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Racing’s newest big spenders
Natives of Navan in County Meath, Ireland, Noel and Valerie Moran started with humble beginnings. Twelve years ago, the couple started a new business during the height of the world recession. A concept generated at their kitchen table in London, they started a company called Prepaid Financial Services.
Fast-forward twelve years, the couple have netted a staggering €266m from the sale of that business. Prepaid Financial Services was sold to Australian listed payments company, EML late last year. They now plan to grow a horse racing empire and they are spending huge money with Cullentra House-based trainer Gordon Elliott.
The horse to watch out for
Ginto caused quite the stir at the Tattersalls Cheltenham November Sale, proving to be the most sought after lot. The auction was held live online from their Fairyhouse sales ring due to the Covid-19 restrictions at the time. The four-year-old made a winning debut at Tattersalls point-to-point course, running out an impressive 12-length winner under Jamie Codd.
A well-bred son of Walk In The Park, he was purchased by owners Noel and Valerie Moran for a staggering €470,000. It was a very intense auction with the bidding starting out at €200,000. Ginto is another horse added to the list of promising point winners in their team with Elliott. They include the £255,000 purchase Hollow Games, and Gringo D’Aubrelle who was the second most expensive horse at the same sale.
With powerhouses Gigginstown House Stud winding down their spending, the Irish racing fraternity were concerned. Rich Ricci also doesn’t seem to be pumping as much money as he was into the Irish game. The arrival of Noel and Valerie Moran and their cash injection into the sport is most welcomed.
Noel was asked if he would like to grow to be as big as Gigginstown House Stud, and replied: “No, we don’t want to be as big as Gigginstown, but we definitely want to compete at Grade 1 level. That’s the objective. You don’t need to have 300 or 400 horses to do that. It obviously makes it a bit easier, but if you’re selective with what you’re buying, you can still compete in the Grade 1s.
“We only really started two years ago so all of our horses are four or five. We don’t even have a chaser at the moment. It was always going to take four or five years for the thing to build and we won’t have any good staying chasers for another three years.
“If you’re doing something, you want to do it right. We want to compete at the top level. If you look at some of the horses we have bought recently, they are from the top end of the market so we’re buying a better calibre of horse now. We’d rather have fewer horses who are competing in Grade 1s than have a whole load of ordinary horses.”