Jason Fildes reflects on the success of Sermon, a three- year-old grey yearling that had a recent win in what was his final race for Highclere’s northern syndicate
When we started the ‘Northern Division’ of Highclere in September 2018, the first horse we bought was Sermon, a striking iron grey yearling, sired by Dark Angel.
He went into training at Tom Dascombe’s Manor House stables at Cholmondeley in Cheshire, a wonderful converted farm in the sprawling Cheshire countryside owned by ex-footballer Michael Owen with Tom installed as a resident trainer.
It was the first time Highclere have had a horse in training there, so it was brand new for everyone! When we launched the syndicate for owners to buy shares in him, there was plenty of interest and they were snapped up quickly.
Sermon made his racecourse debut at Haydock on 6th June 2019, finishing third in a good novice race in front of a very excited, large group of owners – we took a box for the day! Since then he has run 14 more times with an amazingly consistent race record of two wins, five 2nds, three 3rds, two 4ths, two 5ths and a 7th. The seventh was in a £148k race at York with 21 runners during the Ebor Festival, for which he earned £7,380 – another terrific day out!
He has been a wonderful horse to own, always trying his best every time he runs. We have also seen him on many occasions at the gallops at Manor House stables, occasionally ridden by the Ribble Valley’s own Poppy Fielding. His final run for Highclere was at Wolverhampton, with everyone watching on TV and on a Zoom call too – and, brilliantly, he won, adding another £9k to his career winnings.
As with all Highclere flat racing syndicates he is to be sold at the Horses in Training sale at Tattersalls at the end of his second year. Only three years old, he will be going through the sales ring around the time this article is published – we know an owner based in Qatar is keen to buy him so we’ll see what happens but, whoever is lucky enough to own him will be guaranteed many fabulous days ahead!
Highclere – Jason Fildes