HE WAS a winner in last week’s Grand National at Aintree and now Douglas Pryde, owner of the triumphant Auroras Encore, is to use his £150,000 windfall to fund budding Scottish businesses.
Pryde, who runs a firm of independent financial advisers (IFAs) in the Borders, told Scotland on Sunday that he wanted to invest in schemes that provide an alternative to bank lending. “It’s very important that money is made available to businesses,” he said.
With more than 30 years in the financial services industry, he is keen to ensure the money is allocated as efficiently as possible, using tax breaks to maximise his investment. The enterprise investment scheme (EIS) is designed to help smaller companies considered too risky for bank lending to raise finance by offering a range of tax reliefs to investors.
“With the tax relief I can enhance my investment by more than 40 per cent,” he said.
Pryde set up IFA firm DG Pryde in 2005. Before forming a limited company, he and his five colleagues had traded as a team since 1992, building up a loyal client base. The group recently moved office to Chirnside near Duns.
He had dreamed of entering a horse in the National for some years and teamed up with Edinburgh-based Jim Beaumont and David van der Hoeven to buy Auroras Encore as a bargain-basement Christmas present just four months ago.
The 11-year-old was a rank outsider with odds of 66-1, but ridden by Scottish jockey Ryan Mania, he stormed home to win the world’s most famous steeplechase by nine lengths. Bought as a cheaper alternative when Beaumont was negotiating to buy fellow runner Mr Moonshine from a stables in Yorkshire, Auroras Encore proved to be a winning investment.
Although Beaumont dismissed rumours that he paid just £10,000 for the unlikely champion, he admitted he had bought him for a bargain price, and the horse is likely to be worth much more after winning the big race. The owners shared more than £500,000 in prize money with Mania and others involved in the project.
But Pryde is more cautious with his investments off the turf, and is planning to put money into his self-invested pension and into an ISA.
Pryde says he will be opting for a stocks and shares ISA as he thinks the markets “still have a way to run” – and will be choosing a provider that “puts something back” by sponsoring the sport of kings.
He will also be keeping his fingers crossed for further success that could see Auroras Encore follow the success of the legendary Red Rum.
The horse is in the running to complete a rare National double at Ayr on Saturday – Red Rum achieved the feat by also winning the Scottish Grand National in 1974.
It is still unclear wether Auroras Encore will be ridden by Mania at Ayr – the Galashiels-born jockey was injured in a fall the day after becoming the first Scot to win the Grand National since 1896, but he is keen to get back in the saddle as quickly as possible.