Professional gambler and businessman Richard Ward has sold an £800 racehorse to a billionaire Qatari sheikh for a potentially “life-changing sum.”
Richard, 35, of Cowcliffe, is the man behind Huddersfield Town racehorse Huddersfilly Town.
But the horse he has sold – destined to be a syndicate horse for Leeds United – was Marchingontogether.
The Leeds horse was trained at Wiseton, near Doncaster, by trainer Ivan Furtado – who also trains Huddersfilly Town.
Richard, who runs the Blue Grey Chevron syndicate, struck gold with a horse Ivan bought at the sales for a bargain price.
The filly won on her racecourse debut at Leicester – and was immediately snapped up by Sheikh Fahad al-Thani for an undisclosed sum.
Richard declined to reveal how much the horse had been sold for, but described the amount as “life-changing.”
Richard said he believed the deal came about after a “cheeky” social media message to Sheikh Fahad, who is a friend on Facebook.
He wanted to interest the sheikh in a half-share in a horse he hoped to breed in partnership with former England football star Frank Lampard.
Watch: Take a ride on the back of the Huddersfield Town horse with our Go Pro video
The horse, to be sired by Frankel – reputed as one of the best racehorses of all time – could be named Frankel Lampard.
Richard said he dropped the sheikh a message offering him the chance to buy in, telling him the Queen had been offered a similar deal but hadn’t replied.
The sheikh stepped in ahead of Her Majesty and bought the horse.
Richard said Marchingontogether was nothing to look at in the beginning but suddenly began to grow and improve.
“Ivan said he liked her and when she ran and won we were delighted,” said Richard. “She was heavily backed on the day but it wasn’t us. I think the Leeds fans just latched onto her name.
“The message I sent to Sheikh Fahad was cheeky, fun and good humoured and I know he is a very nice man.”
The sheikh is worth an estimated £104 billion and set the record for Britain’s most expensive filly when he bought Just The Judge for a staggering £4.7 million in 2014.
Meanwhile, Huddersfilly Town runs in the 7.55pm race at Newcastle tonight (Friday) with Richard expecting her to “go close.”
Richard, who has 20 horses in training and aims to become the biggest syndicate in Britain in the next 18 months, is a big Town fan and his ultimate ambition is to own a football club.
“While I’ll never be wealthy enough to own Town there could be a small club out there,” he said.