It All Started With Silk Underpants
It was a great advertisement for racing syndication, and in particular the Go Racing operation, when Ruud Awakening (2 b f Bernadini-Dawn Almighty, by Danehill) romped to a 5¼-length victory at Avondale last Monday and then, two days later, Lucky Country (3 b f ex Backcountry, by Valley Crossing) was one of three Darci Brahmas to win at the midweek Tauranga meeting.
Both promising young gallopers are raced by Go Racing syndicates, Ruud Awakening by the Almighty Dawn Syndicate and Lucky Country by the Guineas Syndicate. Both horses are trained by Stephen Marsh and both syndicates are managed by Albert Bosma, the founding spirit in Go Racing.
And while the Marsh-trained pair are likely to carry on in good form, there are other Go Racing charges expected to show up over the next few weeks.
“I reckon we’re looking at a very good season,” says Albert Bosma. “We’ve got a good crop of young horses hitting the tracks.”
“Savour The Moment (Savabeel) is back from injury and will be resuming at Taupo on Wednesday. He’s a very good horse, the winner of four from twelve before a small injury sidelined him. Taipa Tiger (Thorn Park), a three-year-old who ran second on debut as a two-year-old, resumed with a good fourth at Waverley the other day. He’s pretty smart and Lisa Latta thinks he may develop into a Derby hope.”
“Another young horse Lisa holds in high regard is a smart two-year-old by My Boy Charlie who won a trial at Foxton. Sadlers Rock (Rock of Gibraltar), who won his last two as a three-year-old last season, and The Final Round, who ran second in his debut last season and then bolted in at Hastings, are both about to resume.”
“Then there are two older horses who raced at Riccarton on Saturday, Mt Difficulty (Eltawaasul) and Waiting (Postponed). Both ran fifth on Saturday and we’re looking at them to peak at the Cup meeting next month. Mt Difficulty won at that meeting last year but was then sidelined by a few problems.”
The Final Round, by Darci Brahma, is the last foal of Soleil Etoile, the dam of a hardcase horse (with hardcase owners) named Silky Red Boxer. Which brings us full circle to the entry into racing ownership of Albert Bosma, the man behind Go Racing.
A fan of racing since his mother first took him to Trentham when he was four or five, Albert was no more closely involved in racing than as a punter and racegoer until his stag night, that time-honoured institution when about-to-be-married young men celebrate their last outing as a bachelor. Full of the joys of living and, one presumes, the odd glass of turps, Albert invited his fellow celebrants to join him in owning a racehorse.
“Some didn’t come on board, a bunch did. And that’s how the Too Much Taro Syndicate, which raced Silky Red Boxer, came about.”
Many readers will remember Silky Red Boxer and the exuberant band of young men who packed the birdcage after his eight wins, often wearing the trademark silky shorts over their more conventional garb.
Initially Silky Red Boxer was trained in partnership by Chris Waller and Heather Weller at Foxton. In those days, Waller had a satellite stable in Sydney and Silky Red Boxer stayed with Heather Weller when Waller decided to move full time to Sydney. But as a seven-year-old Silky was sent to Waller, already starting to make waves across the Tasman, and he won four more races in Sydney.
“He was rated the leading horse in Sydney when he broke down,” recalls Bosma.
Small wonder that New Zealand trainers Stephen Marsh, Lisa Latta, Andrew Scott and Stephen McKee are joined by Chris Waller and Bruce Marsh in Singapore on the list of trainers Go Racing uses.
“The latest horse we’ve had with Chris was Our Cannavaro, who was retired earlier this year after winning more than $200,000. He is a half-brother by Viking Ruler to Silky and The Final Round; we’ve had a great run with that old mare.”
Albert Bosma found after the success he had managing the Silky Red Boxer partnership that he was approached by many people to get a horse they could share in. “I bought four horses one year, another four the next – it got too big to be a hobby and I had to decide to either give it up or make it a full-on business. My business partner Pat Vinaccia and I turned it into a full-time business.”
A few years later, Go Racing can claim Group and Stakes winners in New Zealand and Australia, while more than ninety per cent of horses bought – thirteen from fourteen individual runners – have won at three years over the past two seasons.
It’s no hit-and-miss operation.
“I personally look at more than a thousand yearlings each year,” says Bosma, “all the Premier and Select yearlings and some of the Festival. Our trainers do the same, then we compare notes and draw up a short list. The key is in the selection process; in putting plenty of time into the inspections.”
“And the key to having successful syndicates, where everyone has an enjoyable time and good friendships are made, is being honest and up-front with everyone.”
“If a horse is no good, you tell shareholders it’s no good and cut your losses. If it is any good, you have to give good advice as to what we think the horse can achieve; whether we should sell or not if we receive an offer – treat people with respect whether they own a horse outright or a small share.”
“Because it doesn’t matter how much your share is when you win a race, it’s the greatest thrill on earth.”
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