The journalist, Hunter Davies, referring to the original football team, The Corinthians, wrote in The New Statesman;
‘…teams could behave like the Corinthians used to do, back in the 1900s. They were the totally amateur, public school, Oxbridge team that put fair play and moral values above such vulgar things as winning. They never argued with the ref or entered any competition where there was a prize. If by chance the other team lost a man, either sent off or through injury, they immediately and voluntarily sent off one of their own men, just to keep things even’.
That is a fine explanation of what is commonly called the Corinthian Spirit, which in many people’s minds still conjures up an image of fair play.
Conversely, in Regency times, the Corinthians were described as a group of hard-living aristocrats, dedicated to sports, particularly pugilism and horse racing. By the late 19th century, the word had lost the hard-living, high-betting associations of the Regency term and kept only the idea of gentlemanliness and amateurism.
Corinthian Racing Club attempts to combine a little of both. We are definitely not aristocrats; we are dedicated to sports. We may not qualify as hard-living but we do want to have fun; if we enter something, we do not regard winning as vulgar. Betting maybe an integral part of horse-racing; however, the Corinthian Club will not be known as a betting medium, or as a tipping service.
The intention is to enjoy a mutual interest in the sport as equal owners.
Be it in the owner’s enclosure at Newmarket or visiting Sir Mark Prescott’s historic Heath House stables in the centre of racing’s headquarters, Corinthian Racing intends to build a family of like-minded, sport-loving individuals who will experience the thrill of watching our horses train, run and, hopefully…win!
For many years I wanted to own a horse.
In 1988, I bought a third share in a six-year-old gelding named Order of Merit. That cost me £2,000.
Trained firstly by David Wilson at Epsom and later by John White at Wendover, Order of Merit raced on the flat, over hurdles and over fences. The nearest the little fella came to winning was when he came second to a 13-year-old mare who hadn’t won for eleven years, in a two-horse chase at Plumpton.
Following our horse all over the country to see him lose was never once depressing or miserable. The thrill of arriving at Kempton Park for an evening meeting or the two-hundred-mile trek to Beverly on a Monday afternoon; standing in the paddock alongside other owners, trainers and jockeys was, for me, adequate consolation for another defeat. Even the post-race inquest as Order of Merit was hosed down and his lad felt his legs to see if he was sound, was amazing. And we were always told, ‘next time out, he needs further or as soon as the weather improves he’ll trot up on good to firm’.
My investment returned a loss.
In 1992 I was offered a sixth share in an un-raced four-year-old gelding named Earth Summit. My investment was £1,000. By the time he retired eight years later, Earth Summit had won ten races, including the Scottish Grand National at Ayr, The Welsh National at Chepstow and in 1998, the Martell Grand National at Aintree.
My investment returned a profit.
If I was to tell you that on the day of the Grand National, I forgot to collect some of my winnings from Ladbrokes at the track (I did later, of course) and was pleasantly surprised when I received my cheque for a share of the prize money. You will understand that the excitement had, albeit momentarily, taken first place in my head and in my heart.
Corinthian’s offer to potential members is a modest outlay, £240 a year with no extras, to share initially in four, beautifully bred horses from the Kathryn Stud, trained by Sir Mark Prescott, Sylvester Kirk, David Lanigan and Ms Ilka Gansera-Leveque. This fee includes: access to owner’s badges when one or more of our horses run, stable visits, a newsletter/blog, coupled with regular information and updates on likely runners; a pro-rata share in all prize money plus a 20% pro-rata share of the net sale proceeds if any horse, whether owned or leased by the Club is sold whilst racing in Corinthian’s colours (and that’s unique to Corinthian).
So come on in; sign up and join the 21st Century Corinthians!