Racing People: “Having your horse run at the Cheltenham Festival is a dream come true”

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 (


By James Yellen. M: 07889 085535. E:  [email protected]


James Yellen is a 22-year-old freelance racing journalist from Newbury, Berkshire.

He is currently in his third year at university studying for a degree in Sports Journalism and will be graduating in July this year.

James has previously written copy for the Racing Post and Press Association, as well as writing numerous articles for Eclipse Magazine.

He tips Champion Court in the Ryanair Chase at 10–1 as his nap bet for the Cheltenham Festival. Follow him on Twitter @JamesYellen. 

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