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Royal Ascot: Chelsea super fan Clive Washbourn chasing Gold Cup glory with Caius Chorister

Rambunctious Owner Clive Washbourn has high hopes for Caius Chorister at Royal Ascot, he discusses his love for racing, Chelsea Football Club and how he is the crossover between Wham! And racing that we didn't know existed…

Clive Washbourn
Image: Chelsea super fan Clive Washbourn has huge Royal Ascot aspirations

Caius Chorister is Clive Washbourn's high hope for Royal Ascot, widely known for his wild celebrations, he believes his homebred mare has a great shot of the Gold Cup.

As Royal Ascot draws closer and closer, Washbourn is hoping the homebred Caius Chorister can land him his first winner at the racecourse.

He said: "One of the first we've bred is the mighty Caius Chorister who just gets better and better. She's going to run a huge race in the Gold Cup. She's run twice this year and she's been beaten by Coltrane and then beaten by Sweet William at Sandown.

"None of the commentators have actually cottoned on to the fact that we've been carrying a 3lb penalty because of the race that we ran backend at Saint-Cloud."

Washbourn is very confident in the abilities of his mare, he added: "We will absolutely turn form around on both of those horses and both the ground has been good to soft and really quiet heavy at Sandown. This horse bounces off good and good to firm ground and I would suspect normally at Ascot you're going to get better ground.

"She's going to take the beating; I've probably been too vocal saying that. The idea of breeding a Gold Cup winner is mind-boggling."

Washbourn has bred a few horses now other than Caius Chorister including Laura Bay, named after his partner. Laura Bay recorded a first win at Newbury in May and it was evident how important that win was to Washbourn with his celebration.

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Well-known for his eccentric celebrations the maritime insurer has been warned by his partner Laura that he will need to behave in front of the King.

He admitted: "I said I would get my act together, she just went really. I want to be the last person kicked out of Royal Ascot. Honestly, to me I will think I've died and gone to heaven. Laura I think is a bit worried that I'm going to have a heart attack.

"The ambition is that at one end of the parade ring there is a statue of Yates and in six years they will be making a statue for Caius Chorister!"

Clive has two sporting loves of his life; racing and his beloved Chelsea. A life-long fan of the London club, he has early memories of going to the football with his father and still stays loyal despite the recent trials and tribulations.

He said: "Am I optimistic on what's going on with the club now? The new ownership seems to draw controversial views, I'm for understanding them.

"It is very simply they run a business and they've put an awful lot of money into it - they've bought some very good players. There's been an odd one where you think they've been rather disappointing but goodness me for example Cole Palmer. I don't think I've seen such a gifted player come into a first team and do what he's done. He's been utterly sensational."

Royal Ascot - live on Sky Sports Racing!
Royal Ascot - live on Sky Sports Racing!

Watch every race from Royal Ascot, all live on Sky Sports Racing from Tuesday June 18 to Saturday June 22.

Washbourne featured in bands when he was younger as a bass player. He even has a claim to fame with Wham!

He said: "My sister said there's two lads who are looking for a drum and bass player. So I met them and played with them for about five or six months and then we drifted apart.

"That was a mistake because they were called George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley who became Wham! My claim to fame is that my base line turned into Club Tropicana.

"They obviously went on to be superstars and brilliant. George always was one of the greatest writing talents."

No one could call Washbourn not a passionate individual who likes living life to the full. He explains how a late diagnosis of bipolar made sense to him as he compensated for it by drinking among other things.

He said: "I don't mind admitting that I suffer from a little bit of bipolar - I love that feeling of euphoria but when I get home and look at the video of me afterwards I'm thinking, 'Oh my goodness, I look like a right idiot'.

"I've had a lifetime problem with addictions, and they are to compensate for the bipolar ups and downs. I don't mind saying I've gone to rehab, and they said there are five main addictions: drink, drugs, gambling, sex and shopping. I said full house."

This candid admission allows Washbourn to admit part of the reason why he wanted to do this interview is he wanted people to see him as he puts it "not over refreshed". Laura insists that there is another side to him, a quiet and kind side that people often don't see.

However, with Caius Chorister having what he believes is a leading chance in the Gold Cup, it's more than likely that another extravagant celebration will be seen on the big screen.

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