Our History

Our History

Newmarket Racing Club is a multi-ownership proposition based at the Headquarters of Racing, in Newmarket, Suffolk. We provide affordable shares and leases in racehorses trained on the world famous  gallops that have produced Classic winners, Arc de Triomphe winners and even Breeders Cup and World Cup winners and, in 2019 and 2020, almost a Melbourne Cup winner as one of our own Trainers, Charlie Fellowes’, Prince of Arran was narrowly beaten in both renewals of ‘the race that stops a nation’!

The added value benefit of joining the Newmarket Racing Club is, of course, that the town is steeped in racing history. It is, after all, where it all began over 350 years ago and we will delight in showing you around the town, its features and assets now, of course, developed into one of the most exciting  tourist attractions in the region with the Palace House, Newmarket museum and exhibitions, Discover Newmarket tours and, also, those elements that go with being involved as a member which include meeting the Trainers and Jockeys and, of course, the horses themselves, prior to, and after, their morning exercise where we can watch them go about their work on the world famous gallops.

And fear not if you don’t know the lingo or the routine, we will have pleasure in conveying all you need to know to get the most from this superb, exciting and most spectacular of sports. Join in, we’d love to meet you…..

Our commitment

The Newmarket Racing Club is committed to people but equally to the horses, to providing our owners and members with a service designed to enrich their lifestyle and provide fun, excitement and winners for plenty who, perhaps, previously thought racehorse ownership was only for the nobility! Equally, we are committed to horse welfare and ensure each of our horses is provided the best possible care both in and out of training, ensuring that, when a horse’s career comes to an end, every effort is made to ensure their retirement is a long and happy one.

Equally, we are committed to ensuring that our policies and modus operandi are designed to extract the maximum potential from each horse with which we are involved through both our trainers skill and judgement and applying our own experience and expertise. Connected with many of the very best Trainers in the record breaking training centre that is Newmarket, our mission is to become the leading exponent of the art….

So who are we?

Living on the doorstep of the venue that stages the world’s greatest horse race, the Grand National, it is unsurprising that Managing Director, Cliff Woof found an empathy for the sport of horseracing.

However, it wasn’t immediate and Cliff followed his instinct for another sport when signing as a professional footballer with Liverpool FC in the mid seventies when they were, as now, the Kings of Europe!

However, while unable to break into the first team, it was while at Liverpool that, like so many footballers, Cliff found a passion for the sport which would pave the way for a career at the headquarters of the sport, in Newmarket.

Beginning his Newmarket residence as the Administrator for leading trainer, Gavin Pritchard-Gordon in the mid eighties, at Stanley House Stables, now the headquarters of the Godolphin operation and where Saeed Bin Suroor now trains, Cliff devoured the knowledge and experience that would allow him, following the launch of his own successful business, in the early nineties, to enjoy the fruits of success on the racecourse.

Realising the high cost of training horses was beyond the reach of many individuals, Cliff began to syndicate horses and enjoyed huge success not only on the track but in introducing many to the sport for the first time and, one gentleman, in particular, who went on to own some very good horses in his own right, indeed, almost reached the summit of our great sport when having a runner in the Dubai World Cup, won by Dubai Millennium.

What a thrill!

Now, Cliff provides you with the opportunity to join him and his team at the headquarters of British racing in the new and innovative Newmarket Racing Club, supported by some of the town’s best trainers, through our excellent Owners Scheme where you become a registered owner with a share in a carefully selected horse, trained in one of their top yards.

Newmarket is the ideal location for such a proposition, with over sixty trainers in town and, as the world’s leading training centre, top facilities to ensure your horse gets the best of everything.

With top class racing almost every weekend through the Spring, Summer and Autumn here at Newmarket, the Club, will provide you with the fun excitement and exhilaration only this great sport can and looks forward to welcoming you to town.

To see available shares click here

So, how did Cliff get hooked on the sport…

His story begins in mid seventies when the, then, Assistant manager of Liverpool Football Club, Ronnie Moran shouted over “ Emlyn, Frank’s just been on the phone. He says Sob will win the 2.30 at Nottingham”. Cliff continues…

“As a 17yo on the books of Liverpool FC who, at the time was playing in a first team v reserves practice match at Melwood and was standing no more than ten yards from the England captain, Emlyn Hughes, I could hardly help hear what was said. Knowing my long departed Dad would be very keen to know what I had heard, I kept repeating, Sob, Nottingham, Sob, Nottingham, all the way through the rest of the training session.

I was still repeating it to myself on the coach back from Melwood to Anfield and, shovelling down lunch before rushing out of the gates of Anfield, to get the bus back home, found the bookies shop opposite the bus stop. I went in, found the 2.30 at Nottingham, found the horse, Sob and, finding it was trained by F Carr. I remember thinking ‘ah, that must be ‘Frank’!  I don’t recall who rode him all those years back but I do recall having a fiver in my pocket (no big Sky backed contracts in those days) which just left me with the bus fare home. On it went, Dad had considerably less but Sob duly won…no idea how, there were no pictures in the shops in those days either, but he won nevertheless….. and at 20-1, the rest is history!

That started a love affair with this great sport that never left me and when football gave me up at the age of 27, I moved to Newmarket to take up the position as administrator at the magical Stanley House Stables, now Godolphin Stables where Saaed Bin Suroor resides. The trainer at that time was Gavin Pritchard-Gordon and I spent four years there and what a brilliant time we had. With the yard’s first Group One winner in my first season, when Noalcoholic won the Sussex Stakes, the winners flowed and I learned so much and met so many influential people. However, fascinated by the athletic ability of these creatures, the prospect of being able to have my own winner never left me and it wasn’t long before I made plans to strike out on my own.   

On leaving the yard, to further my career, I took on subsequent Derby winning jockey, Willie Ryan, who was retained by the late, great, Sir Henry Cecil and a young Frankie Dettori, new to this country but with boundless energy and enthusiasm and no little skill (understatement!!). WE also took on a NH jockey who would subsequently ride the favourite in the Grand National, Guy Landau who was attached to the Stan Mellor yard in Lambourn. Also, thinking ahead, we also took on one of the country’s first girl apprentices, Abigail Richards who I had met through her father, Wayne, at Gavin’s. She could ride as well as any  of the lads, if not better! Abi, now assistant to Jane Chapple-Hyam was the forerunner for today’s glut of top girl riders and the like of Josephine Gordon, Hayley Turner and Hollie Doyle to name but three, have a great deal to thank her for.

I have known Cliff and his team for well over twenty years, since my early days, and I can’t think of better people to look after your racing interests.

Frankie Dettori

Managing the jockeys was right up my street, putting my form analysis to good use and also gave me the opportunity to get to know many of the country’s top trainers and it was enlightening to listen to how they worked. So, armed with even more knowledge and, putting to good use the experience and knowledge gained at Gavin’s, we syndicated a horse or two and after our first winner, Best Of British, duly obliged over hurdles at Exeter, we bought one or two more and had lots of winners and tons and tons of fun. Invariably providing good value for money, our horses nearly all won and I remember fondly my first multiple winner, Ursa Major (below) who was prolific on the all weather but whom we felt could also do it on turf and when we turned up at York for the Quentin Gilbey trophy, a twenty two runner handicap and superbly organised to run off bottom weight, with good friend, fellow Evertonian and rising star, Martin Dwyer aboard, we were the only ones that had any idea he was capable of winning, but win he did, one of nine races he won for us. We almost pulled off a superb double on the day, too, as Bandler Ching, a 2yo in a 25 runner nursery handicap,  went down by only a neck in the following event, at 25/1. What a day, what a night  – Great times indeed!!

We have plenty of other great stories to tell but it really is such a great sport in which to get involved and its now time for you to create your own memories. We’re sure that, through the new Newmarket Racing Club, we can help you fulfil so many of your dreams, just as I did mine, all those years back!’

It’s been a great journey so far, with plenty more to come… Join us today!