Highclere’s Jason Files reflects on the success of a small new northern syndicate, formed following the acquisition of Evander, a winning point-to-pointer from Ireland
Having had plenty of success with our flat horses last summer, I have been asked by a number of people if Highclere owns any hurdlers or chasers. We do, but only a few – and they are trained in the south of England.
Encouraged by local enthusiasm, we asked up and coming trainer, Oliver Greenall to look out for a suitable horse for us here in the north and he found Evander, a winning point-to-pointer from Ireland, at the Doncaster sales for £30k.
We formed a small syndicate as Oliver wanted to keep a leg in Evander for himself – I think it’s always an encouraging sign when the trainer wants to own some of the horse himself! Evander had his first run at Ludlow in October finishing a very creditable second and has since run four more times, thrillingly winning twice.
We have formed a really fun-loving group of owners and there was a big turnout and lively celebrations, when he won at Sedgefield under champion jockey elect Brian Hughes!
It is very rewarding when one supports a young trainer. Oliver started training in September 2016 at Stockton Hall Farm, Malpas with 15 horses and has now expanded, having 35 horses in training all year round. He had 14 winners in his first year, then 15 and then 20 last year. The farm is in a beautiful, quiet location, which is perfect for training thoroughbreds, with two all-weather gallops, 300 acres of grassland and woodland to exercise and enjoy, streams to cool off in and with plenty of turnout, the horses can be relaxed in natural surroundings.
The staff are a really enthusiastic young team, who absolutely love the horses and go over and above to ensure their wellbeing, which shows in the results. Evander has been their flagship horse this season and it’s a great pleasure that his success is so important to them. If all goes well, we will be looking to have another horse with Oliver next season.
Evander’s next run will probably be at Haydock Park on Wednesday 18th March.
Highclere – Jason Fildes