargan when asked about his best times as an owner.
“He’s outstanding and is one of the most genuine horses on the racetrack. It’s the excitement of the day and seeing him going past horses with a turn of speed.
“To beat horses in a Listed race is quite an achievement and it is hard to describe how you feel. It’s a feeling that ‘you were right’ to get involved.”
So now the hard work begins. Choosing the right horses is vital if the club is not only to get off the ground but get into the winner’s enclosure.
But Gargan says the hard work is being done behind the scenes, not least by Fahey himself, to find young horses with bright futures.
“We are focusing on the pedigrees and looking for early types so we can get some excitement as quickly as possible,” said Gargan.
“Ideally, we wouldn’t want to be waiting too long next year and we hope that Richard and Robin (O’Ryan, Fahey’s assistant) will buy the right horses to get them into action early.
“Syndicates are the way forward and members will get the full experience. They will get the chance to go to Richard’s and have stable visits – there are so many horses up there to see.
“Members will be able to follow all the club’s horses and get information and updates as well as daily tipping and the form angles.”
For more details about the Richard Fahey Racing Club and how to join, log on to www.richardfaheyracingclub.co.uk or email email@example.com
German to renew love affair with York
A GERMAN star is set to light up The Press Family Raceday on Sunday.
Gracia Directa has already notched a Group 3 victory on Knavesmire – in the 32Red Summer Stakes last year – and has subsequently been runner-up to Ladies Are Forever in the same contest earlier this summer.
Now trainer Dominik Moser is once again bringing his charge across from Hamburg for the Betfred Garrowby Stakes, a six-furlong Listed contest offering a record £37,000 in prize money.
Moser said: “She loves York and we love York, so we are coming. The horse will arrive today and I’ll be arriving on Sunday.
“We must be happy if we are in the first three but we are coming to win. She seems good.”
Gracia Directa has been a real star for Moser over the last two seasons and put up a bold show on her latest outing. The daughter of Kyllachy finished runner-up in a Listed race at Hoppegarten.
He said: “York is my absolute favourite racetrack – there are so many friendly people.
“I would like to come with more but we haven’t got enough good ones for York. Next year the horses will be a little bit better, I hope, and I will come to York (with them).”
York’s seven-race card on Sunday offers more than £100,000 in total prize money and, following two pony races, the first thoroughbred contest is at 2pm.
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