Rookie owners go straight in to the winner’s circle
By Garrick Knight
Most people go months and even years before getting their first runner at the races, let alone their first winner.
But when Never Mind scored at Ashburton on Sunday, four first-time owners got the spoils with their very first starter.
And, what’s more, they only had to wait a matter of weeks to do it.
The rising six-year-old son of Muscle Mass showed a real turn of foot to reel in Sierra Gold right on the line in what his first start for a new ownership group and new trainer, Trent Yesberg.
Rolleston’s Peter McDermott, along with Yesberg, was the one behind the sale and their partners, Nikki Chalmers and Sarah Yesberg, are two of the first-time owners.
“I actually work mornings on the farm for James Geddes, who used to own and train the horse,” said McDermott.
“He’d one a good job with it but was looking to move it on and I thought that he might be a nice one to race on, being a maiden.
“Trent and I crossed paths when we worked at Wai Eyre Farm years ago and I’d been keen to get in to a horse with him since he started training.
“He’s been going really well and his strike-rate is excellent.
“So, I told him it would be a good one to buy and that I’d take whatever he couldn’t syndicate amongst his other owners.”
Yesberg drafted in some clients, including first-timers Jaron and Ryan Chamberlain from Geraldine, and his wife Sarah, and stable newcomers Brian and Trish Cross, and McDermott took the rest.
“I ended up with 40 percent, but then I realised Nikki’s birthday was coming up and I hate shopping.
“So, I gave her a share as a birthday present.”
Chalmers, who is from Ashburton, didn’t have to wait long for that gift to yield a return – less than three weeks.
And she was on course for the win, along with her family, who were taking part in the well-publicised farming family day.
McDermott says he was surprised at the speed shown by Never Mind in the run to the line.
“It was actually his toughness that made me like him; he hadn’t actually shown a lot of speed before.
“So full credit to Trent for harnessing that.”
It’s Addington next for Never Mind, and a crack at the time-honoured Darren DeFilippi Memorial race for junior drivers.
McDermott, who doesn’t mind a punt, just hopes he will be able to put to put more money on the horse next time.
As a part-owner, he couldn’t understand why he was so heavily restricted from backing the horse at Ashburton.
“I was only able to bet $88 on him when he was paying $2.70, using my account.
“Which is pretty stupid if you ask me.”