Saffie Osborne is set to continue her association with Scampi when he bids for Sky Bet Ebor glory at York on Saturday week.
The 21-year-old was in the saddle aboard Andrew Balding’s charge when he registered his second victory of the season on the Shergar Cup card at Ascot last Saturday, and connections are delighted to have retained her services when Scampi heads to the Knavesmire for the prestigious handicap.
Owned by the RaceShare syndicate, the five-year-old is as short as 14-1 for the £500,000 contest, having secured his spot in the race by winning the Jorvik Handicap at the track earlier in the season, and plenty of his supporters will be making the trip to cheer him on in his quest for further glory.
“We’re all on an absolute high at the moment,” said Lucy Delaney, managing director of RaceShare.
“We have confirmed that Saffie Osborne keeps the ride in the Ebor, which we are really thrilled about because she gave him an absolute cracking ride at Ascot on Saturday.
“York have been fantastic in supporting us and we hope to have a really big group of owners there cheering him on and he’s obviously reached new heights really.
“Scampi’s name and his style of running just really connects with people and he has a bit of a following now. I think not just his RaceShare owners, but the wider racing public have latched onto him because he has become a really consistent Saturday horse.
“We’re just hoping everything goes well in the Ebor and he is able to put up one of his always consistent runs.”
A bold showing in the Ebor could help fulfil ambitious plans from the owners to race in Australia later in the season, with Scampi holding nominations for both the Caulfield Cup on October 21 and the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The Ebor also serves as an automatic qualifier for the ‘race that stops the nation’ on November 7, so there is plenty on the line when the Kingsclere inmate heads north on August 26.
“He went up 6lb for his win and obviously it is still a dream, but if he did run well in the Ebor and goes up a bit more, Australia is a possibility,” continued Delaney.
“Andrew entered him in the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup with the feeling being he was going so well at home and if he did come out and win the Ebor and he wasn’t entered in those races, we might regret it.
“He confirmed how he is flying at the moment with his win at Ascot on Saturday and we’re trying not to get too excited, but his community of owners are all counting down the days to the Ebor.
“We are massively keen on Australia. He would need a further jump in the ratings, so he would need to do well in the Ebor or even a race soon after to get into the Australian races. But if he does continue on his upward curve, we would be really keen to take on the Australians.”
Although Scampi’s legion of syndicate members may still be holding fire on booking their tickets to Australia, he has easily become the standard-bearer for the fledgling RaceShare operation since being purchased for 85,000 guineas last October.
He has secured over £100,000 in prize-money for his owners and his importance is not lost on Delaney, who via RaceShare attempts to enhance the ownership experience through interactive means, such as live shows on racedays, broadcasting not only the Raceshare horses in action but also showing behind the scenes footage from the track with key participants.
She said: “We only launched in November last year with the five horses and we’ve grown from there and in fairness they have all done all right.
“There is still probably a lot to come from Treasure Time and Red Mirage will find his form, and I think Jolly Nellerie is going to be a typical Venetia Williams long-term project.
“But Scampi really couldn’t have done much more for us than he has, he’s an absolute hero. There’s over 1,000 people involved with Scampi and all our horses are divided into 4,000 shares.
“You can buy from one to 250 shares and the aim is, while we want to make the raceday experience on course brilliant, we want to do a really good job of creating a really good experience off course as well, because the majority of owners are never going to actually get to the course most of the time.
“We’ve built up a lovely community of owners in a really short space of time and the form of Scampi is just the icing on the cake.”