Emotional Cheltenham win for Dublin racing syndicate

by Rose Barrett
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The National Hunt season kicked off on October 21 at Cheltenham, and therein Irish voices were raised when 10/1 Seddon romped home. 

Owned by the Galaxy Horseracing Syndicate, most of whom are based in North Dublin and a few living in the UK, members were ecstatic when the gelding was led into the No 1 spot in the parade ring. 

Derek McGeehan, Balbriggan and Johnny Maher from Swords are founder members of the syndicate, and they described the jubilation when the John McConnell trained Seddon passed the final post. 

“We are not a group with a background or experience in horse racing. We’re a mix of professionals and buddies who just love horse racing! We combine a few sales-persons, two chefs, sales people, a pro golfer, accountant, solicitor, etc. We had tears before and after the race!” 

Derek added: “Seddon just flew around, he couldn’t have run any better – winning by 6l to the second and then 10l to the third horse. In the capable hands of Ben Harvey, he just romped home, the racing commentator described him as ‘being in a league of his own!’ 

“And there’s no place like Cheltenham for the Irish. Many of us have been going to Cheltenham as spectators, I went in 1996 and have come back every year since for the March Festival, there’s nowhere like it, the Irish connection is so strong!” 

Members and connections of Seddon, owned by the Galaxy Horseracing Syndicate. Ridden by Ben Harvey and trained by John McConnel

He continued: “We’re all friends in the syndicate, and winning the Abu Dhabi Digital Exchange Handicap Hurdle was just brilliant. Credit has to go to trainer John McConnell and to the McNeill family who sold us the horse a few months ago. 

“They were there to see the win and delighted for us! John will run the gelding again here on Saturday, November 12, with a view to racing him at the March Festival next year. That’s the end goal!” 

Seddon is the syndicate’s 17 winner but notably, their first jump horse and first jump winner. 

“He finished second in his race at Cartmel over fences, and a very promising third over hurdles but the trip was too short for him. John told us in advance of Cheltenham that he expected Seddon to be still on the bridle coming down the hill – and Seddon did not let him down!” added Derek. 

He noted the syndicate was indebted to trainer John McConnell and Amy Crook for their exceptional skills and care of Seddon. 

“We have had some journey since our fist winner, Mokhalad who went on to win seven races. The welfare of our horses is our number one priority. We have four horses in training at the moment, many have been retired and rehomed and two were sold. We make sure they are well cared for.” 

But for now, it’s Saturday, November 12 the syndicate looks to, and off to Cheltenham they go again with Seddon, with an eye on the real cherry – Cheltenham March Festival 2023!

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