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Happy returns as Emma's Gift lands bonus

A CHANCE visit to Julia Feilden's yard in Exning, near Newmarket, by Michael and Emma Raffan not only resulted in a surprise birthday present but one which has already paid for herself within several months of ownership.

While on a visit to Feilden's yard, Emma remarked to her husband Michael that owning a racehorse could be quite fun. She thought no more again of it until a two-year-old grey filly by Aussie Rules bought by Feilden as a yearling was presented to her out of the blue by her husband as a 40th birthday present. 

Racing Post Yearling Bonus Logo  

Appropriately named Emma's Gift, the filly broke her maiden on Wednesday over 5f at Bath, in a victory made all the more memorable by thefact it earned her owners a £10,000 Racing Post Yearling Bonus in addition to the £3,238 race prize-money.

The win has more than paid for Emma's Gift, who was purchased by Feilden for 11,000gns at the Tattersalls October Sale.

"A friend told us that Newmarket was a fascinating place and that we must visit," recalls Emma. "After contacting the Newmarket tourist board I found out that Julia Feilden ran a tour, the Hoofbeats Tour, and it was while we were looking around her yard that I remember saying to Michael ‘wouldn't this be fun?'

"Julia had bought Emma's Gift at the sales and she was one of a couple that offered to Michael. All of her was still available, so she was the one he chose. Obviously I was very surprised when I learned what he was giving me!"

Emma's Gift has finished in the money on each of her three racecourse appearances and her defeat of hotpot Kojak at Bath, when she was the first British winner for her first crop sire Aussie Rules, has set her up for a crack at bigger things.

"It's become very exciting and our children, Sophie, Tom and Harry, have got swept up in it all too - she's getting quite a following," says Emma. "I think we've been quite spoilt by it all, especially receiving the bonus which was a wonderful surprise. That was the icing on the cake as it has basically paid for her."
Emma's Gift's next start could be in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. But regardless of how she performs there, she already owes nothing to the Raffans, who wouldn't rule out reinvesting as owners in the future.

"We're learning so much all thetime and it has opened a whole new world of interest," says Emma. "We're just very grateful for Julia and John for all the work they've put into her."




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