Become a Hide and Seeker to take part in the sport of kings

By Carole Dennett Sep 19, 2020

Islanders who enjoy horse racing will have missed being able to attend the sport in person over recent months. Although televised racing resumed on June 1, the first major sport to do so, it is currently still being held behind closed doors, with members of the public unable to attend events due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Now there is an alternative way to play a role in the ‘Sport of Kings’, with an Island racehorse syndicate being set up to lease a 2-year-old colt, Robert Hooke from Shorwell resident, Patricia ‘Mary’ Ignarski. In the past Mary’s horses have gone to trainers such as Harry Dunlop, Paul Cole and James Given and raced at Newbury, Royal Ascot and various Irish tracks.

Robert Hooke was sired by French Fifteen, best known for coming a close second to Camelot in the Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket in 2012. He is named in honour of the famous Island-born scientist who was first to visualise microorganisms and also gave his name to the law of elasticity. The horse will shortly enter training with David Menuisier in Pulborough, West Sussex, an international Group 1 winning trainer with wins in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Australia under his belt.

Leasing is an increasingly popular way to take part in racing as it avoids the upfront expense of buying a horse. During the term of the lease the horse runs in club colours and any prize money won is divided between syndicate members. The Hide and Seekers syndicate will be limited to 16 shares with each member paying £150 per month in return for a 6.25 per cent share of the leased horse. The group is due to start next month (October), with lessees signing up for an initial period of one year, which is planned to be renewable.

The colt is currently still in pre-training at Red Kite Stud near Fordingbridge, owner Lorraine Fraser said: “This time of year we have the bonus of harvest so he has been able to be ridden in the stubble fields and learn to balance himself on undulating ground. This is great for his muscle tone and his mind. He really enjoys his work and David really likes him. David rides seven lots a day for Richard Hannon so knows his young horses and if he likes something you know you are on the right track!”

If you would like to find out more contact Mary on