Mirage makes a happy ending for Goodwood racehorse owners

Frankie Dettori with GROG racing manager Gail Brown and GROG members after Goodwood Mirage's home-track victory  Picture by Malcolm Wells 131663-6420
Frankie Dettori with GROG racing manager Gail Brown and GROG members after Goodwood Mirage's home-track victory Picture by Malcolm Wells 131663-6420

GOODWOOD’S group of racehorse owners are celebrating the successful sale of their latest star – and looking forward to seeing a new one arrive in the fold.

The Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group (GROG) have two horses at any one time, overseeing their development and racing careers for two years before they are sold.

And the end of their latest scheme shows just what can be achieved if a horse that comes under their wing does well.

Goodwood Mirage was bought for GROG by expert Richard Frisby at Tattersall’s two years ago. The Jeremy colt graced the ring with his presence again – but this time he sold for 380,000 guineas, compared to the 27,000 guineas he cost GROG in 2011.

The 99-rated horse had a host of admirers, including Alastair Donald and Paul Moroney.

However, bidding developed into a head-to-head between Harold Kirk, acting on behalf of Willie Mullins, and Guy Upton, assistant trainer to Jonjo O’Neill – with Upton landing the final blow.

It is no surprise Goodwood Mirage generated such huge interest from the jumping brigade with Jeremy having sired a host of talented jumpers, headed by last season’s runaway Triumph Hurdle winner and leading Champion Hurdle hope, Our Conor.

“He’s for an existing owner,” said O’Neill.

“He was the pick of the sale – a lovely horse that has the scope and physique to jump a hurdle. The sire is obviously making quite an impact with his jumpers at present. We will get him home before making a decision, but we won’t rush him.”

Gail Brown, racing manager for GROG, said trainer William Knight, who took on the group’s horses after John Dunlop retired a year ago, had brought on Goodwood Mirage nicely this season – and said his win at one of Goodwood’s June Friday nights was a real highlight of the runner’s spell with the group.

The sale was the biggest yet for GROG, which has been in operation for 20 years.

GROG’s next cycle has already begun with Frisby once again purchasing a new recruit in the shape of an Azamour colt, picked up for 36,000 guineas.

Shares are still available for GROG’s 21st scheme. Anyone interested should visit www.goodwood.co.uk/horse-racing/racehorse-ownership/ownership.aspx or call 01243 755022.