Gary Newbon Presents...

We were, recently, lucky enough to have Gary Newbon sharing his conversations with a number of sporting heroes.

Gary tracked down several footballers involved in syndicates especially for Old Gold Racing. Find out how these big sporting names got involved and hear about their experiences on and off the racecourse below…


Gary Newbon has been a broadcaster for over 53 years including 36 with ITV and fourteen years with Sky Sports. Previous Sky TV shows included Sporting Heroes, a series in which Gary interviews in depth the legends of sport; Time of Our Lives; You’re on Sky Sports live Boxing and Darts.

With ITV Gary covered seven World Cup football finals, three Olympic Games, European Champions Football – both national and club – many world boxing championships around the world and a host of other sports ranging from speedway to greyhound racing. He has presented over 10,000 television programmes.

Gary made his name with interviews in European Champions League, the Big Match and ITV’s Big Fight transmissions. His regular and memorable interviewees included the late Brian Clough, Sir Alex Ferguson and Chris Eubank.

He has been an accomplished and experienced MC, host and after dinner speaker at both corporate and sporting events throughout his career. He is still in demand.

As an executive, Gary was Controller of Sport for Central Television for 23 years, a former Deputy Head of ITV Sport and was responsible for introducing many well-known faces to the screen together with top production talent.  He developed Jimmy Greaves who began his television career with Gary on ATV in 1980 together with other top presenters including Gary Neville, Andy Gray, Andy Townsend, Manish Bhasin (BBC) and Sarah-Jane Mee (Sky News). Many of the production people he started off now hold top jobs in television. Barbara Slater became the first woman sports reporter when he appointed her to his new Central TV Sport team in 1981. She is now the most powerful person in BBC Sport as the Director of Sport.

Gary has won three coveted Royal Television Society awards and was nominated for the Sony Radio Awards where he made his mark in radio as a regular host on Talksport for nine years.

He was producer of the acclaimed 1987 ITV documentary on the Queen Mother and her interest in National Hunt racing entitled ‘Royal Champion’. He is currently executive producer for Noah Films on the Ricky Hatton documentary to be screened by Sky Sports in 2023.

Gary began his journalism career in his home city of Cambridge before joining Hayter’s Sports Agency in 1967. He was also a sports columnist for the Sunday Mirror. His television presenting career began in 1968.

He is President of the Lord’s Taverners in the West Midlands, a former patron of Deafblind UK, Honorary Barker of the Variety and a member of the Grand Order of Water Rats. He was honoured by the City of Birmingham with his name added to the Walk of Stars and earlier had been named one of the 100 great Brummies. Gary’s latest accolade was in the Birmingham Awards where he was honoured with the Life Time Achievement Award.

He is a co-company director of Prime Ticket Productions Limited engaged in independent broadcasting and television production, TV and speech training.

Gary is also an Ambassador for Utilita Energy, Hotel du Vin Birmingham and IMPACT and is a consultant for the Mackrell International law company.

Gary was awarded an M.B.E. by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in the 2019 New Year Honours List for services to Media, Sport and Charity. His citation stated his development of Women in TV Sport.

Harry Redknapp: "I love horse racing"

Harry Redknapp currently owns 15 racehorses, some of them with syndicates, of which he’s a big fan.

He told Racing Weekly: ‘I love horseracing. I get a tremendous buzz owning horses and also going racing. I often go on my own. I also get the same buzz when in a syndicate of owners.’

He loves the anticipation ahead of a horse he owns running, although – like most of us – his biggest wish is that his horse comes back safe and sound.

He particularly enjoys the Cheltenham Festival and while he has had runners there, he is yet to have a winner at the meeting. ‘It is one of my dreams’ he said.

Harry, now 75, has been interested in horse racing since he was only five years old. His grandmother used to collect the bets from the ladies in their street to give to Cyril, the 60-year-old paper boy who acted as the bookie. It was all completely illegal, of course. Every so often she would be taken off to the police station, but would always make sure to let little Harry know his dinner was in the oven beforehand.

His grandmother used to ask him to select some bets and he would put a pen to a random horse to make a selection. He joked ‘I still do that!’.

His current horses are spread around various trainers. These include three with Gary Moore, two with Ben Pauling, two with Simon Dow and others with Martin Keighley and Olly Murphy. He also has shares in two horses with Fergal O’Brien, amongst others.

He rates Moviesta as probably his best horse. Harry owned the Edward Lynam trained horse in partnership with Will J Salthouse and Ritchie Fiddes.

The Kentucky bred sprinter won five races between 2013 and 2017 including the King George Stakes (Group 2) at Goodwood and was placed in several races. Harry feels that he was very unlucky when finishing third in the Prix de Abbaye de Longchamps (Group 1), noting that he was baulked and blocked a few times.

Here’s hoping he gets the luck he deserves at The Festival some time soon.

Ben Turner: "There is an unbelievable feeling when you have winner"

Ben Turner fulfilled his passion for football by playing centre half in the Premier League for Cardiff. After 14 years of also playing for three other EFL clubs, he now plays for non-league club, Ilkeston Town. The 6ft4 central defender was born in Birmingham and now lives in Solihull.

What you might not know is that since he was a young lad, he has loved horse racing.

Ben explained: ‘I got my love for horse racing from my father and grandad at very early age. My father loved the sport. My mother’s father was blind but he loved his daily five pence round robin bet, which I would put on when old enough. He used to follow the results relayed to him through, in those days, Teletext.’

He went on to say: ‘I wanted to be a footballer and when I made it and had some spare cash I bought shares in a few horses; owning a leg here and there. I have had so much fun doing it.’

Turner, 34, has been involved in the ownership of between 15 – 20 horses with much success. He is very knowledgeable on the sport and leans heavily towards National Hunt racing.

Though a great believer in syndicates, Ben has owned one mare outright, Savingforvegas. She only ran three times but achieved a win two seconds before suffering an injury, which lead to her retirement from racing. Following this, Turner sent her to stud, where she was covered by the very fashionable sire Blue Bresil and subsequently produced a foal, One Eye On Vegas.

One Eye On Vegas is now in training with Buckinghamshire based trainer, Stuart Edmunds, who is reportedly very excited about the gelding’s future. Turner has syndicated the horse with seven others, keeping one share for himself.

Ben has also organised several successful syndicates with other footballers including his Cardiff teammates.

When he was playing for Burton Albion he had horses, which he owned with John Mousinho, who is now the player-coach for League One Oxford United and the current chairman of the Professional Footballers Association.

Ben owned Mister Miyagi with another player, Jay Tabb, who played for Reading, Coventry City and Brentford.

Ben told me: ‘We had high hopes one year for this horse in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham but he finished 16th after taking taking a knock and breaking down’.

He added: ‘Those were the type of disappointments but we have had plenty of highs with a lot of winners.’

Ben believes that syndicates should be fun for owners and that those running syndicates should make it all transparent keeping the owners informed.

He feel’s it’s important that the owners get to see plenty of photographs and videos along with stable visits and when possible, get the opportunity to go to see their horses on course.

Horse racing has always been fun for Ben and he encourages people to get involved. He said: ‘It’s important that you accept that this ownership is not about making money but there is an unbelievable feeling when you have a winner. That makes it all worthwhile!’

Steve McManaman: "We have won together and shared that thrill"

Steve McManaman is regarded as one of the best football players of his generation. During his career as a footballer, he played for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City before retiring.

Steve played 566 games, scoring 80 goals with his three top clubs. He also played 37 times for England scoring three goals but, as ever, setting up many more.

He won the FA Cup and League Cup for Liverpool and on both occasions was also named as man of the match (as he was in many others).

Steve was only the second English player to join Real Madrid. He won two League titles for them (La Liga) and two UEFA Champions League titles. The first of these came when he scored a spectacular Volley in their 3-0 win over Valencia. Then two years later he came on as a substitute in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

I was ITV’s live match interviewer for both and Steve was very helpful to me.

He was a flying, skilful winger or mid-field player packed with skills and excitement. One of the very best of his era.

He retired from playing in 2005.

Alongside his career in football, Steve tells me he’s also had a life-long love for horse-racing. His family always had the racing on telly when he was growing up and he feels the sport has always been in his blood.

Steve has enjoyed over forty winners as an owner, some with syndicates alongside other footballers, such as fellow Liverpool football legend, Robbie Fowler.

You could say he’s done pretty well with it too…

His latest win was with a horse called Box To Box, who is syndicated with a number of footballers and staff from the Premier League productions. Box To Box is a dual Chester winner for the syndicate and his trainer Hugo Palmer.

Interestingly enough, Hugo Palmer trains from Manor House Stables, which happens to be owned by ex-Liverpool, Real Madrid and England star, Michael Owen.

Steve recounted that his first two horses were Some Horse and Another Horse. He owned the pair of them in a syndicate with other Liverpool players including Robbie Fowler, Jamie Redknapp, Phil Babb, John Scales and Neil “Razor” Ruddock.

Then as Steve earned more money he and Robbie Fowler bought better horses and formed the Macca and Growler partnership.

They enjoyed horses such as Auetaler, Seebald, Major Lando, Samon and Bernardon. Whilst always being more focussed on the jumping game, for their campaigns both on the flat and over sticks they often targeted the purchase of horses based in Germany.

Steve loves syndicates. He said: ‘It’s a chance to meet up as we did recently at Goodwood. We all had a good laugh and a drink. We have won together and shared that thrill. And it also helps to spread the cost!’

Steve names Seebald as the best he has been involved with. Trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Sir Tony McCoy, Seebald won the 2003 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Celebration Chase at Sandown having been second the year earlier in the Arkle at Cheltenham.

His only disappointment about Seebald was that he was in Spain playing for Real Madrid for the horse’s best runs.

These days Steve works as a talented co-commentator for BT Sport and ESPN on their live coverage of the Premier League and he will be working for ESPN at this year’s World Cup finals in Doha.

A good and approachable person, Steve enjoys a nice life – a gifted and successful player in his time, now a successful TV performer and at times a winning racehorse owner… and a lover of syndicate ownership!

Bryan Robson: "If you share the costs, you will have just as much fun"

Bryan Robson is one of the best footballers ever to have played for Manchester United and England.

Off the pitch, he has also been a successful racehorse owner.

Bryan loves going racing and tells me that he often attends Cheltenham and Aintree with his old United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. They are both now Global Ambassadors for the club.

Robson began his playing career with West Bromwich Albion and after six years in the first team (becoming its captain), he was transferred to Manchester United.

Robson enjoyed a glorious career…

He became Manchester United’s longest serving captain under two managers Ron Atkinson and then Sir Alex Ferguson. He also won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Football League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup.

Bryan collected 90 caps for England (5th highest) scoring 26 goals (8th on the list) and captained the country in 65 internationals; only Bobby Moore and Billy Wright topped this.

He was known as Robbo or Captain Marvel and joined Middlesbrough as player-manager before retiring from playing and taking them to three Wembley finals, albeit losing ones. He managed the club to two promotions to the Premier League.

Bryan also managed Bradford City, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion. He was assistant manager to Terry Venables in Euro 96 when England lost a penalty shoot-out to Germany.

He is yet another famous footballer involved in racing, and a great believer in syndicate ownership. Robson told me: ‘I think that syndicate ownership is the best for many. The bills in racing are high but, if you share the costs, you will have just as much fun.’

His most successful horse was Taylormade Boy I, who he owned together with Gerry Taylor, a Rochdale businessman and Phil Black, proprietor of a tailor’s shop in Manchester. Taylormade Boy I, trained by Denys Smith in Bishop’s Auckland, finished his career with three wins to his name.

Bryan also owned a horse called Porto Heli, trained by Martin Pipe. He had another horse who he named Birthday’s Child after the successful chain of Birthday Card shops that he owned with Ronnie Wood (not the Rolling Stone!).

Robson went into breeding but, after his playing days, the cost of both eventually curtailed his ownership.

He still loves and follows the sport.