Anyone with even a passing interest in horsing racing would have had the dream or even chased it – owning a Melbourne Cup or Golden Slipper winner.
That is the joy, the thrill, the excitement of owning a racehorse.
The hope that maybe, just maybe, you have a champion in the making.
You can just picture yourself in the saddling enclosure at Randwick or Flemington, hugging your co-owners as your horse comes back to the winners stall. Then there’s the presentation before retreating to the bar and cracking open the champagne.
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For many of us, however, the reality has been merely celebrating winning a maiden at the provincials or a country track with a few beers.
Mind you, it’s no less exciting. Just having a winner, anywhere, is a sheer joy.
I’ve owned a couple of thoroughbreds, not with great success mind you – a win at Newcastle and Bathurst with a horse called Prince Henry that was trained by the late Pat Quinn in the late 1990s is the sum total, though I was lucky enough to be involved in a terrific pacer, Trunkey Gold in the late 70s, early 80s that won a dozen races, four at Harold Park.
But, that’s fine because it is important you go into these things without great expectations. It’s hard enough getting a horse to the track let alone it winning a race.
While tempted to get involved again in racehorse ownership, the financial commitment was a drawback. Of course, there are many thoroughbred racehorse syndicators around these days and most of them are terrific. But nothing really grabbed the attention.
But, my interest was piqued recently when a mate alerted me to miRunners, who have emerged as the new kids on the block in the ever growing syndications system.
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This is a new style of syndication where a yearling is purchased and miRunners split the horse into 1,000 equal units.
They purchase a horse at the Gold Coast Magic Millions, match it up with one of Australia’s best trainers and split the cost by 1,000. For example, the Not A Single Doubt x Royal Pageant filly was purchased for $275,000 and is trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. The horse is split into 1,000 units available at $275 per unit which gives you all the associated privileges of being an owner, including a share of any prize-money that is won. You can choose to purchase one or multiple units.
The beauty of there being so many units in the horse is that the ongoing monthly costs are very low. Training and upkeep fees are $15 per month for the first unit, and $5 per month for every additional unit purchased.
You might say what is the point of having one unit out of 1,000 because the returns will likely be minuscule?
Well, the trick is to think of it as being a fun thing to be involved in. Whether you have one unit or 100, you still have a share in a racehorse.
As far as miRunners is concerned, your unit is as important as someone who has 100. You are treated no differently. You are part of the family.
— miRunners (@miRunnersDotCom) May 19, 2017
Having looked into the syndication, I decided to purchase units in the Kris Lees and Mick Price horses.
So far, I have bought more than 15 units and plan to buy a few more.
Regardless of whether the horses were a while away from racing or at the final stages of their trials, the level of information from the stables has been outstanding so far. The stables have e-mailed a number of videos of the yearling being paraded, handled, shoed, washed, walked, training trailing and now – for the Lees horse – in the final stages of race prep.
There has also been voice recordings from Kris talking about the progress of the yearling and there is a monthly newsletter sent as well.
We have seen Saganaki trial, now it is just a matter of being patient and counting the days when, hopefully, we get to see him race. Of course, there are never any guarantees when it comes to horse racing.
There are risks involved, but you have to go into these things with your eyes wide open and keep your expectations low.
But, the good thing is…you can still dream and hope you might have the next Kingstown Town or Black Caviar!
Ray Gatt is the chief football writer for The Australian. He has been a sports journalist for 43 years, working with the Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Associated Press and The Australian (since 1989). He has covered many sports including horse racing, rugby league, cricket. He has been covering football for over 35 years.