BILLIONAIRES David and Simon Reuben have dipped their toes into racehorse ownership for the first time with a two-year-old in training with David Simcock.
In a charity venture initiated by Dr Marwan Koukash on behalf of Racing Welfare, the brothers, who own Notthern Racing and are in the process of adding Arena Leisure to their portfolio, have bought a Zamindar colt for a year.
The Reuben brothers, who were recently ranked the second wealthiest people in the UK by Forbes magazine with an estimated fortune of £6 billion, have paid £20,000 to Racing Welfare to own the colt for 2012 and Koukash will pay the training fees and other expenses. The brothers have registered the name Great Ormond and will donate any winnings to the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
A spokesman for the Reuben Foundation said: “The Reubens’ 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.
“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 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.”
Racing Welfare chairman Roger Weatherby was thrilled to have attracted such big names and said: ‘We are delighted to be a part of the Reuben Foundation’s first foray into racehorse ownership. Racing Welfare is indebted to the generosity of Marwan Koukash and the Reuben Foundation.”
Koukash, who is already donating to Racing Welfare a percentage of any prize-money from his winners in Listed, Group races and heritage handicaps, is equally pleased that the Reubens have taken his colt for a year and he hopes it will encourage others to support Racing Welfare.
He said: “I was looking for somebody to come in with £20,000 or so and I’m delighted that the Reuben brothers, who are not directly involved in ownership but are from within the racing industry, have come in with their support.
“I intend to do it again later this year and I want my involvement to encourage others. The sport is rich enough to look after its own and it would be nice if others came in so that between us we could perhaps offer five or ten yearlings for Racing Welfare.”
Simcock likes Great Ormond and sees no reason he should not win at two. He said: “He’s very natural and I couldn’t be happier with him. I expect he will start at seven furlongs, possibly six.”