Great Ormond the racehorse will run for two charities this summer

23 March 2012

The Guardian

Two-year-old colt is believed to have earned £20,000 already for Racing Welfare, which supports stable and stud staff

The burden of expectation sits heavily across the slender shoulders of all two-year-old racehorses but will be especially great this summer for one such animal, who has been donated to one charity and will, it is hoped, be earning prize money for another. Great Ormond, a little bay colt with a white stripe down his face, has already done his bit for Racing Welfare, which has leased him out for the year, and any success he enjoys on the track will benefit the children’s hospital whose name he shares.

The idea for the scheme came from his original owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, a prolific owner of racehorses on the Flat, whose colours have been carried to victory in the last two runnings of the Ayr Gold Cup. He donated the horse to Racing Welfare with the aim that they should lease him out for a suggested minimum of £20,000.

It has now been revealed that the horse will race for the billionaire Reuben Brothers, whose business interests include Northern Racing, which owns and operates 10 racecourses. Remarkably, this is believed to be their first venture into racehorse ownership.

It is the Reubens who gave Great Ormond his name, the hospital being a charity which they already support. Any prize money he should happen to win will be passed to the hospital.

In a statement made through an anonymous spokesman, the Reubens spoke of their appreciation for the work of Racing Welfare, which provides support for stable and stud staff involved in the sport. “The Reuben’s involvement in racecourse ownership gives us a first-hand understanding of just how vital stable, stud and racecourse staff are to making a day at the races possible,” the statement said.

“Through our donation to Racing Welfare, we are able to support their work on behalf of the often forgotten people in the sport. We know that working with racehorses can be a dangerous occupation and we are delighted that our support will help the significant number of stable lads and lasses who are injured each year on the gallops and in stables.”

In addition, Dr Koukash has pledged to donate to Racing Welfare a percentage of the prize money won in major races by his 80 horses this year. “I want to encourage everyone with a stake or interest in racing to get behind Racing Welfare,” he said, “as they are there for everyone in racing, irrespective of occupation or background.”

Great Ormond is trained in Newmarket by David Simcock, who won three Group One races in Britain and France last year. The horse is bred to be good, being by the stallion Zamindar, whose progeny include the unbeaten Zarkava, the winner of £2.4m in prize money before being retired in 2008. Great Ormond’s dam is Paint The Town, a daughter of Sadler’s Wells and a full sister to two Listed-class winners.