Rogue Millennium providing Mildenhall Fen Tigers general manager Lee Chipchase with Epsom Oaks dreams
Mildenhall Fen Tigers general manager Lee Chipchase hopes he can keep living the dream with Rogue Millennium, who he believes has a ‘fighting chance’ of coming up trumps in tomorrow’s Cazoo Oaks at Epsom Downs (4.30pm).
Having watched the West Row-based speedway outfit claim last year’s National Development League title, the 47-year-old will swap the pits for the paddock when joining up with fellow syndicate members from The Rogues Gallery on Friday.
The Tom Clover-trained daughter of Dubawi features among 12 names that remain in contention for the mile and a half Classic after she was supplemented for the race last Saturday at a cost of £30,000 by connections.
Purchased for 35,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December Mares sale as part of the consignment from Shadwell Estates Company, Rogue Millennium has made giant strides this season, having been unraced last year.
After making a winning debut at Wetherby in March, the progressive three-year-old advanced her Classic claims when backing that win up with victory in the Listed SBK Oaks Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Lingfield Park on May 7.
Although Rogue Millennium will need to step forward again to maintain her unbeaten record, Chipchase is confident she is more than capable of giving syndicate members another day to remember in the prestigious Group One Classic.
Chipchase said: “Charlie Fellowes liked his horse (Fresh Hope) at Wetherby and Tom said if we can get a good run here we can build on that as she was still green and raw.
“She got to the track and just switched on with about three furlongs to run and won going away. After that everyone was buzzing and like ‘where do we go next?’
“Tom said I think we should go to the Lingfield Oaks Trial and see what we have got here. All the way down on the drive to Lingfield I was getting myself worked up and the night before I was getting butterflies.
“I think she was still a bit green at Lingfield as she had to come from the widest stall at Lingfield and she has gone all the way around outside.
“She only won by a head but she is going away at that point and if you go another furlong she would be a few lengths clear.
“She will come again. If you look at her, she looks like her dad as she is a brute of a filly.
“It just feels surreal as we are now going to turn up to Epsom with a fighting chance. If we can finish in the top four it would be amazing.
“I’ve been involved with a lot of local sports teams around the Mildenhall area and I always like to think I can live the dream and win everything I try to.”
While looking forward to taking on runners from the sport’s super powers, Chipchase admitted his decision to splash out £1,000 for a share in Rogue Millennium was largely down to the enthusiasm and previous dealings with syndicate founder Tony Elliott.
He added: “The first two horses I became involved in with the group were The Guvnor and Rogue Power.
“From there it has spiralled out and the more you got involved the more excited about the next purchase you got and I think I’m now involved in about 15 horses.
“Billy Jackson-Stops, Tom and Tony picked her out and knew there was something there.
“When Tony got this one at the dispersal sale there were only 40 shares and a few of the guys were saying this horse could be anything so I thought I had to have a go.
“I’ve been involved with four or five different syndicates or clubs and this is by far the best one I’ve been involved in and they really make you feel part of it.”
It is not only Elliott that Chipchase, who is also heavily involved with Mildenhall Cricket Club, has plenty of praise for but also Kremlin House Stables handler Clover, for whom this will be a first Classic runner.
He added: “Tony Elliott is going somewhere with this club and he will take it to the next level. He is straight up front and wears his heart on his sleeve and in Tom he has got a young star training his horses.
“If Tom gets right ammunition he can certainly train them as he is proving now. Tom and his wife Jackie are amazing and they always welcome you with open arms.
“He is a down to earth guy and you don’t always find them nowadays.
“Tom has got an amazing team here with all the staff and riders. He is up and coming and he will be a big star.”