Sangster UK assets less than pounds 5,000.
ROBERT SANGSTER, the first man in Britain to turn horseracing into a major international business, left assets worth just over pounds 4,500 in the UK, according to court papers that have just been re-leased, writes Graham Green. Taken at face value, this appears incredible for a giant of the turf who for 30 years was one of the world's leading owners and breeders until his death in April last year, aged 67, following a long battle with cancer.
Five times Britain's champion owner and a bloodstock pioneer, Sangster was synonymous with money - and plenty of it - as his colours were carried to victory in most of the globe's major races including the Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Melbourne Cup and Breeders' Cup Mile.
He was a partner in the Coolmore Stud, bought the training complex at Manton, and bred Sadler's Wells.
Also famous for living life to the full, he dated a string of beautiful women, including Jerry Hall, and had five children from three marriages.
Everybody knows racing is an expensive passion, and Sangster's running costs outside the sport were equally astronomic, but surely his funds weren't close to being exhausted?
While this is the picture painted by the appearance of the documents in the Probate Registry of the High Court in London, the real story has to be read between the lines and tells of Sangster's clever inheritance tax management because the bulk of his fortune, including pounds 90 million from the sale of the family pools business Vernons, is believed to be outside the reach of the taxman.
Sangster spent most of his later years in Australia and Barbados where, as a citizen, his 32-page will, made in August 2000, was sealed.
It reveals his UK estate was valued at only pounds 4,634, but it is not known how much he may have left in other countries.
Told how Sangster had put one over the British tax authorities, his long-time friend and co-owner, Tony Collins, said yesterday: ``Clever old him.''
Robert Sangster Outwitted the taxman