It is unusual that for the modest price of £15,000 you can purchase a racehorse capable of running at the Cheltenham Festival.
Yet, for the Magnifique Etoile Partnership, this became a reality 12 months ago.
Magnifique Etoile, a six-year-old horse trained by Oxfordshire-based handler Charlie Longsdon, finished tenth in the County Hurdle last year, after being sent off a 12–1-shot.
Whilst looking like a contender for the majority of the race, the son of Kayf Tara sustained an injury following his Cheltenham race that has sadly kept him off the track since.
The Madell family are one of the syndicate members that own him.
Calum Madell, 20, vividly recalls the day he stepped in to the Cheltenham Festival parade ring as an owner with his horse set to run.
He said: “I love the Cheltenham Festival. It is a highlight for me every year to come and experience the thrills and spills of the meeting.
“But, to have your horse run at The Festival is a dream come true.
“We were all so nervous on the day. You get caught up in all the emotions and when you see tipsters tipping your horse, you get dangerously excited.
“I remember entering the parade ring and it just felt surreal. Like coming out to a football World Cup final, except we weren’t the performers. Instead, our little hero was.
“He was travelling so nicely throughout the race. At the bottom of the hill, I thought we had a great chance.
“Sadly, he picked up an injury after and has been out of action since, but he’ll be back.
“He is such a super horse and he has got an exciting future with us and Charlie (Longsdon).”
Madell is currently training to become a racing journalist at university and in his spare time blogs about all things horseracing through his website The Young Racegoer (http://theyoungracegoer.com/).