Carl Hester on winning form — on the racecourse

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  • Dressage Olympian Carl Hester celebrated victory in a rather different discipline last Saturday, when the racehorse he owns as part of a syndicate claimed his first win.

    Dramatic Pause, a four-year-old gelding by Oscar currently in training with Tom Symonds, came home in front in the 3.50 National Hunt flat race at Chepstow (9 December).

    “I suppose I’ve kept it a bit of a secret,” said Carl. “I’ve always said that one day I would love to have a share in a racehorse — it’s everyone’s dream to have a Saturday winner. I used to ride a horse called Toblerone for Trish Andrews, who has always owned racehorses, including Smad Place. So I’ve always followed racing — it’s really good fun.”

    The syndicate, named The Dramatic Partners, includes Trish and Peter Andrews, as well as Mel and Phil Rowley, who found the gelding.

    Ridden by Alex Edwards, Dramatic Pause defied his 20/1 odds, winning by three lengths over the 10/11 favourite Blue Flight.

    “He was actually at the back for most of the race — I was beginning to cringe — and then suddenly he just ripped past the favourite. I made the stupid mistake of not putting a bet on; I thought it would be unlucky to bet on my own horse,” said Carl.

    “He’s very exciting. He won’t do a lot more this season — Tom is going to let him develop and keep him for next year as a five-year-old.

    “I did get a few funny looks when I arrived at Chepstow,” added the London 2012 gold medallist. “I do follow racing, so this isn’t much of a surprise to people who know me, but it probably is to those who don’t. Although I just see owning a racehorse as another progression towards old age!”

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    It was back to the day job soon afterwards, as Carl hot-footed it to Olympia to put on two dressage demonstrations with Charlotte Dujardin, showcasing their World Equestrian Games hopefuls, Mount St John Freestyle and Hawtins Delicato.

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