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By Graham Potter | Sunday, August 25, 2013

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily

For those who want it, the thrill of race horse ownership is just a syndicate away.

There was a time when I saw that extended relationship of owning a horse with other people as being more of a complication than a connection.

I had witnessed many occasions where the owner-trainer relationship was severely tested, and often broken, by disagreement and my view at the time was that the more numbers you added into that equation the less likely you were to find harmony.

The contrary argument to that has always been that if you do create harmony within a syndicate you share the experience and celebrate any successes with friends on a much grander scale which makes it a far more memorable and meaningful venture.

I guess it is what you make it but with the tightening of the purse-strings increasingly dictating what is possible in terms of affordability it is not surprising in this day and age that the percentage of syndicate ownership is seemingly on the increase.

What we are talking about is affordability stripped bare. Even a very small share gets you through the ownership door and that’s the road that several syndicators are now taking to attract new clientele into the game and for small investors it’s not so much about profit or loss, it really is all about being able to participate.

It is more the sheer excitement, the heart-felt emotion, the anticipation and then hopefully the enjoyment of that ‘winning feeling’ that prompts their involvement. Financial rewards would be a bonus.

When the very aptly named Heart Of Many won at Doomben last Saturday an avalanche of owners swept down from the grandstand to the winners’ enclosure … and by no means were all of the syndicate members in attendance. There is reportedly eight hundred … yes eight hundred … of them in total.

The syndicate’s collective joy was far removed from any financial consideration.

If you think I’m kidding, you do the sums. A first prize there of $28 800, divided by eight hundred (taken for argument’s sake as if that figure is correct and all shares are of equal amounts), gives a return of $36.00 … before deductions.

That is an extreme example but it does emphasise the fact that nobody who enters race horse ownership at least half-informed gets into the game because of any real expectation of profit. They are there for the emotional ride.

Racing does owe a debt to these participants who come into the game to enjoy themselves. They help prop up the industry and give racing’s image such a happy face when their horse wins.

Of course the dream of owning a champion is ever present for any owner. Nobody knows who the next champion will be or who will own it and that constant unknown of racing will always have its pulling power and keep the dream alive.

Many though will just settle for the enjoyment race horse ownership brings them and the positive presence of that type of owner is a big plus for racing.

Good luck to them all.

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Graham Potter
Graham Potter
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best