Leeds United themed horse owned by Brighouse group sold to sheikh

A former Rastrick High School student says his life has been turned into a complete `blur' after selling a racehorse to a Qatari sheikh.

Richard Ward, 35, managing director of Blue Grey Chevron Racing, took his fellow shareholders of the horse Marchingontogether along to Leicester racecourse.

Bawtry trainer Ivan Furtado thought it would run well and had top flat jockey Silvestre De Souza on board but no-one expected the horse to win.

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Within 48 hours of Marchingontogether - named after the Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos rallying song - Richard was on the phone to a representative of Sheikh Fahad al Thani who was interested in purchasing the horse.

Richard has been obsessed with horse racing since 1988 and watching the Grand National.

He fulfilled a dream of buying his first racehorse, Outbid, in 2013 and seeing it win its first race in March 2014 at Wolverhampton.

He decided to buy more horses and create a syndication model and in 2016 moved into football themed syndications.

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“Honestly of all the two-year-olds the cheapest and the one we thought was least likely to win was Marchingontogether - how wrong I was,” said Richard.

“I am now working on pushing my sales of the Sheffield Wednesday horse (sheffieldwedsneigh) and Sheffield United horse (Walkont’WILDERside) after Chris Wilder, the former Halifax Town, Oxford United and Northampton Town manager who has just taken the Blades to the League 1 Championship.

“We also plan to do another Leeds horse and another 30/40 football themed horses next year before then taking a look at rugby league themed horses.

“To add to the irony of being a Huddersfield Town fan I also own a small share in Beckford that won the first race at the Curragh at the weekend and heads to Royal Ascot next month.

“The week has been a complete blur and an absolute dream.”

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Many Leeds United fans were celebrating – and the bookies left cursing – after Marchingontogether pulled off the surprise win in its first competitive outing.

A spokesman for bookmaker William Hill said there had been “nothing to suggest” the horse could win at the first attempt.

He went on: “The race itself was not a huge one in terms of betting turnover, however there was significant money for Marchingontogether – certainly enough to see its odds fall from 20/1 to 10/1 at one point in the day.

“Two of the largest bets we saw were from Northallerton and Scarborough.

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“What you often see ahead of the Grand National, for example, is a lot of people backing the name of a horse rather than any discernible form and it would appear that was the case on Tuesday.”

Fans counting their winnings after the race included Dave Carrington, chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust.

Dave, who picked up £75 after putting a fiver on the horse at 14/1, said: “It’s nice to have a winner, given that Leeds have been ruining my accumulators for the last six weeks.

“I’ll gladly embrace any little bit of Leeds-related good fortune and I’m taking it as a sign that things are really on the up for us.”