SIR ALEX FERGUSON always spoke about the importance of team-mates and teamwork when he was Manchester United manager.
That conviction has served him well in another sport – and netted him an absolute fortune in the process.
Fergie, seen here with good friend Mason, has built up several squads of powerful owners who have all won loads of cash in racingCredit: PA
Fergie, 80, spearheads several groups of multi-millionaire pals who plunder the biggest horse races around.
And this season they could have some of their most exciting prospects in ages, with a load of fancied runners being aimed at all the big festivals.
Along with Ged Mason, a hugely successful businessman thought to be worth around £190m, Fergie has embedded himself in several squads of big-spending owners.
The one that could prove the most lucrative this season is betweeen Fergie, Mason, John Hales of cuddly toy fame and John Diver.
Together they own the massively exciting Hermes Allen.
It’s a good job the horse’s owners have very deep pockets because he cost an eye-watering £350,000.
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Mind you, the five-year-old gelding recouped £28,000 with his jaw-dropping Cheltenham win last weekend.
Making a mockery of his 9-4 starting price, Hermes Allen powered away from the fancied Music Drive to win by a devastating nine lengths.
Nothing else could touch him – and the performance made even the most cynical of judges sit up and take notice.
‘Class’, ‘astonished’ and ‘brilliant’ were just some of the words blown-away trainer Paul Nicholls used to describe the run.
And he let slip in the aftermath of victory that the four owners now have their sights firmly set on much greater riches in March.
A tilt at Cheltenham Festival’s Ballymore Hurdle – where Hermes Allen is currently 8-1 – looks the logical choice… and its first-place prize of around £80,000.
Behind him lie a whole load of other runners who look set for the very top.
Top owner Hales, a Grand National winner, is another successful businessman Fergie has coupled up with in a powerhouse ownership groupCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
One to really keep an eye on is Isaac Des Obeaux – a close relation to Fergie’s two-time King George hero Clan Des Obeaux.
Another six-figure purchase, the four-year-old was mightily impressive when romping home on debut at Chepstow earlier this month.
Grade 1-winning hurdler Monmiral, who Fergie ownes with Mason, Hales and his daughter Lisa, is another destined for the top.
Again trained by Nicholls, he struggled somewhat last season but has still earned connections just shy of £170,000 in eight races.
Clan Des Obeaux, who’s earned more than £1million for Fergie and his mates, has sadly been ruled out for the season.
But Protektorat, with earnings of £275,000 over his career, could produce one of the shocks of the season at Haydock on Saturday.
The seven-year-old chaser will have it all to do in the Betfair Chase against Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard.
But we have seen a fair share of upsets already this National Hunt campaign.
And if Henry De Bromhead’s odds-on shot flops, Protektorat could be there to net Fergie a fortune – and another winner on Merseyside.
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