Syndicate cashes up on debut

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Some people spend a lifetime waiting for a winner, a group of new owners at Manawatu literally waited minutes.

They took “beginners luck” to a new level when Budvar Eyre raced clear at Manawatu last week.

The five-year-old gelding capitalized on a perfect trip in the trail for David Butcher to get home by a length for owners, the Turbo 1 Syndicate.

It was the syndicate’s debut as Budvar Eyre’s owner, and some of the members had literally only just joined.

“Four of them signed up last Tuesday and an hour later the horse won,” says syndicate manager Brian Ahern, ”they thought this is awesome - on course it was like the Melbourne Cup!”

There are 50 members in the syndicate with everyone paying $50 a month. It's a 12 month arrangement.

“About 60 per cent are newbies to racing,” says Ahern.

They come from all over New Zealand, even the Chatham Islands, some are work-mates or from the same golf club, many of them haven’t met each other or Brian the boss.

Brian Ahern was brought up with racing – his father was long-standing commentator Doug Ahern – but he only got into the syndication side of things after he retired.

“It’s a buzz, but it takes up a lot of time, there are registrations, bank accounts, APs, all sorts”.

He’d spent his working life as a police officer and employment relations expert and is now also vice president of the Manawatu Harness Racing Club.

Trained by Scott Dickson at Hunterville it was Budvar Eyre’s first win in 12 starts, after having three seconds and a third for Canterbury trainer Mike Brown. Two days later he was sixth on day 2 of the meeting.

Budvar Eyre isn’t Turbo 1's only horse, it also leases Painted Lady. Trained by Stephen Doody the three-year-old was unplaced on debut last week.

Ahern’s first foray into shared ownership was with the Captain Kirk Syndicate. It raced the horse of the same name which had two wins from 27 here before being a big winner in Perth and is now campaigning Greatest Showman, who has won two of his last three starts for Doody.

At Manawatu last week Budvar Eyre won on the Tuesday, and Greatest Showman on the Thursday.

Both banked $4950 for their wins, no matter the new syndicate members think this racing game’s easy.

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