TEAFORTHREE (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Oscar (IRE)-Ethel’s Bay (IRE) (Strong Gale)
9-11-03 Form: 3/421328/321P11-8620 Owner: T437
Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Breeder: M O’Sullivan
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
It took Teaforthree, who was born on June 6, 2004 and made 1,000 euros as a yearling, had four starts in Irish point-to-points before gaining his first success for trainer Tom Barry at Dromahane in March, 2010. Switched to Mick Winters, he finished third in a point-to-pointers’ bumper at Cork the following month, before heading to a Brightwells Cheltenham sale that May, when he was sold for £20,000 to trainer Rebecca Curtis’s partner Gearoid Costelloe.
After two bumper starts for Curtis, he was leased to the Sky sports show Soccer AM for whom he won a Ffos Las novices’ hurdle in November, 2010, and went on to be eighth behind Bobs Worth in the 2011 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. After the Soccer AM lease finished he was sold to his current owners, T437, ahead of the 2011/12 season. Long-distance chasing has proved his forte and, following two successes over three miles at Chepstow that season, he took the four-mile National Hunt Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival under J T McNamara.
After two warm-up races, he looked to have the Coral Welsh National at his mercy on January 5 until the late-finishing Monbeg Dude, under an inspired Paul Carberry ride, relegated him to second. His only subsequent start was when a distant 10th of 14 behind Well Refreshed in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on February 16, when his trainer felt he was unsuited by overnight stabling. He will travel to Aintree on Grand National day.
Race Record (under Rules): Starts: 17; Wins: 4; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £85,197 T437
When Soccer AM’s lease of Teaforthree, organised with the help of Racing For Change (RFC), ran out one of RFC’s executives was keen not to bid farewell to the horse. Nigel Roddis, now Development Director (Betting) at RFC’s successor Great British Racing, got together a team of friends to form a partnership. There are five equal shares although – with two wives involved – it became T437.
Roddis, 43, hails from Yorkshire and is a lawyer whose career began with city firm Olswang. He has specialised in the betting industry. He joined the Tote in 2000, originally to deal with legal issues surrounding its sale but he progressed to run the company’s pool business. In 2006, he joined At The Races as international director. After a brief time out of racing, he joined Racing For Change in late 2009. Roddis’s wife Hannah, who works for the Jockey Club, shares his stake in Teaforthree, John O’Reilly, head of interactive at Coral bookmakers and previously a longstanding executive director at Ladbrokes, has a share with his wife Christine.
The remaining partners are media lawyer David Zeffman, who worked with Roddis at Olswang and has specialised in racing, lobbyist Chris Guyver, who owns Pepper Shackleton Wellard and has also represented racing, and James Conyers, who oversees legal affairs at Sky as the company’s General Counsel. All five partners are based in London ,although O’Reilly spends much of his time in Gibraltar. No previous John Smith’s Grand National runners
Rebecca Curtis (Pembrokeshire)
Curtis, who was born on April 1, 1980, grew up on Fforest Farm five miles from Fishguard on the Pembrokeshire coast, a place that has now become her training centre. She has been around horses all her life and started riding aged four, progressing to showjump for the Welsh junior team. She rode in point-to-points and her first job in racing was with nearby trainer Peter Bowen. She spent five years in America with trainers Richard Mandela and Dan Hendricks before coming home to take out a licence in 2008.
Her first winner was Mango Catcher at Chepstow on April 5 that year and her reputation has steadily grown in the intervening years. She enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival winner last year when Teaforthree won the National Hunt Chase and a second when At Fishers Cross took this season’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle to give her a first Grade One victory. The latter is owned by J P McManus, whose stable jockey A P McCoy has an excellent strike rate for the stable. Curtis is assisted by her partner, bloodstock agent Gearoid Costelloe, and she uses her family’s private beach to exercise her horses.
No previous John Smith’s Grand National runners