“My horse Paisley Park cost £ 60,000 but made me £ 500,000”
Did you splash?
Flying first class to Australia, which I do all the time at the moment.
How many horses do you have?
Over 20 years old, but I’m settling down a bit this year. I own two – Paisley Park and Dagueneau, named after a white wine I love – and I own a quarter of Trueshan.
What are the worst and best things you have bought?
Worst of all, the junk I picked up that I should have thrown away. I am a bit of a collector.
The best, a very expensive wine and a collection of fine malt whiskey. I have pouilly-fumé, produced by Didier Dagueneau, and I have had some very nice shows. I also have plenty of red wine in store that I can’t wait to get in: 2000 was a vintage and I still have plenty of Chateau Palmer vintages, which cost thousands of pounds for a 12-bottle case.
As for Australian wines, I still have Henschke’s Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange. I am also a member of the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society and had a 30 year old Springbank which cost £ 1,500.
How would you change the horse racing industry?
The money price in the UK is abysmal. We don’t have the funding they got in Australia with their bags [totalisator agency boards] who spend a lot more money on racing. Even Ireland has better earnings than here and in Europe. This is why many people move their horses to Ireland and France.
English bookmakers should invest more money in racing than they are. In Ireland racing is a bigger industry than here in proportional terms. We just don’t change over time. Bookies have been asked to put more money back into racing for years, but nothing has happened.
Did your play last into adulthood?
Yes. I got a nice tip in 2014 and won £ 20,000 on the Melbourne Cup Protectionist winner. German trained, her profile was good and top jockey Ryan Moore rode her. I backed him at various odds a few weeks ago so I had some decent odds. The risk with this is that if it doesn’t work, you are wasting your money.
I also lost money betting on horses, but never much. Some days I don’t bet at all. If I really want something, I’ll give it a try. I would bet £ 1,000 but only very occasionally. Overall I win a bit – but a player will always tell you, right?