David Robinson, his father-in-law Ron McRae, his brother Stephen Robinson and their cousin Robert Leuschner were inspired to become owners because each had lost a significant person in their lives in the last few years. They had always had a dream to buy horses and after a chance meeting at Woodbine with trainer Sylvain Pion, they knew they had found the person who could make that dream a reality.
“Life is short so you have to do the things you like to do,” was David’s response when asked why he and three others forayed into racehorse ownership with 4U Thoroughbred Racing Stables fours years ago.
The newly formed partnership started by purchasing two horses privately and claiming a third each of which had the talent to compete in the lower claiming ranks. With a few bumps along the road it was Niigon’s Glory who gave the partnership their first win photo on November 21, 2015.
By 2016 the stable had grown to 5 horses who gave them plenty to cheer about with 3 wins, 8 seconds and 5 thirds in 32 starts. Another 3 wins and 3 seconds in 28 starts kept the stable excited in 2017 however it brought about the realization that winning was hard to come by and they would need to step up to experience more from the game.
With winner Sassy Ombre and eventual endurance series winner Artistico leading the charge in 2018, 4U Thoroughbred Racing Stable took a chance to claim the talented trier English Illusion for $45,000 on August 5. It was the most money they had spent purchasing a horse thus far. The risk paid off immediately when English Illusion raced back to win the $100,000 Halton Stakes on August 29 for his elated new owners.
English Illusion followed that up with an impressive third place finish in the Grade 1, $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes, missing the win by only a length. He competed in the prestigious Grade 1, $800,000 Canadian International, was second in a $74,500 Allowance and finished off his year in the Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes.
English Illusion is back in training in the barn of Sylvain Pion at Woodbine for 2019 along with Artisico and new comer Tale of the Nile, a now 6 year-old who they claimed for $40,000 November 24.
“We’re looking forward to a great year,” expressed David who mentioned that the stable is looking for 2 more horses for 2019 which they will either claim or purchase at a two-year-old in training sale. And if the opportunity arrises to name a young horse again the plan remains to remember those loved ones they have lost in the name (Such was the case with For U Mike, who ran for the stable in 2016 & 2017).
“It is like owning your own sports franchise.” Commented David when asked about the experience so far. “You need to find a good trainer who is good at communicating and you need to trust the process.” Said David, “ We are still learning and while there are many positives, we know that it is hard to win, but when you do it is so much fun!” David also offered up this piece of advice, “I would suggest that you go in with somebody on the horses. It is better when there are lots of people at the track with you. We are glad we did.”