FeatureOwners Group

'I paid £49 for him - and now he's my second Cheltenham Festival winner'

Lewis Porteous tells the story of the syndicate behind festival hero Stage Star

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Lewis PorteousReporter
Stage Star wins the Grade 1 Turners Novices Chase  for the Owners Group
Stage Star wins the Grade 1 Turners Novices' Chase for the Owners GroupCredit: Grossick Racing

Some of the biggest owners in racing were among the winners on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival. There was Cheveley Park Stud, successful in the Ryanair Chase for the third year in a row with Envoi Allen, and JP McManus, landing the Stayers’ Hurdle for a fourth time thanks to Sire Du Berlais. And then there was the van driver from Essex who had paid a mere £49 to get in on the act with Stage Star.

Racing fanatic John Harding from Braintree never imagined he would have the financial capacity to own a racehorse, but he is living his dream thanks to the Owners Group and enjoyed the ultimate thrill when Stage Star landed the Turners Novices' Chase at the festival. 

"My throat has just recovered," says Harding, back in his van but safely parked up and ready to tell his uplifting story. "I had a right scream-up down at the last fence on the rail at Cheltenham. I was shouting so much there was a group of blokes behind me and one of them said, 'Anyone would think you owned the horse.' I said, 'Well, I have got a small share in him as it happens.'" 

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Published on 26 March 2023Last updated 18:00, 26 March 2023