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Happy Mondays dancer Bez launches his own horse racing club with winnings going to Manchester homeless charity

Written by on 25 March 2021

Happy Mondays dancer Bez, who is famed for shaking his maracas and causing chaos on stage, has launched his own horse racing club – despite admitting he is a beginner at the sport.

The 56-year-old maracas-shaking Manchester legend is inviting fans to buy into his horse called Mystic Moonshadow as a part of the club, while he brushes up on his equine knowledge and improves his commentary and riding skills.

The dancer says that prior to this endeavour, his only experience in the sport is betting on the Grand National and reading Dick Francis novels as a child.

Pic: Bez's Racing Club Image: Bez will allow members to buy into his horse – with winnings going to charity. Pic: Bez’s Racing Club

Bez, whose real name is Mark Berry, told Sky News: “The horse is amazing, she’s so beautiful, she’s a two-year-old filly and she’s training really well at Jedd O’Keeffes’ yard, she’s so fast, she’s outrunning all the other two-year-olds about her and she’s looking really, really good.

“We’re hopefully going to raise a lot of money for my charity called Coffee 4 Craig, which is a local homeless charity in Manchester.

“They do great work, they rehouse people, they do hot meals every day, people can get showers there, they can watch films there so they provide a great service and I’ve been a patron of theirs for the last seven or eight years now.”

Talking about getting into the saddle, he said: “I had my first go on a horse the other day down at the yard on a big giant, it’s like a hunter horse, it was so big, and I get on top of it… it was just massive and I was so scared.

“I was banging myself in places you never want to get banged, it was like a pretty painful experience.”

He said he wants to properly learn to ride with his youngest son over the Easter holidays.

Bez says he wants to brush up on his commentary skills. Pic: Bez's Racing Club Image: Bez says he wants to brush up on his commentary skills. Pic: Bez’s Racing Club

Members to the club will get a welcome pack and a handwritten postcard from Bez, along with a certificate of membership and a monthly newsletter on how Mystic Moonshadow is getting on.

Jedd O’Keeffe, who is training the horse, said: “Mystic Moonshadow is an enormously exciting horse and she comes from a fantastic pedigree. Her father has a great track record of siring Group One-winning fillies and her mother is an impressive sprinter too, so there’s a lot of speed in both parents.

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“The ideal attributes for a winning racehorse are a great pedigree, willing attitude, competitive nature, good movement, a great size and the aptitude to want to be a great racehorse. Mystic Moonshadow appears to have all of these qualities.”

If you fancy getting involved in Bez’s club, you can buy a membership starting at £59.

The horse will race in United red and City blue in tribute to Manchester’s two largest football clubs.

If coronavirus permits, members will also have the chance to visit the horse at the training yard or join Bez in the owners’ enclosure on race day.