We are delighted to bring you – The BIG Interview with URSA Major Racing, a racing syndicate. Today we talk to Syndicate Racing Manager – Craig Talbot.
Craig has plenty of experience in accounts so runs the Syndicate on a tight budget. He is always looking for a star, who is out of this world!
Craig tells us about his love of racing, the reason he formed URSA Major, How the Syndicate was named & a horse from the Syndicate to keep an eye on….
Can you tell me what was your first memory of horse racing?
It was watching Hors La Loi III winning at Cheltenham and I caught the bug right there and then. A real smasher of a horse and Cheltenham just made me fall in love with the game.
Had you been involved in Racing prior to URSA Major?
Yes I had been involved in another racing club that I won’t name. I have an accounts background and thought the figures weren’t adding up quite right so it was one of the reasons I set up Ursa – to make shared ownership affordable to more people.
When was Ursa Major set up & Why?
It was set up by a small group of us who had become friends following the sport and enjoying a bet. I emailed a large number of trainers and only two came back to me – one of them was Mark Walford, who has gone on to become our principal trainer and he has sent out 21 of our 29 winners.
It just felt like a natural step to share the joy of ownership with friends and like minded individuals and it has grown quite quickly these last four years.
Can you explain how the Name came about – URSA Major?
It’s to do with a tipping service called Teddy’s Tips I was involved in. Teddy Bear is to do with the constellation and on that theme we came up with Ursa Major.
When did URSA Major purchase the first horse & when was the first runner?
It was Cape Hideaway who won on his first start for us at Doncaster. Mark agreed to source us a horse and we partnered with him. It was a magical day back in March 2018 and a lucky race for us as Ghadbbaan won it again for us this year. Look out 2023!
What does URSA Major look for when purchasing a horse?
I look for value first of all and something that can get owners to the track plenty of times, because that is what we are all about. I then try and match the horse to a trainer I think can progress it. We have a fantastic team of trainers now – Mark, Rebecca Menzies, Grant Tuer, Katie Scott, Ewan Whillans and Mike Murphy and Michael Keady.
With the younger horses I look at the pedigree, the model of horse and I like to get out at the sales and take a real look at its neck and behind.
How many horses do you have in training?
We have 22 in training at the moment, Candescence who has been retired who we are going to breed from and then I also have two foals – exciting times ahead!
If URSA Major could win any race, what would it be & Why?
Without a doubt the Cheltenham Gold Cup. I just love Cheltenham, it means a lot to me.
Can you tell us about the benefits of joining URSA Major….
It’s easy to say, but it really is a family atmosphere. There’s around 170 owners involved now and we all have chats going on in WhatsApp and Telegram and love meeting at the races.
We run at very, very close to cost price and everyone is welcome. We have update daily, be it pictures, videos or voice notes. We have in-house competitions, stable visits, merchandise, twice-yearly meet ups and so much fun.
But most importantly we help each other out. If anyone has a problem, there’s almost certainly someone who can support you. We have come together through our love of the racehorse and many lifelong friendships have been formed.
To find out any information on URSA Major – https://www.ursamajorracing.com/
And finally, do you have a horse for our readers to follow please….
I would say Carrarea, but he has had a slight set back so I am going to say keep an eye on Cabinet Maker when he goes over hurdles. Fenna’s Loss is also coming back to his best.
We would like to thank Craig for his time, Andrew for making this interview possible & to the rest of the Syndicate all the best for the future, may all your stars shine bright…
An AOLR Production – Published : December 2022