A financial adviser's five-year old sprinter has won the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot yesterday.
Oxted, part owned by Homecroft Wealth's Steve Piper, beat 4-1 odds at yesterday's (June 15) event. The prize money is £198,485.
Piper told FTAdviser he was hopeful he would win but it was nevertheless ‘quite spectacular’ for a small breeder to produce an Ascot winner.
“We knew we had a big chance, we knew it was in very good form and that if the race was run a certain way we had a big chance,” he said.
Oxted is two-thirds owned by Homecroft Wealth Racing, of which Piper is a shareholder, and a third by Fishdance.
The horse was trained by Roger Teal and the jockey was Cieren Fallon, son of Kieren, the six-times British champion jockey.
Homecroft Wealth Racing bred the horse, whose mare also raced for Homecroft but an injury curtailed her career. Piper said: “We decided to keep her and breed from her, and the rest is history.”
Oxted was gelded early on in his life, after a suggestion by one of the owners that it might make him easier to train.
“He probably wouldn't be the racehorse he is now if we hadn’t gelded him," Piper said.
“I feel in some ways blessed because the truth of the matter is, had he not been gelded and won the race last year [the July cup], we’d have almost certainly sold him.
“And now because the only value to us is that he continues to race, we will race him and try to win prize money. All he can do now as a gelding is be treated like a god and we’ll race him when we can.”
The adviser added: “To be honest, it’s my hobby, and it’s a dream really."
Piper hopes to get "several more years" out of Oxted but said: “You never know with sprinters, there’s an awful lot of stress put on racehorses.
“One thing is for sure, if he ever shows that he's not enjoying [racing], he’s earnt the right to be retired and live happily ever after. We just hope he stays fit and well.”