Damn, blast and botheration, dear reader, if our cunning horse acquisition plan wasn't likely scuppered at Brighton yesterday.
Julia had her eye on a certain beastie that she reckoned would make a cracking all weather / hurdling prospect, and would go well on the turf. I'd looked at its form, and personally had reservations due to apparently regressive form.
Well, the long and short of it is that this is why Julia is a trainer and I write a blog. Rough Sketch duly dotted up at 7/1 in the second time blinkers. He clearly appreciated being dropped in and running over the shorter trip of 1m4f. It's quite likely now that we'll not be able to afford him, as his price will increase markedly as a result of this win.
No matter, for Julia and I have constructed a shortlist of around twenty horses, and our trainer is ringing her contacts to make sure they're all sound and have ability. We're most likely to get a 'cast off' from one of the Sheikh's blue blook operations.
Julia has done really well with these types in the past and - while they probably get 'trained' by the spotty teenager 4th assistant trainer at a yard like, for instance, John Gosden's, they'll get A Grade attention at Julia's Harraton stables (to which shareholders will be able to visit later in the year).
I'm getting really excited about this opportunity, and it'll be fantastic fun to have 47 fellow Geegeez enthusiasts on board. 47? Yes, because myself, Gavin from Nag-Nag-Nag, and Julia herself have all taken - and paid for! - shares.
When I was talking to Julia earlier about how to fill in some of the registration forms (there are lots!), we were reminiscing about some of the horses I've had shares in with her previously. The likes of Rapid City, Night Orbit (currently) and Love's Design were all multiple winners, and gave me and others such amazing enjoyment. I will never forget the day 'Lover' won his first race for us. It was at Lingfield in a lowly seller, but that didn't matter to us. You could have heard the 'oi oi's' for miles around. This was us in the director's lounge drinking champagne afterwards.
And this was the day Gavin and I had our dreams come true when the legendary Kieran Fallon rode Lover. Just awesome! (It was also the last time I was photographed in a suit!)
I'm also really pleased that so many of you have 'put your money where your mouth is', in terms of saying you were interested and now proffering the required funds.
Another 11 shares gone since yesterday means there's just 14 left. Like I said, I'll hold the doors until the weekend for those who can present the requisite Â£575, and then I'll open up to three-pay options (i.e. 3 payments of Â£200 + VAT).
Now, I've been asked the same questions a few times, so it makes sense to put the answers here:
Q. Matt, do I really only have to pay Â£575? What other charges are there?
A. Yes, Â£575 (Â£500 + VAT) guarantees you a 2% stake in our club horse, and all prize monies / sale revenues achieved. This includes the cost of the horse and all stabling, feeding, training, race entries, jockey fees, transport to the course, farriers' bills, and routine veterinary care. The only thing that is not covered is if the horse were to require a major operation, e.g. colic or some such. We'd be seriously unlucky if this occured, but it could happen.
At the end of the year, we'll take a view and either sell the horse or retain for another year, with further costs associated with that option. However, no member is honourbound to invest any more than this once off Â£575.
Q. How much can I expect to make from this?
A. You should expect to make nothing! Of course, it's likely we'll win some prizeÂ money, and there will be betting days as well. But horses generally don't win, so it would be churlish of me not to manage your expectations around that.
However, what I can guarantee is some fantastic days out; meeting lots of like-minded individuals; a couple of my premium products gratis (not Laying System, I'm afraid); and other bits and bobs to boot (see this page for full details).
Q. What are your bank details?
A. I wasn't sure whether there would be any issues with publishing these, which is why I haven't done previously. But for the sake of expediency, if you wish to pay by bank transfer, use the following information:
Account Name: Summum Bonum Ltd
Sort Code: 543003
Account Number: 32609132
Should you need the IBAN, it is GB14NWBK54300332609132.
Please remember to include your name as a reference, so I know who you are, and also email me at email@example.com to tell me to look out for your transfer.
Q. How can I pay?
A. You can either use the bank details above to transfer funds, or you may get involved via PayPal. Click the button below to take this route. It's quicker and much more likely to get you into the gang.
There are just 14 shares left which is brilliant. So if you're thinking about it, I'd encourage you not to ponder too long...!