As part of the Galaxy horse racing project, we decided to acquire and syndicate a horse. The decision to get a horse was the brainchild of Galaxy Horse Racing social media manager Johnny Maher. The idea was a simple one find a horse offer shares to website members and like minded people. Johnny had met Damian English at Naas races years earlier. Johnny was very impressed with Damian English. Johnny contacted Damian English explained his concept . Damian English said he had just the horse! The horse was Mokhalad.Johnny Maher had his work cut out to convince myself (Derek McGeehan) that this was a good idea. Johnny Maher and indeed Derek McGeehan had both had disappointing experiences with syndicate horses. Johnny Maher was convinced Mokhalad and Damian English were the ideal pairing. Mokhalad prior to this was owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and was trained by Sir Michael Stoute. Mokhalad is exceptionally well bred his sire is Dubawi, his dam is Model Queen (whose father is the brilliant Kingmambo)
Mokhalad as a yearling cost the below
£525,000 Yearling, Tattersalls, October Book 1 (2014)
£15,225 Horse-in-Training, Tattersalls, July (2017)
Mokhalad you are not reading incorrectly cost £525,000 sterling as a foal. After a long meeting in Beaverstown golf club Maher convinced McGeehan to go to meet Damian English and Mokhalad. All parties got on great from the start with the Galaxy boys gelling very well with Damian English from the outset. Once Johnny Maher and Derek McGeehan saw Mokhalad there was no going back we had to have Mokhalad. The start was like a whirlwind we started selling shares on a Sunday. Mokhalad ran the following Friday. We did not have colours for the first race so used the yards. The first race did not go well a last place finish beaten by twenty lengths on 22-9-2017 at Dundalk. The colours were selected by Maher and McGeehan. They were black and green chevrons with a green cap with a black star.
The next run came at Leopardstown on 28-10-17 at Leopardstown. This was an incredible experience to have a runner at Leopardstown was brilliant. Mokhalad ran a blinder to finish sixth of seventeen finishing very strongly having been badly hampered. Mokhalad showed us he had it that day. Two visits to Dundalk followed a fourth and third place finish on 3-11-17 and 10-11-17. They were two excellent runs earning prize money. Mokhalad then tried a step up in trip we ran into Clear Skies who is a serious horse. Mokhalad tried six furlongs on 6-12-17. Mokhalad was well beaten.It was clear that Mokhalad to go for a seven furlong race . The key moment came at Dundalk on 15-12-17. Mokhalad worked exceptionally well before racing under Rory Cleary. We knew Mokhalad was very well all roads pointed to a seven furlongs race at Dundalk on 21-12-17. A 0-70 handicap.We were very hopeful going into the race. Mokhalad was very well backed from 25/1 to 10/1 winning by a head from Guanabara Bay. It was an incredible night. There were tears, cheers , hugs and delirium. We celebrated long into the night at the local pub of Damian English in Balscadden
The syndicate experience for Galaxy Horse Racing has been a really positive experience. There have been many friends made and much fun had already. The trainer Damian English is brilliant to deal with.The yard are open and accommodating. The policy of Grougha stables is Mokhalad is your horse please come and visit him. We visit Mokhalad a lot. The result is an incredible team spirit between the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate and all the staff at Grougha stables. We could not recommend Damian English highly enough if you are looking for a trainer. Damian English is your man. I have no doubts Galaxy Horse Racing will have another horse with Damian English in the near future. Our journey with Mokhalad is a bit of cinderella story, however with organization and hard work syndicates can work. I am very grateful for Johnny Mahers persistence with the Mokhalad project. If you would like to be involved in the Galaxy Horse Racing syndicate drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our syndicate horse gave us one of the great nights at Navan Monday night 23-4-18. Mokhalad had been showing us a bit in the last few weeks since the weather has improved. We always felt Mokhalad would be a better horse on turf, it was wonderful to see that view vindicated. Mokhalad also needs a strong pace to run at.It was a great training and placement performance from Damian English. Mokhalad showed a tremendous turn of foot. This result opens up many options for Mokhalad over 5 furlongs, 6 furlongs and 7 furlongs. I think for ourselves it was an incredible night to win at a track on the stature of Navan beating the class of horses we did, for us was fantastic. We only have Mokhalad since 22-9-17. Sean Davis gave Mokhalad a tremendous ride, however, the development of Mokhalad has seen Rory Cleary play a major role. We cant thank Rory enough who is a tremendous man and jockey.
The night was of course filled with laughter and fun as much of the syndicate retired to Mokhalad and Damian's local pub in Balscadden. We, of course, had some nice bets which were most welcome obviously. The road ahead is there for Mokhalad, we know we have to do as the handicapper gave Mokhalad a 9-pound hike now to a rating of 80. The ambition to go for premier handicaps is there for us and we have many options due to Mokhald's versatility.Mokhalad has come out of the race really well despite suffering a nosebleed. We are so proud of Mokhalad and look forward to seeing what he does next. As always I must thank Johnny Maher who is the prime mover and co-founder of the Galaxy horse racing syndicate. Johnny another great day thank you.
The Video Of Mokhalads win can be viewed here:
The Report from Irish Racing is below:
Mokhalad sprang a 20/1 surprise in the Slane Handicap, keeping on best inside the final furlong to score under Sean Davis for Damian English and the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. Successful at Dundalk in December, the son of Dubawi failed to follow-up in five starts since and was well-beaten on his most recent outing on heavy ground earlier this month.Back in trip today he was settled in mid-division and was ridden to challenge in fourth over a furlong out.He really flew home inside the final furlong, getting to the front in the closing stages, going on to score by three parts of a length.Amanaat(25/1) ran well to finish second under Killian Leonard for James McAuley, while the 4/1favourite (from 11/2 on-course) G-Force was doing his best work toward the finish, eventually come home another length back in third under Shane Crosse for Adrian Keatly."He's a lovely horse, I really like him," said English."I started him off over a mile-and-a-half but he was a shell then and he's a tank of a horse now."He's just got quicker and quicker. I wasn't disappointed with his run last time as I put it down to him not staying."He has plenty of options now over five, six and seven. We'll see what the handicapper does now and we might target some of the premier handicaps at the back end."
Update: Mokhalad wins at Naas 13-4-19
Saturday, There is only one place to start Naas where Mokhalad was in action. It was a brilliant day for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. Mokhalad our captain, our leader and the horse we owe everything to delivered for us at Naas. Mokhalad went into the race on a high having run very well at Navan last time out finishing second. We were very hopeful he could win. Mokhalad produced a performance out of the top drawer. The ground had dried out quite a bit, it was probably as quick as Mokhalad would want it to be fair. Mokhalad we knew would be unable to dominate the early exchanges as he had at Navan.
Damian told Donagh O'Connor to ride Mokhalad with loads of confidence and wait until inside the last furlong using Mokhalad's turn of foot. It was great to give Donagh the winner he now loses his five-pound claim. Donagh was also Mokhalad's first ever jockey. Damian English has been trainingMokhalad for speed since he came back into him in February. Stanhope has played his part in this process with Mokhalad enjoying taking Stanhope on at home. Mokhalad arrived on the scene at the furlong pole Donagh andMokhalad surged through the gap and the rest is history. Donagh O'Connor gave Mokhalad a peach. Mokhalad has now won three times for us taking us on a journey which has been remarkable. Mokhalad is very happy in himself, we could not be more proud of him. Mokhalad has secured his place at the top of the tree yet again. Our other three syndicate horses (Alfirak, Stanhope and Trading Point) have a lot to live up to over the next few weeks as the King (Mokhalad) is not ready to hand over his crown Galaxy crown to anybody just yet. Mokhalad as always got plenty of good wishes after the race he has built up a loyal following. We are grateful for all the good wishes before as well as after the race they mean a lot to us, thank you all. Mokhalad will head for Naas next with the race he won at Navan having been switched to Naas this year. We would need a bit of rain. Damian, the team and the syndicate will wait for the right conditions ground wise with Galway still the main target forMokhalad. It is always hard not to get emotional about Mokhalad because of his status in the syndicate's eyes, this was a really great day. We have our horse well and truly back.
The below is Damians quotes from Irish Racing
He ran a blinder in Navan the last day and we were thinking of going back to Navan but this race came up and it looked an ideal opportunity. Donagh gave him an absolute peach. He didn’t travel as well as he did the last day, and the ground was probably a little bit livelier today. He was third in Galway last year and we are going to try and get back there this year.
Mokhalad Wins at Naas 29-4-19
Mokhalad at Naas. It was the night before Punchestown, however, our gaze was firmly fixed on Naas. As our pride and joy, Mokhalad went in the 550 at Naas. It was another night on the road for the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. We were strongly in attendance to get behind our captains banner at Naas. Mokhalad was bidding to continue his already remarkable season. We were looking forward to seeing Mokhalad in action at Naas, a very competitive race however despite 24 runners. Mokhalad was the favorite. As long as we get him home in one piece, everything else will be a bonus was the attitude beforehand. He has been electric so far this season 212 in 3 races. This is the major change in Mokhalad this season he is putting a sequence of runs together. Mokhalad's confidence is really up his coat has come on beautifully from Naas to Tipperary. A sign he is very healthy. We were delighted with how Mokhalad ran in Tipperary. The winner Hathiq was very good on the night. Naas would suit Mokhalad far better in our view, the ground had come right. Mokhalad had a good draw. Although it was very competitive we thought Mokhalad deserved to be favorite, Shane Foley was keen to run provided Mokhalad was A1 after the race in Tipperary Shane kept the ride. Mokhalad had done well since Tipperary he was ready to roll, we were hopeful he could produce another bit of Mokhalad magic.
What happened next was a day we will never forget as Mokhalad pulverized the opposition with a destructive display of speed and class powering to a brilliant win. I could hardly believe my eyes through the binoculars as Mokhalad put his head down, bounding clear. The market saw Mokhalad backed from 13/2 to 10/3 early in the day. Mokhalad was then punted on track from 10/3 into 11/8 touching 5/4 at one point!!
Sometimes there just are no words. Our captain, leader and icon Mokhalad delivered yet again. This golden run for Mokhalad continued with a blitz of a display at Naas last night. Mokhalad put his rivals to bed in tremendous fashion running out a very comfortable winner. Of course, we had the best of the draw but you have to make use of it. Credit has to go to Shane Foley who was very confident Damian and the team have got Mokhalad rolling it's been a great job, we will have a look at things now and plan from that point. Mokhalad is the horse of a lifetime we are so grateful to him.
Damian's post-race quotes are below
"That was impressive. The run the last day was very good, considering it's a very quick five in Tipperary. He came out of it grand so we said we'd let him take his chance. Shane was saying that he appreciates that little give in the ground. We might just give him a little break now, a couple of weeks off, and have a look at what is coming up later in the summer. Six is his trip, he does get seven so we have options, but he just needs a little bit of give in the ground and good to yielding is ideal. We'll wait and see what the weathers does and pick something out again. We'd hope to get to a premier handicap at some stages along the line. If he could do that at the Curragh in one of the big handicaps we'd be laughing.
I have said it before numerous times about how important Mokhalad is to us. Mokhalad did not need to do anything else to elevate his status in our eyes. He came into the season with some questions to answer, however as a group we always felt with a break and the right conditions. The flame burned brightly still. Mokhalad had got his ground conditions twice last season at Navan (won) and Galway (placed) Mokhalad has had his conditions in his last four runs 2121. The handicapper has had his say rightly so, Mokhalad has been raised 17 pounds since the start of the season. Mokhalad has now won over €55,000 euros and the syndicate €103,00. There has been huge excitement about Alfirak, Stanhope and Trading Point at various stages. However, Mokhalad remains our flagship, our standard bearer he is the benchmark for all our other horses to follow. We know how lucky we are to have Mokhalad we treasure every day with him. The joy he has brought has been incredible. These truly are the days of our lives we intend to keep enjoying them for as long as we can.
Mokhalad Magic Lights Up Bellewstown 3-7-19
It was to prove to be an incredible night for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. Our leader, captain and banner carrier Mokhalad bounced into action at Bellewstown. We traveled in large numbers ourselves to get behind Mokhalad. He gets great support locally it was a chance for people who like him and back him to see him race in the flesh. It was a valuable race with 12 grand to the winner. We were delighted to support the four-day festival at Bellewstown. Mokhalad has already had a golden 2019 winning twice and finishing second twice. We stepped Mokhalad up in distance to just under a mile. Every jockey who has ever ridden him on the quicker ground has told us to try this trip on faster ground. We had the opportunity tonight so we went for it. Chris Hayes came in for the ride.
We knew our stablemate Geological would bowl along in front, with several front runners in the race we knew the pace would be fierce.The race went as we thought. Mokhalad was anchored at the back. Mokhalad looked detached at one point, to be honest, I was happy with the way he was going through the contest. Mokhalad latched onto the field at the two-furlong pole, he began to surge through. Mokhalad was in the fifth position just before one furlong out. Mokhalad hit top gear with his turn of foot powering clear for a two and a half-length win which in 50 yards more would have been five lengths. Mokhalad showed all his attributes as a racehorse in one perfect performance. The biggest asset Mokhalad has in my view is his mind he is a very determined horse who tries his heart out. The scenes in the parade ring were amazing Mokhalad was mobbed by his delighted connections. The crowd at Bellewstown gave Mokhalad a tremendous welcome into the parade ring.
From a personal point of view, it was a wonderful moment. My brother Dave and his family were seeing Mokhalad race for the first time in the flesh, they are on holidays here from South Africa. Dave has played his part in the syndicate from the start and is involved in our four horses. For Damian English, Craig English and the whole team. This was a plan brilliantly executed. The team had targeted this race several months ago as a race for Mokhalad. We have had a difficult few weeks with various setbacks for our horses and the yard. We always look long term as much as we can. The center of our philosophy is to let Damian work without interference while considering the horse's needs as our priority. Chris Hayes gave Mokhalad a magnificent ride. For the lads involved with Mokhalad from the start all of whom were in attendance bar one, it was a truly special night. We were joined by our wives, children, and families. It was a perfect night at our local track. We think this is Mokhalad's greatest performance. The celebrations were epic we returned to Mokhalad's home village of Balscadden we celebrated long into the night. The heads the next day were very sore.
Mokhalad did not have to do anything else to secure his place in our hearts, he already means so much to the syndicate. Mokhalad has from day one led our team and this whole project magnificently. This win opens up lots of options for Mokhalad. We are dealing with a very good horse who is in a tremendous moment. Mokhalad will head to Galway now. We know what's in front of us we went with Mokhalad last year. Whatever happens for the rest of the season and indeed the future. This glorious July night on the hill at Bellewstown will always shine brightly. It was a night filled with emotion and Mokhalad magic.
Damian English Comments are below
Afterward English said “there is not too much between them at home. When they work on the beach the slower the sand they work on the further Mokhalad wins and on quicker sand Geo (Geological) would win.
“Chris Hayes gave him an absolute peach. I said Geo is going to make it and if they take him on you’re going to come along and pick up the pieces. Talk about balls of steel, to drop him out that far and come with one rattle. It makes up for Twenty Minutes being beaten on the Curragh last weekend.
“He’ll go straight to Galway now. We were going to go for one of the little seven-furlong handicaps but that might sneak him in now to the big race on the Sunday of the Galway Festival. “He’s in the form of his life and it doesn’t matter about ground or trip — once he’s in good form he’s going to run his heart out. He was third there last year so you never know.”
Tamayuz (GB) - Bahja (USA)(Seeking The Gold (USA))
Alfirak is our second syndicate horse. Alfirak is like Mokhalad an ex Sheikh Maktoum horse. Alfirak started his life in France with J. E. Hammond finishing fifth in his only race. Damian English bought Alfirak at the sales in Newmarket. Alfirak came to Grougha stables in August 2017. It took Alfirak a while to settle into life in Ireland. Alfirak initially ran in the colors of Grougha Stables. Alfirak showed a fair deal of promise winning on his sixth start for the English family on 6-4-18. The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate stepped in and bought Alfirak in mid-April 2018. Alfirak is a very good-tempered horse who is still growing and maturing. A child could give Alfirak an apple. Alfirak made his debut for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate at Bellewstown on 4-7-18. Alfirak ran a cracker finishing second beaten a length and a quarter to Stamp Of Authority(who has won again since). Alfirak conceded 20 pounds to Stamp Of Authority at Bellewstown. This was a tremendous effort from Alfirak having had 89 days off the track. We are looking forward to the future with Alfirak. We expect Alfirak to give us plenty of fun and we hope a few wins.
Update: 21-9-18 - Alfirak Wins At Dundalk
Friday, became a night the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate will never forget as Alfirak charged into Mokhald's hoof prints and won at Dundalk. Alfirak also gave Damian English his 50th career win. It is one year to the day that we had our first runner. Alfirak had run really well at Laytown and we were really pleased with him going into the race. Alfirak had done well since and we are very happy with him. On the figures, Alfirak had a really good chance here. Alfiralk wore cheek pieces tonight for the first time. He tends to be very relaxed in the stalls. The cheek pieces kept Alfirak alert and he got a good position early. Alfirak was a previous winner over course and distance. We would have been disappointed if Alfirak was not in the first three tonight. Alfirak despite having plenty going for him still had to go and do it, he was brilliant on the night and took the race apart.
Alfirak defied top-weight in the second division of the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Stadium Handicap. Successful over the course and distance in April, the Damian English trained gelding was last seen finishing third to Waqaas at Laytown. Fitted with cheekpieces for the first time this evening, the son of Tamayuz was sent off at 7/1 (from 5s on-course) in the colors of the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. Soon in front under Rory Cleary, the chestnut victor was ridden from the two-furlong pole and kept on well from there, going on to score by three parts of a length. Path Of Silver (8/1) came out of the pack, but couldn't reel in the winner, and had to settle for second under Oisin Orr for Dick Brabazon. Bouquet Garni (10/1) was another length and a quarterback in third with Kevin Manning aboard this one for Edward O'Grady. Paved With Gold was sent off a well-backed 5/1 favorite (11s in early shows and from 7s on-course), and he finished sixth.
"I kind of expected that if I'm honest," said English."He ran a blinder on the beach over seven, which is just short of his best, and he just met the stream on the wrong stride when he was bang there."When he won here back in April I expected him to go on a do a lot more."He ran a blinder at Bellewstown when he got shuffled back and flew home to be second. Then it was soft ground in Galway, he was a little unlucky at Roscommon and we stepped him up to mile-and-two in Leopardstown."We haven't got everything right but we'll crack on now for a winter campaign and hopefully, he'll be able to progress up the ratings. He should be one we can have a bit of fun with up here."The loose horse was a blessing there as he does idle in front. We told Rory to sit second or third but he was clever, once he saw the loose horse he said 'this is going to take me a long way'."You could see him in the final stages that he was looking around a bit. He's still a big baby and hopefully, he can keep progressing."
The night itself was incredible the team celebrated long into the night at the Balscadden Inn which has become a special place for the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. There are a few different people in Alfirak as opposed to Mokhalad. For many of these people, it was the first taste of success. We have had some difficulties with Alfirak, however, we never lost faith in him he has a lot of ability. Alfirak can go from strength the strength now. Damian and Craig English deserve massive credit for this. Alfirak had his regime changed after 16-8-18 at Leopardstown. The lads did brilliant and it was a tremendous piece of training and horse management. I would say this was my most emotional night in horse racing to date. This was a very special win and means the world to all involved in the Galaxy Horse Racing project. Alfirak became our third winner in 12 months dead.
Update: 7-12-18 - Stanhope Wins At Dundalk
17:30 at Dundalk 7/12/18
1. Stanhope 10/1
2. Dance Alone 12/1
3. Amanaat 7/1 f
b g 2014 Equiano (FR)-Nicoise (IRE)(Lear Spear (USA))
At Dundalk in what turned out to be another incredible night for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. Our third syndicate horse Stanhope (530 Dundalk) hit the track for the first time in our silks. Stanhope is a sprinter who has settled in well to life in Balscadden. We were very happy with Stanhope going into the race and could see potential in him, this was supposed to be very much a fact-finding mission. Stanhope had been brought along gradually we had thought whatever he did today he would improve. Stanhope pleased us on Wednesday morning myself and John Maher (syndicate co-founder) saw his work. The priority was a positive experience as well as to learn about our new horse Stanhope.
The race turned out to be one of the most pleasant surprises we will ever get. Stanhope made all the running under Stephen Mooney to win holding off his stablemate Dance Alone in a first 1-2 for Damian. Stephen loses his ten-pound claim for winning on Stanhope and gained an agent. We were delighted for Stephen who is a massive part of our team and racing story. Stephen rides a lot of the work on our horses and has a sharp sense of where our horses are health and fitness wise. The team at Grougha have again done a remarkable job. Damian and Craig identified as we expanded we needed a sprinter, the lads then bought Stanhope. It was a first career 1-2 for Damian. Myself and John Maher were interviewed on At The Races live another surreal experience. The celebrations were as you would expect back to the Balscadden Inn for a long night. This was our fourth winner in under 12 months and we now have a 30% strike rate at Dundalk as a syndicate. It is remarkable by any standard. Our first three horses have now all won.
The road ahead is there for Stanhope we find ourselves way ahead of schedule. The race report is from Irish Racing.com
Stanhope made a winning debut for Damian English at Dundalk today when leading home a 1-2 for the trainer in the opening Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Handicap. Ridden by 10lbs claiming jockey Stephen Mooney, the son of Equiano made much of the running and in the end beat stablemate Dance Alone by half a length. Stanhope won once from 17 starts for trainer Simon Crisford in Britain and following today's debut win for the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate, English stated “we thought he'd need the run, to be honest and we fancied Dance Alone big time. I told Stephen going out 'try for your life but he might just come up short fitness-wise'.“Credit to the horse he's dug deep and he could be a right little sprinter for the winter.”The trainer added, “we bought this lad at the Autumn sales and thought he'd be a nice sprinter for up here.“We threw him down to Francis Casey when we got him; he's had him for a long time and we've only had him for a few weeks.“There is a race here next week over six, worth €15,000 to the winner, and if he comes out of this well we might let him tip on into that.“I have to credit my brother Craig as well as Stephen (Mooney) because I've just had a cruciate injury and the lads are keeping the show running in the yard. They're doing a great job so fair play to them.“That's Stephen's third winner so he loses the 10lb now. I'm delighted as that's my first one-two as well.”
Stanhope finished second on his second start on the 14-12-18. We have a lot to look forward to with Stanhope in 2019.
Stanhope Wins At Bellewstown in Dead Heat Thriller 4/7/19
Pedigree: Sire: Siyouni (Fr), Dam: Zita Blues (Ire), Dam's Sire: Zieten (Usa)
Trading Point arrived at Grougha stables in October 2018. Damian and Craig English selected Trading Point. We purchased Trading Point at the same sale as Stanhope, the Tattersalls Horses in training sale from Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah. Trading Point was given plenty of time to settle into life in Ireland having been gelded. Trading Point was a three-time winner in the UK who had a rating of 90. Trading Point has established himself as a favorite of the syndicate before he even ran. Trading Point is a handsome horse who is very easy to deal with. Since Trading Point went into serious work he had pleased the whole team showing us a lot of promise. Damian English decided to forego a prep run, pitching Trading Point into the Irish Lincoln. Damian's faith in Trading Point was fully justified. Trading Point had his first run for us in the Irish Lincoln at Naas on 24-3-19 where he finished second. Below is a synopsis of the day.
Everyone needs some stardust in their lives we appear to have it in Trading Point who produced a breathtaking performance to finish second in the Irish Lincoln. Trading Point showed us everything he had been showing us at home and more. This is a very talented horse. Trading Point loomed up at the two-furlong pole having moved through the race brilliantly. Karawaan who looks very talented had too many guns for us on the day, Trading Point ran a blinder to land our biggest single payday to date as a syndicate €20,000. The scenes in the parade ring were epic, Trading Point got a reception like a winner he deserved it all. Trading Point looks to have a very bright future with average luck. We look forward to seeing what Trading Point can do from here.