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  • Writer's pictureJo O'Neill

An Interview with Top Owner Sir Martin Broughton

Sir Martin Broughton has been involved with racehorse ownership for 29 years. His red and green colours are carried by horses of which he ideally retains a 50% share and then five ‘Friends’ who have 10% each. The ‘& Friends’ are virtually all friends, either Sir Martin’s or his twin brother’s Steve. Steve owns 10% of all the horses. A few of the “friends” were introduced by other “friends”.

At the moment, Sir Martin currently runs eleven syndicates in their colours, mostly “& Friends” but a couple as “Martin Broughton Racing Partners”. He also has a minority share in four partnerships run by Cherry Jones and one with Robert Waley-Cohen.

In the past, their horses included the flag-bearer Dodging Bullets, trained by Paul Nicholls, who won eight races including the 2014 Tingle Creek, the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot in which he beat Sprinter Sacre and the Champion Case at the 2015 Festival. Their first Festival winner was Taquin du Seuil who won nine races, including the JLT at the 2014 Festival under an amazingly determined ride from AP McCoy and the 2016 Bet Victor Gold Cup at Cheltenham under Aidan Coleman. Taquin du Seuil was also their first Grade 1 winner when winning the Challow Hurdle at Newbury in 2012. Capitaine can proudly boast to being Paul Nicholls’ 3000th winner as a trainer when winning a handicap hurdle at Taunton in February 2019.

More recently, Grand Sancy won the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, Quel Destin won the 2018 Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow and Django Django won the 2019 Stayers Hurdle Series Final at Haydock. Back in 2010, Ringaroses won a hurdle race at Aintree in April, also under AP.

Sir and Lady Broughton lead in Taquin du Seuil

Photo Credit: Jackie Kingdom

Sir Martin was knighted in the 2011 New Year Honours List for services to business. He and Lady Jocelyn live in Oxted, Surrey and have a daughter Gemma, living in Long Island, New York with husband, Seb, and daughters Charlotte (13) and Annabelle (10). Their son, Michael, lives in Hampton, London with wife, Flo, son Charlie (9) and daughter, Sienna (6).

How did you get into ownership?

It all started with the game Totopoly when we were about eleven...and progressed with a friend asking me to join his syndicate in 1991.

What was the inspiration behind the design of your racing colours?

Jocelyn’s father, Charles, owned a couple of racehorses in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where he was a steward at Borrowdale Racecourse in Salisbury (now Harare). His colours were red with green sleeves and a red cap. We tried to get the same here but they were already taken so we added the Cross of Lorraine.

What was the first racehorse you owned?

The first was a grey called Grouseman (see above) and the first in our own colours was Easthorpe who won 15 races for us. Both were trained by Henrietta Knight.

Dodging Bullets

Photo Credit: Great British Racing

Do you prefer Flat or National Hunt?

National Hunt. I do follow the flat but nowhere near as closely as NH.

Which horses do you own for this season?

We have 7 in our colours with Paul Nicholls. They are Grand Sancy (rated 152), Quel Destin (155), Enrilo (140), Sir Psycho (146) and Hell Red plus 2 unraced horses, Lyons (aged 4), and Henri The Second (aged 3). We have four with Jonjo O’Neill: Quarenta (137), Django (137), Arrivederci (128) and the as yet unraced Fast Getaway. We also have a share in 4 with Cherry Jones which are Rose To Fame (rated 116) and Inca Rose with Kim Bailey plus the unraced Peking Rose with Fergal O’Brien and Rose O’Hara with Jamie Snowden. Additionally, we have a share in The Young Master (144) trained by Neil Mulholland.

Hell Red winning at Chepstow

Photo Credit: Chepstow Racecourse

Which racehorses have been your favourites?

Our early favourites were Easthorpe and Zaffamore, but our overall favourites would be our best two, Dodging Bullets and Taquin Du Seuil.

Is there any racehorse you would love to own?

Best Mate is the one I wanted to own. We watched him in his first Irish point-to-point when he was pulled up half way round but he stood out so much in the paddock that I made a £50,000 bid for him anyway. Unfortunately, the bid was rejected

What is your favourite racecourse?

Sandown has always been my favourite course as being local and puts on good quality NH and Flat racing; Cheltenham is the course that gives the biggest buzz (and we’ve had more runners there than anywhere else). Amongst the others Ludlow and Wincanton have been our luckiest courses in terms of winners.

Taquin du Seuil winning the JLT

Photo Credit: Jennifer O'Sullivan Photography

Which racecourse looks after owners the best?

Cheltenham (since the Princess Royal stand was built) and Doncaster because the warm, friendly owner’s facility overlooks the racecourse.

What is your favourite race meeting?

Cheltenham Festival, Aintree (first two days) Festival, Cheltenham November meeting in that order.

What has been your most favourite day’s racing?

Dodging Bullets winning the Champion Chase (March 2015) and Taquin du Seuil winning the JLT (March 2014).

Who is your favourite jockey(s)?

Mick Fitzgerald rode eight winners for us in thirty rides early in our ownership lives and “told it like it is”, which we greatly respected. AP McCoy was the greatest and rode more winners for us than anyone else so far (nineteen from fifty rides). Now we have the two most promising jockeys around riding for us in Harry Cobden and Jonjo Jnr O’Neill.

Who do you admire in racing?

The National Hunt Jockeys. I don’t know how they do it, taking the injuries like they were nothing at all. The stable staff who love their charges and do it for a pittance.

What, generally, does racing do well?

Putting on a great show and placing horse welfare high on its agenda.

How could racing be improved?

By recognising that without owners there is no show and treating them accordingly, which some racecourses don’t do. By pursuing overseas betting jurisdictions to pay for racing data rather than allowing them to profit parasitically.

Arrivederci winning at Wincanton, January 2019

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