Ahead of Saganaki’s first trial on Monday 23 October, we caught up with Adam Houlahan, web entrepreneur and unit-holder of miRunners’ first colt Saganaki.
You’re a business owner in the digital marketing industry who dabbled in the boating industry. Why the interest and passion for thoroughbreds?
“That’s a great question! Yes, I’m now the CEO of a company called Web Traffic That Works, which is a digital marketing agency and I have owned businesses in the past in the water-skiing and boating sector. My main career though is talking at events around the world on how LinkedIn can help your marketing.
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“But the interest in horse racing is much older. I won’t tell you how old I am but I first started going to the Newcastle race track when I was eight years old as both my mum and dad were passionate racing fans – and my dad still is. Most days you can find him going over the form of every horse for the week and he has an incredible strike rate for picking winners.”
Tell us about the miRunners experience…
“One of my passions is following disruption in industries, and the stories of Uber, Airbnb, and others are well documented so I love what miRunners has done. For me it fits perfectly at an intersection of disruption and a lifelong love of racing and it allows me to be an owner!
“I’m really looking forward to being involved in the excitement and enjoyment, and to taking my passion and interest in thoroughbred horseracing to a whole new level.
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“I’m loving the communications: being able to see how Saganaki’s progress in his track work is exciting, especially when I live some distance away. Being able to see first-hand is pretty special.
“Both my eight-year-old daughter and of course my dad are enjoying the updates and being part of the horse owning world. My daughter basically regards Saganaki as her own now!”
Horse racing has always been part of the Houlahan household?
“It has. My dad’s business partner was from a big racing family and owned Guntawang Stud in Gulgong, NSW. I often visited Guntawang, which was home to some top horses of the day, including horses such as John’s Hope which won the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond Stakes.
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“My parents ran a number of hotels throughout the years and of course racing was always a big part of every Saturday afternoon in the Newcastle area in NSW.”
You’d appreciate how the miRunners technology has changed thoroughbred ownership in a new way…
“This is what attracted me most to miRunners, I believe this could be the start of something truly unique to Australian thoroughbred racing and it’s really exciting to be part of that.
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“Syndication of course has been around for many years but miRunners changed the model so that anyone with a love of racing can now be a part of this dynamic industry as an owner. It really does open up thoroughbred ownership to everyone and that means a huge boost to the industry as a whole.”
What is it about horse racing that stirs you?
“I think most Australians have something of a love affair with racing, from the Melbourne Cup through to just loving to see our champions win: horses like Phar Lap, Black Caviar and of course Winx, and who knows – Saganaki in the future! It is almost un-Australian not to love racing.
What’s been your most-memorable horse racing memory?
“I think that would be when another good friend of mine owned a horse called Oompala, which was being prepared for a shot at the 1994 Melbourne Cup. For one of his lead-up races we hired a plane and flew to Grafton for the Grafton Cup which was a great day. Oompala ran third that day, and then went on to run third to Jeune in the Melbourne Cup.
Finally, tell us about being part of the miRunners community…
“It’s early days for me but I’m looking forward to being part of something new and special, and being one of a number of owners will certainly be part of that. I’ve not yet seen Saganaki at either his stables or the track so I’m looking forward to that first visit at some point.
“As a digital marketer you’d expect me to be a fan of digital communications and that’s part of the miRunners experience that I’m also looking forward to.
Find out more about the next miRunners colt to be trained by Mick Price or secure your share in the next miRunners thoroughbred by clicking here.