The Old Stoic Racing Club (OSRC) continues to go from strength to strength. We remain – as far as I can tell – the only school who can boast Old Stoic owners, trainers in Alex Hales (Chandos 92) and Jonathan Portman (Chatham 83) and a jockey through Harry Bannister (Chatham 12) – a ‘holy trinity’ you might say!
The objectives of the Racing Club are to celebrate the extraordinary number of past pupils working in racing and to give current and former pupils, parents and staff something to follow on the track.
Many readers may remember the golden summer that we had in 2019 with Mild Illusion. She was – in the words of trainer Jonny Portman – an “absolute darling”, winning three out of eight races including the Listed Bosra Sham Stakes at Newmarket firmly ensuring the OSRC was dining at the top table!
2020 undoubtedly had its challenges, both in terms of our disappointing flat horses and also the difficulty in providing a top-class experience for owners owing to the coronavirus restrictions on all sports. That said, all of the OSRC members have been enthusiastic and supportive for which I am grateful.
Furthermore, Bourbon Beauty (note the Stowe link!) has built very much on a promising debut season whilst racing over hurdles. She finished fourth at Huntingdon and then stepped up to finish second at Warwick under Harry Bannister behind a smart horse.
And then just before the Editor’s final, final deadline, Bourbon Beauty secured that elusive win at Kelso in December, in a dramatic finish by a short head under Harry Bannister. In the process giving Stowe an Old Stoic owned, trained and ridden winner!
15% of any prize money is donated to the Stowe School Foundation and Change 100 to help fund bursaries and scholarships for the next generation of Stoics. To date the OSRC has raised £16,000 – something we are all delighted and very proud of.
Looking to 2021, I will be arranging stable visits for Old Stoics and current Stoics at Jonny Portman’s yard in Lambourn and Alex Hales’ stables in Edgcote. More Facebook Live videos from the racecourse will be taking place – our first one at Warwick in November 2020 was a notable success.
Plans will also step up in earnest to find more Old Stoics who are keen to join the Racing Club as we look to celebrate and recognise Stowe’s centenary in 2023. If you are interested then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our growing list.
You can of course keep up-to-date with all of our news via the Old Stoic Racing Club Facebook Page and through @stoweracing on Twitter.
Finally, behind every successful racing syndicate is an exhausted team of supporters! Without the support of the Old Stoic Society, the members of the OSRC, our two excellent trainers and their top staff and the jockeys – we wouldn’t be anywhere – so thank you all!
Here’s to a fun filled, winner laden and healthy 2021 for all!
Henry Kimbell (Chandos 04), Old Stoic Racing Club Manager