Lincoln Farms’ owner John Street ducks to avoid obscuring Arden’s Horizon as some of his big team of owners, including Dave and Daphne Jones, third and second from left, celebrate the horse’s first win. PHOTO: Megan Liefting/Race Images.

First time owner: Winning’s almost as good as Liverpool taking the F A Cup

First time owner Dave Jones was almost lost for words when he won a race at Alexandra Park tonight with his first ever horse, Arden’s Horizon.

Jones, 75, and his wife Daphne are part of a big group of owners who race the Bettor’s Delight two-year-old in a special partnership with Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street.

And after the colt sprung from the trail to win the $12,000 Alabar Pace, Jones could hardly believe he was part of the throng in the winners’ circle after only the horse’s second start.

“Talk about over the moon. I’ve never raced a horse before and this is almost as good as Liverpool winning the F A Cup in 1965. That was my best moment.”

Jones said he never thought seeing manager-of-the-century Bill Shankly’s team beat Leeds United 2-1 would ever be bettered.

“But meeting this group of incredible people has been wonderful. I thought they might be on a different planet to us but they’re really friendly. You’d think we’re long lost souls.”

Arden’s Horizon (Zachary Butcher) has Mitch well covered at the finish. PHOTO: Megan Liefting/Race Images.Arden’s Horizon (Zachary Butcher) has Mitch well covered at the finish. PHOTO: Megan Liefting/Race Images.Jones said he took particular pleasure in the company of the 10-strong Excell Syndicate, a group of women who have enjoyed considerable success with Lincoln Farms’ partnerships, their best horse Make Way now racing in Australia.

Also among the lucky ones in the horse are some Lincoln Farms’ regulars, its business manager Ian Middleton, Steve Beckett, Kevin Bell, Margaret Rabbitt, the Athenry Syndicate and trainer Ray Green.

“Tonight is the first time I’ve met Mr Green but I know his wife Deb well from our days trail riding through Woodhill Forest.”

Jones said that while they had lost touch with Debbie Green, “we met up again, through hens and chickens of all things. Deb’s into breeding them and so is my wife.

“The possibility of joining a group like this cropped up and one thing led to another …

“My wife, whose parents were interested in racing down at Woodville, told me we had to get shares in a horse and when the boss speaks, I jump.

“I’ve lived in New Zealand for 57 years but I’m from Liverpool originally. We had a famous racetrack there but I didn’t know what a horse looked like when I was a lad.”

Tonight Jones delighted in getting up close and personal with Arden’s Horizon, a 10% share in whom cost just $8625.

Ray Green … “Arden’s Horizon always showed a glimpse of something.”Ray Green … “Arden’s Horizon always showed a glimpse of something.”Trainer Ray Green allows himself to take a small share in only one of Lincoln Farms’ horses each season and the fact he chose Arden’s Horizon augurs well for the Jones’ future fun.

“I wanted to be in Simply Sam but missed out and he was the next best for me,” Green said.

“I’ve always liked him - he always showed a glimpse of something. There were others I thought would excel before him but he’s steadily improved and that result tonight was predicted.

“His first start was a non event after he got a punctured tyre 1500 metres from home but Zac said he was never going to be beaten tonight and he won very easily.

“He swished up to them, pricked his ears, and looked around. He’s very green and has a lot to learn.”

Arden’s Horizon has the breeding to be a good performer. The first foal of an unraced Somebeachsomewhere mare in Arden’s Rose, his third dam was Winter Rose, winner of the 2014-15 broodmare excellence award.

She left 12 foals, 11 of whom races for nine winners including Victoria Cup winner Bettor’s Strike (16 wins), Arden’s Choice (7 wins), Rocknroll Arden (6 wins) and Southwind Arden (9 wins).

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 2: Commander Lincoln

“I thought he went quite well last time and he’s a chance of getting some of it. Andrew knows the horse well and, while he’s no champion, he tries hard.”

Race 6: Obadiah Dragon

“I can’t fault how he’s racing and he’s been unlucky several times at Cambridge. Yes, the others are higher graded than him but none of them are stars and most of the time at Cambridge the ones who get the good trips win. From the good draw, absolutely he can win. I wouldn’t like to be laying him.”

Dan Costello Race Photography