OSCAR TIME (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Oscar (IRE) – Baywatch Star (IRE) (Supreme Leader)
Owners: Robert Waley-Cohen/Sir Martin & Steve Broughton Trainer: Martin Lynch IRE Breeder: Edmond Coleman
I’m grateful to Racenews for supplying factfiles for every runner in the John Smith’s Grand National. I reformat these and publish as I get them, with the first batch coming out 2 weeks before the big race on April 6th. By the eve of the National all factfiles will be published here. You can find others by clicking on the factfiles tag at the foot of this post
Oscar Time, born on May 14, 2001, passed through the sales ring for 37,000 euros as a three-year-old at Tattersalls Ireland in August, 2004, with Martin Lynch the buyer. As a four-year-old at Goffs in May, 2005, Emerald Bloodstock paid 40,000 euros for him. The gelding started his racing career at Martin Lynch’s Stepaside yard in the ownership of Navan-based Eamon Kane. Having made his debut with a fourth place in a Roscommon bumper in October, 2006, Oscar Time won at the sixth attempt in that sphere, defeating subsequent Grade One winner Weapon’s Amnesty by half a length at Thurles in January, 2008.
A victory over hurdles followed that April but his biggest success to date came over fences when winning the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December, 2009, in which he defeated Siegemaster by seven lengths. In April, 2010, Oscar Time showed his potential for the John Smith’s Grand National when finishing runner-up to Bluesea Cracker in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. Following that effort, Robert Waley-Cohen purchased the gelding and later sold a half share to Sir Martin Broughton and his brother Steve. The 2010/11 season was geared around a tilt at the John Smith’s Grand National and Oscar Time started the campaign with two promising efforts in hurdle races at Thurles and Fairyhouse in November and December respectively.
He completed his preparation for Aintree with a third-placed finish in the Grade Two Bobbjo Chase at Fairyhouse in March, 2011. He ran a tremendous race in the 2011 John Smith’s Grand National for his amateur pilot Sam Waley-Cohen but was just outstayed on the elbow by Ballabriggs and came home a gallant second. A second tilt at the John Smith’s Grand National was on the agenda last season but, after finishing fourth behind Zaidpour in a hurdle at Thurles in November, 2011, Oscar Time was ruled out for the season with a tendon problem. He made his comeback at Thurles on November 29, 2012, and ran respectably in fourth before unseating Sam Waley-Cohen in the Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase at the same course on January 17. He has disappointed in his two runs since, trailing home last in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on February 23, and the Leinster National at Naas on March 10.
Race Record: Starts: 34; Wins; 4; 2nd: 11; 3rd; 6: Win & Place Prize Money: £396,555
Robert Waley-Cohen/Sir Martin & Steve Broughton
Cheltenham Racecourse chairman Robert Waley-Cohen enjoyed his greatest day as an owner in March, 2011, when his amateur rider son Sam Waley-Cohen partnered Long Run to win the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, trained by long-time friend Nicky Henderson. The gelding, at six the youngest Gold Cup winner since Mill House in 1963, had landed the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton in December, aged five.
Although Robert Waley-Cohen rode in point-to-points and hunter chases, he described himself as an incredibly bad amateur – “Wrong shape, wrong weight, not fit enough – basically, just thoroughly incompetent”. Born on November 10, 1948 and the founder of healthcare giant Alliance Medical, Robert Waley-Cohen is no stranger to big-race success at Cheltenham as his Katarino won the 1999 JCB Triumph Hurdle, Rustle took what is now the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in 1989, Liberthine collected the 2005 Byrne Group Plate and Rajdhani Express won the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase this season. He trains a few horses himself under permit and sent out Katarino to win the John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree in 2005 and 2006 again ridden by Sam.
A member of the Jockey Club since 1983, where he has been a steward, he has a small team of around 10 broodmares at Upton Viva Stud in Warwickshire and was a director of Cheltenham Racecourse before becoming chairman when Lord Vestey stepped down at the end of the 2010/11 season. He has horses in training with Guillaume Macaire in France as well as Nicky Henderson. His son Tom died of cancer in July, 2004, and Tom’s Ward at Oxford Children’s Hospital is named after him.
He is married to Felicity and they also have another son Marcus and a daughter Jessica. Sir Martin Broughton and his twin brother Steve also have a 50 per cent share in Oscar Time. The twins were born on April 15, 1947 in Fulham, London, and Sir Martin recalls the 1956 Grand National, when Devon Loch collapsed 50 yards from the winning post, as being one of his earliest memories: “I listened to it on the radio – we didn’t have a TV until I was 17 or 18 – and the reason I recall it is not just the obvious one. My father’s name was Edward Samuel Broughton and, because the winner was called ESB, you can guess who he backed.”
Their interest was further fuelled with the Christmas gift of a Totopoly board game in 1960. Despite only leaving school “with a handful of Cs and Ds”, Sir Martin joined British American Tobacco (BAT) as an auditor in 1971 and by 1988 had become finance director in 1988 and chairman in 1998. He left BAT in 2004 to become chairman of British Airways and served as chairman of the then British Horseracing Board from 2004 to 2007. Despite being a lifelong Chelsea supporter, in April, 2010, he was appointed chairman of Liverpool FC and oversaw the sale of the club to new owners in October, 2010.
He was awarded a knighthood in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for his services to industry and – with son Michael – is involved with Sports Investment Partners, which unsuccessfully bid to take over the Tote two years ago. Steve Broughton is an insurance industry veteran, who served as managing director of Royal SunAlliance, and is currently a director of Tesco Underwriting. With his brother, he launched Ingenie, a company aimed at younger drivers in which other backers include Gary Lineker.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd)
Martin Lynch IRE (Castletown-Geoghegan, County Westmeath)
Martin Lynch (born June 6, 1958) is a former jockey who enjoyed his biggest day in the saddle when winning the 1990 Vincent O’Brien Gold Cup on the John Upson-trained Nick The Brief. The Meath native learned his trade as an amateur rider with Clem Magnier and John Fowler, winning the Morgiana Hurdle on Fowler’s Royal Dipper. After turning professional, Lynch won the 1985 Thyestes Chase aboard Seskin Bridge and was second to Rhyme N’ Reason on the same horse in that year’s Irish Grand National. He rode Elfast to win the Mildmay Of Flete at the 1992 Cheltenham Festival and in two rides in the Grand National, fared best on 10th-placed Cool Ground in 1992.
After taking out a trainer’s licence in Ireland, he leased Bill Durkan’s yard at Glencairn before relocating shortly afterwards to Middleton Park in County Westmeath. As a trainer, he enjoyed the biggest success of his career when Oscar Time landed the 190,000 euros Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December, 2009. He is married to former trainer Suzanne Finn, a herbalist and acupuncturist, who is credited by the trainer with helping prepare the fussy eater Oscar Time for the Paddy Power Chase. He also trained the high-class Colonel Yeager to finish fourth in the 1999 Grade One Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Lynch has never trained more than five winners in a season, which he achieved in the 1995/96 and 1996/97 seasons.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2011 Oscar Time (2nd)