A few times a year, I syndicate a horse to run in the geegeez.co.uk colours. When I do that, I first offer it to existing syndicate members and then to the wider community of geegeez readers. The last couple of syndicates have been entirely taken up by existing members so this is the first time I've offered new 'syndicateers' the chance to join us.
Now, before I go on, it is important to say that racehorses make very poor investment vehicles as a rule. They do however make for exciting days out, interesting learning experiences, and can from time to time offer the chance to dream a big dream. So, with caveat emptor in place, there are two remaining shares (and one more on hold currently) in the following syndicate. This is how I shared it with the group:
FOREWARNING: THIS IS A LOOOOONG EMAIL 😉
You may or may not be aware that I purchased a yearling filly in France earlier this week [note, early last week] at the Arqana sale. Accompanied by both Anthony Honeyball and Ron Huggins (owner/breeder of Jukebox Jive), we had a shortlist of horses for potential acquisition to go into training with Anthony, and this filly was top of the pile.
She's by Soldier Of Fortune, an excellent dual purpose stallion, out of a mare called Moscow Nights. Mum has already thrown a star, in the form of Heartbreak City, a six-year-old who won the 2016 Ebor (Europe's richest handicap) and was a close up second in the Melbourne Cup a few months later. Prior to that he'd won a competitive handicap hurdle at the Galway Festival.
In other words, Heartbreak City is almost the ultimate dual purpose horse.
And here we have his half-sister to syndicate. Same mum, different dad. Soldier Of Fortune is the dad: he gets very good flat and hurdle runners. Most recently his son, Soldier In Action, won a Class 2 handicap off top weight (and a mark of 106) at Kempton earlier this week. Also in the last month, and as if to emphasise the dual purpose nature of the stallion, a horse called Early Doors won first a maiden hurdle and then a Grade 3 hurdle.
[Update: Mercenaire, the most recent Soldier Of Fortune progeny to run, bolted up by 25 lengths in a juvenile hurdle on his UK debut on Sunday].
Our girl is, according to Anthony, a lovely filly; a beautiful mover; and has travelled to her new home without incident. She's been on the walker this morning, and will be broken and ridden away in the near future.
I would like to offer you, as an existing syndicateer (!), the opportunity to get involved with this gorgeous unnamed filly. Her pedigree can be viewed here.
The syndicate will comprise of twelve equal shares, and the plan is roughly as follows:
Now: She'll be acclimatised at Potwell Farm and broken / ridden away. She'll then get a little rest most likely to think about what's happened and to grow.
Early next year: As a two-year-old, she'll start working towards some proper graft, and will train alongside AJH's other yearling project(s).
Summer/Autumn 2018: Some time next summer, probably late summer, she'll run in a 2yo maiden. Most likely, unless she's showing loads at home, this will be to gain experience. Both of last year's 2yos managed to get three runs on the flat before having their winter rest.
April/May 2019: Early in the 2019 flat season, as a 3yo, our young lady will begin her first full racing campaign. She'll compete either in a maiden or, if awarded a handicap rating already, in a handicap. From there, she'll race as often as makes sense, before...
October/November 2019: Juvenile hurdling becomes her game. Having gained experience of racing and, hopefully, a win or two on the level, she'll tackle hurdles in public for the first time. By now, with a favourable wind, we'll have had a lot of fun - and that, to this point, may just be the start of it!
The plan is based on an established blueprint which Anthony and Ron have successfully deployed with both Black Prince and, especially, Jukebox Jive. Both have already won on the flat, even though their long-term game was always expected to be over hurdles. BP ran second on hurdles debut - performing some way above his flat level - and JJ won nicely on his debut and only hurdle start.
Whether we can replicate that, and what will follow on from there, remains to be seen of course. But that's the plan.
And, additionally, because she's a well bred filly, there will be at least some residual resale value as a broodmare down the line.
The hammer dropped at €26,000 to which is added a 6% sales tax, making a total of €27,560. In GBP at the current rate, that's £24,650 or thereabouts. The cost of transportation hasn't been shared with me yet, but I'm given to understand it'll be around £700 (nice game to be in!). Insurance is anticipated at around £1,200 to end of next year, training to end of this year (i.e. a month and a week or thereabouts) is roughly £2,000, making an approximate start up cost of £28,500.
Startup costs, then, per 1/12th share will be £2,400. That will cover a share in the horse, sunk costs in getting her to Dorset, insurance for year 1, and training to the end of 2017.
Thereafter, it will be £165 per share per month. My massive preference is for the 2018 fees to be paid in one go but if that's not possible there is a quarterly option - see below.
In summary, then, your investment will be:
- £2,400 buy in for a 1/12th share
- £1,980 training/running fees to end 2018
Total £4,380 if sent in one go up front. Or you can split the initial buy in, payable now, from the 2018 training fees, payable in January.
As mentioned, if full payment to end 2018 is a stretch, the alternative is £2,400 now, then 4 x £495 payable on January 1st, April 1st, July 1st and October 1st.
I will contact syndicate members at around this time next year to arrange for the 2019 expenses to be covered.
Usual terms will apply, in line with existing syndicate agreements you have for other horses I've syndicated - and a specific agreement for this filly will follow shortly. The syndicate will run for at least two and a half years, unless a majority decide to sell/dissolve before then. This will be covered in more detail in the agreement.
[Note, please contact me if you'd like to view a copy of one of my syndicate agreements - the actual one for this filly will be available by the end of the week and will be closely related to the one I'll share on request]
WHAT TO DO NOW
Even before 'officially' advertising this syndicate - which I'm doing to you, existing members, first - there has been strong interest. Whether that converts into buy in, I don't know, but I am expecting it to be a popular 'project'.
The nature of this particular proposition is that it is not quite so 'point and shoot' as some I've put together, and prospective members should be aware of that. The flip side is that we will have fun across the codes and, if we can match even Black Prince's exploits to date, we'd be a consistent performer - and a winner - on the flat, and an ascendant juvenile hurdler with more to come.
With that said...
If you are interested in the Soldier Of Fortune/Moscow Nights syndicate, PLEASE
REPLY TO THIS EMAIL ASAP EMAIL ME AT MATT@GEEGEEZ.CO.UK ASAP.
And, naturally, if you have any questions, likewise, hit reply and ask away.
I have to say that, on a personal level, I've been very taken with the new girl (as you can probably see from the picture above). Anthony has done nothing to dissuade me from that impression. She's a lovely looker, and a great mover. Really looking forward to seeing what she can do in due course.
Thanks for reading this necessarily long note, and I wish you a great weekend whilst pondering the above.
p.s. this will be the last syndicate I plan to put together for the foreseeable future. We have quite a few up and running now, and each takes it toll in terms of admin time/brain ache. Whilst I love it, I do run them at cost and I have to put bread (sourdough round here!) on the table. So, anyway, last one for a while, I think...
Since sending that email this time last week, I've filled eight of the twelve spots, and have solid interest in two more. So I have at least two shares remaining, and possibly as many as four.
The vibes from the yard remain very positive so, for anyone with the patience (and finance) for a project like this, it could be very exciting. Drop me a line if you're interested, and/or if you have any questions.