Tuesday 19 March 2024


In 2018, a group of like-minded individuals, led by Craig Talbot, decided to take their passion for horse racing to the next level and purchase their very own horse, Cape Hideaway, trained by Mark Walford giving birth to the URSA Major Racing Club.

Cape Hideaway won first time out, and now in 2024, and over 50 winners later (including 26 in 2023), URSA have around 30 horses in training under both codes, with trainers in Scotland, the North and South of England.

The club was founded on the principle of affordable racing for everyone. As Racing Manager and Owner, Craig buys what he considers to be good value horses, at affordable prices, and sells shares as near to cost as possible with industry low monthly training fees.

Communication is another key feature of the club. trainers are encouraged to communicate as often as possible. Not only do you know about your own horse (dedicated WhatsApp or Telegram channels), but there are also general chat channel where general updates/messages/videos are shared for everyone. Raceday experience is also key with videos of the horse/trainer/jockey before and after racing shared for those owners who cant make it.

Now the club is established, Craig’s mantra is to improve the quality of horses in both the Flat and National Hunt strings, in an affordable way. Here is a list of the URSA Flat horses to look out for in 2024 in the famous Battenburg colours. We feel that is the best quality string we have ever had and are massively looking forward to the start of the season.

2 year olds

Angel at Midnight (2yo g f) trained by Mike Murphy and Michael Keady

Angel was bought at Tattersalls Book 3 Sale last year. She is probably has the best pedigree of any horse URSA has owned. Her mother was rated 104 and won the Sweet Solera Stakes as a 2yo. She’s not the biggest, which is probably why we were able to afford her (she’s by Dark Angel)... We’ve had a lot of success with Mike and Michael, and although she’s a May foal, she’s coming to hand a bit quicker than we thought. She very much looks like she’ll be a 2yo and she’ll start off over 5f and we will go from there.

Baby Rover (2yo b f) Trained by Katie Scott

This filly is a full sister to Curious Rover, also trained by Katie. More about him later. I saw an article produced by a well known racing publication describing Katie as ‘an up and coming trainer’. Well, we’ve known this for a while which is why she’s got a lot of our flat horses up at Lindean in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

Her sire is a No Nay Never colt called the Irish Rover, who stands at Sweeps Lane Stud in Ireland. He literally has a handful of runners in training. She’s probably the least forward of the URSA 2yo’s, and she won’t be rushed, so she may not be out until May. We’re hoping she’s as good as her brother, and we’re very excited about her future.

Mali and Me ( 2yo b f) Trained by Michael Dods

Michael is a new trainer for us this year, but obviously he’s very well established and needs no introduction. He bought this filly over in Ireland. Her sire Sands of Mali was a very quick horse. He’s a first season sire, and it will be interesting to see how he does. At the few sales I was at this year, I liked his stock, and whilst all the buzz and chatter is about other maybe more fashionable sires from bigger farms, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did well with his runners.

This filly has grown tremendously over the last couple of months, into a tall and strong filly. She’s in full work, which will be gradually stepped up, and we hope we see her in May. She’ll start off over 5f.

Starspangledsox (2yo ch f) Trained by Katie Scott

This filly is a chestnut by Starspangledbanner, who has 4 white socks (hence her name). She was bought at Tattersalls Book 3. URSA had her half-sister, who always worked well at home, but sadly didn’t show it on the racecourse. She was on the list of possibles for the sales, but I think she blew us all away looks wise when we saw her.

She’s a much bigger and stronger model than her half-sister. Katie really liked her, and so it was easy to find a trainer for her. Her pedigree does not scream early 2yo (she’s out of a Camelot mare), but she really has taken everything in her stride, and just continues to plough through her education without much fuss. She went for a racecourse gallop recently and again took it all very professionally. 

At the time of writing she is our most forward 2yo, and we may even see her on track in March. With her size I’d be surprised if she doesn’t have a 3yo career in front of her, so hopefully not just an early 2yo type.

3 year olds 

Curious Rover (3yo b g) Trained by Katie Scott

An inspired purchase by Craig to stay in the stable, he was the highest rated 2 yo trained in Scotland last year (Rated 88). He did nothing but improve last year. He won his maiden at Catterick then, didn’t finish out of the frame in the rest of his starts including a great win in a Class 2 at Haydock, and then just got touched off in another hot race at York.

He’s done very well over the Winter, the gelding will help him concentrate on the job at hand, and we are very much looking forward to his 3yo career. He looks like an out and out 5f horse. The dream would be black type for him, and an early season target would be something like the 3yo dash at Epsom at The Derby Meeting. He’s ground versatile, it seems, and acts on the all-weather, so we have lots of options for him throughout the season.

Sassy Glory ( 3 yo b f) Trained by Mark Walford)

A very recent addition to the club, Sassy Glory is in the early stages of her pre-season build up, with our founding trainer Mark Walford in Sherrif Hutton.

The filly is a big, scopey, type by the legendary sire Oasis Dream (I can remember watching him win the Nunthorpe and July Cup in the day, boy he was quick). She is quite lowly handicapped after having 3 runs last year, but she was a big weak two year old, and has grown into her frame a bit more this year.

We are hoping to have some fun with her and she will hopefully start off in May.

Older Horses

Champagne Sarah (4 yo ch f) Trained by Mike Murphy and Michael Keady.

Sarah is a filly very close to my heart. I was at Tatts when Craig bought her at Book 3. We all loved her. Two other lads who were with us loved her too, they have shares in her as well-in fact she’s called after one of their wives!. We thought we’d missed out as we had underbid her, but we found out shortly afterwards she was a buyback. Mike and Michael did a deal for her, and I was having a curry when Craig messaged me to say we got her! It tasted better after that!

She has been fantastic for the club and her owners. She won a nursery as a 2yo, and then two handicaps at Newbury and Yarmouth. She loves to be sat out the back and kick in the last two furlongs. That’s both exciting and frustrating at times, as she needs those gaps to open. Sarah is ultra consistent though, rarely out of the first 4, and in many ways she’s a perfect syndicate horse.

This year as a 4yo she’s grown a little and strengthened. Her lass loves her, and she is delighted with her, as are Mike and Michael. The dream would be to nick some black type with her this year. She loves fast ground, and we are aiming to start off at Windsor over 6f, ground permitting, next month, and then hopefully she’ll be a Saturday horse (or maybe a Sunday Series one too) she’s rated 80. Cant wait to see how she gets on this year.

The Turpinator (7 yo b g) Trained by Grant Tuer

Another bargain buy by the boss at the HIT sales, ‘Turps’ has a band of loyal owners, and he’s taken them to some big courses, and given them some great days out over the last year and a bit. He runs plenty this lad, and again is versatile at trip, and ground, and also acts on the all-weather.

He won twice last year at Thirsk and Newcastle. But he also ran plenty of good races in defeat, including a cracking third in a good race at York, and the same in a better race at Ripon. He’s tough and consistent, and Grant has done well with him.

Expect to see him anywhere between 6f and a mile on the turf and AW. He’s another Saturday Horse (Rated 84) and hopefully he will get a few more breaks this year, and add to his wins for his owners and the club.

May Blossom (5 yo b m) Trained by Julie Camacho

Julie is another new trainer for the club this year. She had a wonderful year last year of course, but she’d been doing a brilliant job for many years beforehand, without the marquee winner she had in Shaquille last year. Husband and assistant Steve is a fantastic horseman, and Craig was delighted when they said they’d have a horse with the club.

Steve and Craig bought May Blossom at the HIT sales. Another horse who’s is rated over 80, she’s again perfect for a syndicate in that she runs plenty to a high level, and is pretty ground versatile (although she would prefer some cut). She’ll run over 5 and 6f, and she’s coming to hand pretty quickly at home, so expect to see her in April somewhere on the turf. Steve loves her already as she’s the sweetest filly and she’s very straightforward. 

This is the sort of horse that Julie and Steve do well with, so we are hoping they can squeeze a few extra pounds out for us.

Kalganov ( 5 yo b g) Trained by Michael Dods

Another HIT sales purchase with Michael, he was originally bought to run on the all-weather over the winter. Well, he won his race at Newcastle nicely, and ran well on other occasions.

He’s an interesting horse, as he got some black type in France as a 3yo, and whilst he might not reach those heights now as a 5 year old, he’s a very solid performer. He’s had a few weeks off after his busy campaign over the Winter, but Michael will freshen him up, and he’ll be back on the turf. We’d expect him to give his owners lots of fun over 6 and 7 furlongs through the summer, and he will hopefully nick another win or two before the season is out.

Author: Chris Liddle 


  1. Nice piece Chris.

  2. That's lovely, Chris! Crisp as well as informative.

  3. Great stuff Chris . Excellent read and well done to all the URSA team


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