Committed owner could realise dream
By Jonny Turner
Oamaru trotting fanatic Rob McIntosh will realise a lifelong dream if Majestic Man wins the Interdominion Trotting Final at Alexandra Park on Saturday night.
McIntosh is one several Otago and Southland based members of the Griffins Syndicate, which race the 5yr-old from Phil Williamson’s barn.
Few owners have shown the dedication to the Interdominion series McIntosh has over the past two years.
Last year he was on hand to witness Griffins Syndicate trotter Monty Python run in all three heats of Melbourne Interdominion before he ran third in its final to Tornado Valley.
McIntosh travelled back and forth from Oamaru to work around his work commitments as a truck driver.
He has not missed a step Majestic Man or Monty Python have made at Alexandra Park during this year’s series.
McIntosh’s passion for trotting means it would be almost impossible for him not to be at the track on Saturday night to watch Majestic Man again.
That passion is driven by his earliest involvement in the sport at a young age.
And it is one that is linked to the 1965 series run in McIntosh’s home province at Forbury Park.
“Where it really began was I used to go over to Harry Cox’s stable at Winton and work with the racehorses - he was mum’s uncle,” McIntosh said.
“I loved it.”
“He had a big photo over the fireplace of a horse winning the Interdominion trotting final at Forbury Park called Poupette.”
“Every time I went there I always looked at that photo and thought hopefully one day I could be involved in a race like that myself.”
“Right to this day, forty odd years later, I can still envisage that photo.”
McIntosh developed a passion for the trotting gait that could have led him close to Interdominion success in 1994.
A friend told the trotting enthusiast of an opportunity to join the syndicate that raced former hardy Southland squaregaiter Diamond Field.
But, McIntosh did not pursue it because he felt the Cox trained David Moss, as well as another former Southland trotter Night Allowance, would have the horse’s measure in big races.
McIntosh said he shared a joke with Diamond Field’s winning driver Tony Herlihy about the near miss during this year’s series.
McIntosh was given the opportunity to take a vacant spot in the Griffin’s Syndicate after being involved in a similar syndicate years on
McIntosh has not looked back since then as the group have racked up dozens of trotting wins.
“I have had a ball being in the syndicate.”
“You get to meet a lot of great people and have a lot of fun.”
“Syndicates are a great way for people to be involved without it costing a lot of money.”
McIntosh is not the only Oamaru based member of the syndicate.
The mother and daughter duo of Glenda and Kirsty Stevenson also race Majestic Man.
Several owners are also based in Dunedin and further south.
McIntosh said more than 20 of the Griffin’s Syndicate to be on hand to watch Majestic Man on Saturday night.
There looks a big chance for the group to be celebrating a win, going on Majestic Man’s three excellent heat runs.
Win, lose or otherwise McIntosh said will be proud of his horse and he was already planning his trip to next year’s Interdominion in Sydney.