In August 2013 Value Racing Club was born and since then the syndicate has gone from strength to strength with high profile successes for Gran Maestro (Summer Hurdle) and Ebony Express (Imperial Cup) and the future promises to be even greater with the string of horses growing by the year.  Value Racing Club is set up to introduce new people into the world of horse racing whilst providing a cost effective and simple way to becoming an owner.  

The man behind Value Racing Club is James Couldwell and I spoke to him recently about the syndicate, his racing experiences and any potential Cheltenham snippets.

You run the Value Racing Club syndicate, can you give readers a brief description of what the syndicate is all about?

My aim at Value Racing Club is to introduce new people into the world of Horse Racing whilst providing a cost effective and simple way to becoming an owner.  Owning racehorses for the average working man is something few and far between can have the luxury of.  To have a horse in training for 12 months costs £25,000, that’s before even purchasing a racehorse.  Value Racing Club makes ownership affordable by splitting costs into 5% shares.  Members get all the benefits of sole ownership and we only buy proven quality horses that will get owners into the winner’s enclosure

How can an interested party get involved in the syndicate?

Very easily, anybody can ring me up for a chat, I’m always on the other end of the phone and speak with many of our owners on a frequent basis, also drop me an email.  If you would like to get in touch please find all contact information on thevalueracingclub.co.uk website

Can you give a brief background in to how you got in to racing and what you have achieved to date?

I got into racing as a youngster.  We had a pet family horse that I used to ride called Alice and it went from there really.  I always wanted to go faster and saw these guys on TV racing at speed.  Finally my Dad took me to a meeting and I caught the bug.

Value Racing Club has only been going three years now but we’ve done pretty well.  The obvious big race wins are the £75,000 Imperial Cup and the £35,000 Summer Hurdle.  Winning those two races in the same season and with just 4 horses in training at that time was amazing.  We’ve also have 9 other winners and numerous placed horses

What is your favourite racecourse and why?

I’m not sure to be honest, it depends if we have a winner at that course!  Aintree is a great racecourse and owners are looked after very well there.  The Grand National meeting is like a party atmosphere and something I look forward to each year

Now on to Cheltenham, I know from reading your website over the past year or so that you know how to pick a winner, what would be your best bets for Cheltenham?

My best bet was Smad Place for the Ryanair who I thought was a certainty and backed him heavily for the race at 14-1 EW.  That bet went down the pan though when Smad Place decided to win the Betbright Chase by 12 lengths and he’s now Gold Cup bound.

I tend to have more bets in the handicaps but it’s still a bit early in those races as horses are entered quite a few different races. Wait for the NRNB bets to kick in.  I would say however that Thistlecrack looks a certainty in the World Hurdle and will be odds on come the day. Put him and Yanworth (Neptune) in a double and you won’t go far wrong

Are there any dark horses that you believe should be kept on the right side of?

Yes one in particular but I’m not sure on his target yet as the horse in question has a few entries.  Come back to me in ten days

What race are you most looking forward to at the Festival and why?

I would say the Champion Hurdle every time, it’s my favourite race of the year.  The race is a true test of speed and jumping. Unfortunately this year’s renewal looks poor with Faugheen now a none runner

Are there any specific trends that you like following for any Festival races?

Not really, I like horses that are proven over the distance and a bit further than the races they're running in, especially in handicaps. Cheltenham is a tough racecourse and you need to stay every yard of the trip and more

From memory, what has been your Festival highlight?

From a selfish and profitable point of view it would be Vautour winning the Supreme Hurdle in 2014.  For me he was a certainty to win that race and I had been backing him for the best part of 4 months at some nice prices.  Watching him make all and win hard held sorted my mortgage payments for the rest of that year

Who was your favourite Cheltenham Festival horse of all time?

3 time Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq, what an engine!  Plus I have to mention Burntoakboy the Coral Cup winner in 2007.  He was trained by Dr Newland one of our syndicate trainers, I now have him as a pet. He’s the ripe old age of 18 but still bucks and kicks his way to the paddock when I turn him out each morning

There you have it, thank you very much to James and all the best for the future.  I do encourage you to have a read through the Value Racing Club website (www.valueracingclub.co.uk).  It is a fantastic read and is regularly updated with James' blog (which includes some excellent tipping advice).  Also from personal experience if you are interesting in becoming a racehorse owner there is no better place to go than to Value Racing Club.