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This man is Philip Green - and hes the richest racehorse owner in Britain; John Randall finds out how racing's movers and shakers fared in this year's Sunday Times survey of the mega-rich.

Byline: John Randall

PHILIP GREEN has succeeded Kirsten Rausing as the richest racehorse owner in Britain, according to the Sunday TimesRich List 2005.

Green, Britain's leading high-street retailer, and his wife Tina are multibillionaires, with assets worth pounds 4,850 million as estimated by this annual survey, which lists the 1,000 richest people in Britain.

The BHS boss became a racehorse owner for the first time last year when going into partnership in two horses with Michael Tabor, who is himself worth pounds 400 million.

Green said in October: ``Michael is a longtime friend of mine, and while I wouldn't say I'm a racing fanatic, I am interested, although I don't often get the chance to go.''

He got off the mark with the Neville Callaghan-trained Liberty Run on the allweather at Wolverhampton in November.

Green ranks fifth overall in the Rich List, behind three immigrants and an aristocrat: Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Russian oil oligarch Roman Abramovich, landowner the Duke of Westminster, and Swedish foodpackaging magnate Hans Rausing.

The last-named's niece, Kirsten Rausing, who with her brother Jorn is worth pounds 2,575m, is probably relieved that she is no longer Britain's richest racehorse owner, as the boss of Lanwades Stud in Newmarket hates publicity about her inherited wealth.

The fact that money can buy success has already been underlined this year by Graham Wylie (pounds 180m), who won three races at the Cheltenham Festival and another at Royal Ascot at York, Trevor Hemmings (pounds 730m), who won the Grand National with Hedgehunter, and Tabor, who brought off the Guineas double.

Tabor owns Footstepsinthesand and Virginia Waters in partnership with Sue Magnier, whose husband, Coolmore boss John Magnier, is worth g 742m (pounds 520m) according to the Sunday Times's supplementary list of the richest people in Ireland.

Other racing people in the top 20 of that Irish list include Sir Tony and Lady O'Reilly (pounds 1,328m), Dermot Desmond (pounds 867m), Tony Ryan (pounds 780m), Frank Dunne (pounds 407m), J P McManus (pounds 400m) and Michael O'Leary (pounds 278m).

Tabor's racehorse-owning partners include not only Green and Magnier, but also fellow former bookmaker Derrick Smith (pounds 350m), with whom he owned last year's Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart.

These plutocrats live in their own small world, networking with each other and building close links. Smith has a stake in Magnier's Coolmore empire, and Magnier and McManus were until recently major shareholders in Manchester United, as was mining magnate Harry Dobson (pounds 500m), who won the Craven Stakes with Democratic Deficit in April.

In addition, the Rich List includes several of Motivator's 230 co-owners, including Lord Vestey, Lord Lloyd-Webber, Lady Arbib, Chris Wright and Simon Cowell.

St ing not so lonely as fellow Geor dies Wylie and Elliot t give the nor th east a str ong r epr esent at ion

GRAHAM WYLIE from Whitley Bay has made a big splash in his short career as a racehorse owner, and the north east is represented in the Rich List by two other racing Geordies - Gordon Sumner and John Elliott.

Gordon Sumner from Wallsend, alias Sting, has amassed a fortune of pounds 185 million (pounds 5m more than Wylie) from his music career.

Sting was still in the Police when he scored a double whammy in June 1983: a No.1 single, Every Breath You Take, and a Royal Ascotwinner, Sandalay in the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Sandalay, trained by Peter Cundell, was ridden by Willie Carson to a decisive victory in Britain's longest Flat race over Triumph Hurdle winners Heighlin, Baron Blakeney and Shiny Copper. Two months earlier, the five-year-old entire had won the valuable Ascot Long Distance Hurdle.

At the time, many pop stars still regarded a racehorse as the ultimate status symbol, a must-have accessory that allowed them to flaunt their wealth. This was before Sting forsook such frivolity and started campaigning for the rainforests.

John Elliott and his family are worth pounds 66m from Ebac, the international Bishop Auckland-based company that makes water-coolers and dehumidifiers.

Though now 61, the selfmade Elliott entered racing only recently but has already tasted big-race success with K asthari, who dead-heated for last year's Doncaster Cup.

Wylie and Elliott both have their horses with local trainer Howard Johnson.

Cullot yand Swinburn see father s-in-law climb the r anks

TWO of the biggest risers in this year's Rich List are David Samworth and Peter Harris, who are also the two richest men with jockeys (or former riders) as sonsin-law.

Samworth is the chairman of his family's Melton Mowbray food company, which specialises in pork pies and Cornish pasties, and his wealth has increased from pounds 190m to pounds 260m in the last 12 months.

This former owner with Peter Walwyn has also become a grandfather via his daughter Susie, who married Jim Culloty last year.

P eter Harris has seen his caravan parks fortune rise from pounds 91m to pounds 195m, and the trainer also handed over his string to his son-in-law, Walter Swinburn, last November.

Ten people included in this survey in 2004 are now absent because of death, failure to reach this year's higher threshold, or a downward revaluation of their wealth.

Sir Stanley Clarke, plumberturned-property tycoon and owner of 1997 Grand National winner Lord Gyllene, died in September and has been replaced on the list by his son Simon, deputy chairman of the family's racecourse company, Northern Racing.

This year the threshold for inclusion has risen from pounds 40m to pounds 50m, which means that the Dukeof Richmond, Lady Juliet Tadgell, Tim Watts, John Sunley, Raymond Mould (Bindaree) and Peter Savill fail to make the cut.

Savill's wealth, derived from publishing magazines in the Caribbean, has been estimated at pounds 40m for many years. That ranked him 230th in 1990 but is no longer enough to stop the former BHB chairman dropping out of the top 1,000.

Three other names have been dropped from the list even though they would have qualified had they maintained their 2004 worth - the Sangster family, heirs of Robert Sangster; John Halewood, owner of Amberleigh House; and motor-racing tycoon Eddie Jordan.


Philip Green: the BHS boss made his first venture into racehorse ownership last year; Ex-trainer Peter Harris, Rich Listed father-in-law of Walter Swinburn
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2005
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