If ever there was a good advert for joining a racing syndicate, then it was there for everyone to see at Belmont Park on Saturday when three of the races there were won by groups of people in excess of 20 each.
Trainer Chris Gangemi, who’s wins are now renowned for being celebrated by large numbers of owners, kicked off the proceedings when former eastern states import Khan won at his Western Australian debut, much to the delight of his throng of owners. The Winners Circle champagne room, to which the winning owners of all races are invited to celebrate their success at Belmont Park, can’t fit the big numbers that ‘Team Gangemi’ regularly bring along to the races, and they took their celebrations to a much more spacious bar up in the grandstand! It was only three races later that they were celebrating again when Crystal Spirit, once again carrying the Gangemi’s red, white and green colours brought up his second win from as many starts since being purchased from Victorian interests to race in WA.
Whilst the Gangemi’s and their fans and followers were once again celebrating upstairs keeping Perth Racing’s cash registers ticking over, the feature race of the day, the inaugural running of the $100,000 Peninsula Cup was won by the flashy chestnut Prize Catch sporting the well known blue and white colours of Perth based syndicator Belhus Racing Stables. This particular syndicate of 20 people was put together by Belhus Racing Stables’ owner Peter Morley and trainer Lindsey Smith three years ago, and the former $42,000 yearling purchase has now won 8 races and is closing in on $300,000 in prizemoney-with the promise of plenty more to come!
The common feature of each of these three winners is that the owners involved come from all different walks of life, working in all sorts of jobs and professions, and living in pretty much every suburb in Perth-and beyond. It’s a very safe bet to say that none of them would have gone ahead in taking the financial risk of owning a racehorse alone. “It’s almost a dream come true to have a horse this good” said Anthony Kur, a part owner of Prize Catch. “I’ve only got a 5% share in the horse and so I only pay 5% of the expenses, but in return I get 5% of the prizemoney and 100% of the thrills and excitement so I reckon that’s a pretty good deal”.
The professionally managed groups such as those that Gangemi Racing and Belhus Racing Stables bring to the races are a cash cow to racing clubs and are an integral part of racing’s future-and need to be nurtured even more. “Everyone wins when a syndicated horse goes to the races-and especially so when they win” said Belhus Racing’s Peter Morley. “I’ve been putting syndicates together for 23 years now and everyone has a good win out of us. The gate does well, the bar does well, and even the racecourse photographer selling his winning photos does exceptionally well every time a syndicate wins a race. If racing authorities want more people owning