Well for those of you who have been living under a rock and have not been reading my posts under on do you own a real racehorse, I’m fortunate enough to own a very small share in a horse called Amphitrite. She is currently $3.50 favourite to win the VRC oaks, which is run at Flemington on the Thursday after the Melbourne Cup and is the feature race of the day. It is run over 2500m or 12 1/2 Furlongs and has been run since 1861.
I Decided to write this not to brag, but I feel the need to fill in time as it is now just under 23 hours until race time and I can’t think about much else. And it is a very interesting yarn so, here goes.
I have owned a few horses in the past, all of which have won a race or 2 at some stage of there career but I think the highlight was Luchador running a 3rd at Caulfield, which is 1 of the 4 main city tracks in Melbourne. Myself and my uncle would trade all over Victoria to watch my nags, I must have done about 60 trips in the car with him, most of them taking 3 to 4 hours and in that time I only ever saw my horse It’s thyme break his maiden at Benella. I swear I saw 80% of the times they raced but only ever saw 1 win! And that day my other horse Bloukrans was favourite to win 2 races later and didn’t give a yelp, putting a slight dampener on the day.
It’s thyme then went to a group 2 race at Moonee Valley on Cox plate day and provided what was problem the worst day, as he just couldn’t run the trip and ran last, people were telling me that at least you had a runner on Cox plate day, but it is only now a few years later do you understand how hard it is to get a good horse. My Dad god rest his sole, said to me stop buying shares in racehorses it is a waste of money, but as he had never owned 1 he could never understand what it is like and the feeling you get when your horse wins. G1 Sim horse times 10 and that is only a maiden.
Unfortunately Dad passed away last year, in June and it was a few of my friends at the track and my Uncle that helped me get through it, we had been talking about buying a horse as a part of a syndicate, we had previously had some slow ones together, but 1 of the guys said he has enough horses as he was a part of some other syndicates, and this guy has had some shocking luck with horses, he was a part of a syndicate that paid $300,000 for a horse bought at the magic millions on the gold coast, it was a very promising colt, to cut a long story short, it drowned in the water walker.
So I was keeping and eye on a ready 2 run sale from Karaka in New Zealand, this sale has produced about 41 Group 1 winners in the last 7 years. I picked out 5 horses, the 1 I liked was a Full Brother to oaks winner Kiramosa, and it was cheap, it had scratches on its legs and the Chinese buyers won’t go near anything unless perfect. So I rang the buyer who was Stuart Kendrick on the sunshine Coast in Queensland and asked for 7.5% and he said no problem, he sent me a video or 2 but I was waiting for the paperwork and it didn’t come. I asked what was happening and he said sorry can’t sell because of the main owner, he didn’t explain himself well and I went nuts at him, not knowing was he saying no because it was good or is it bad and you would rather a new client go into a better horse, he didn’t respond.
So we were back to square 1 no horse and 3 disappointed drinkers in the mounting yard bar on Friday night at Moonee Valley, as it took so long all of the other horses I had picked were gone, I think the best of the was captain Jimmy, he won a couple of city races. Anyway, the friend (water walker) says he has a horse they are still trying to sell shares in, it is with a trainer that trained 1 of my other horses, I’m not sure she is the best judge considering every time she send a horse report, she thinks they will run like winx. We said ok and a week later we were going to sign the paperwork, but she had put the price up, so we turned it down and said no thanks.
Again back to square 1, 3 blokes drinking and talking s… in the mounting yard bar and punting on the races. After work on Thursday’s i would pick up the winning post newspaper at the newsagents in the city, it was the only place I could get a paper with the weekend form guides on a Thursday. I’m looking through the paper and the main syndicator always put in ads for horses for sale, and I saw a horse by Sebring, out of a Redoutes choice mare, to be trained by Darren Weir, and I was thinking Hello. I sat up and started reading Flying Start Syndications, I jumped online and had a closer look at the breeding, Sebring is kicking goals everywhere, Redoute’s choice kicking goals for years, closely related to Marble Halls, good stayer, and the best racing operation in the country, where do I sign?
I rang up Cameron, he runs the operation I said to him how much have you got left? 7.5% was the answer, I said I will take 2.5%, give my 5 minutes and I will sell the rest for you, I got the other 2 guys on the phone and they both wanted in so we got the last 7.5%. A Few weeks later we get an email, it is time to name the horse. Sebring x Ocean Dream was the breeding, and being a massive Game of thrones fan I wanted to name her Brianne of Tarth. For those who don’t watch the show, Brianne is the lady of earth but is more like a knight than a lady, she kills many men on the show and is from the island of Tarth also known as the sapphire Isle as it has a deep blue sea. One of the other guy’s said Amphitrite the goddess of the sea. In greek Mythology she was Married to Poseidon, it is coincidence there is a great Australian horse from the early 1900′s call poseidon that won the Caulfield and Melbourne cups and both the VRC and AJC Derby’s.
Here are the names that were on the list
Sea jewel, Sea Splash, Seabreeze, Sebreeze, Sheezza Dream, Missy Onesock, Threesocksmissing ,Whostolemesocks, Sea Ocean, Darkie, Black Russian ,Leobelle Sea of dreams, Jackie Moon, Sebring Star, Uptown Girl, Centerfold, Seachange, Dreamcatcher, Seadream, Bringing Dreams, Miss Oceanliner, Misty ocean, Seb’s Dream, Sea Vision, Sand Bar, Amphitrite (Greek goddess of the sea), Aqua Girl, Bringing the Dream, Seabisc, Dreamtime, River rage, Sebring Dreamer Bring Me The Ocean, Sebrings Me Luck, Facets, Mazarin, Diamond Girl, My Oh My, Purple Rain, Water Dreamer, Chump Change, Agent Ninety-Nine, She’s Dreaming, Lagoona Blue, Brianne of Tarth, Atlantic Dream, Pacific Dream, Ocean Princess, See Thy Ocean, Dream Princess, Dream Sebrina, Sea Haze.
We all have trouble naming our horses when playing but some of those are terrible so we put all of our votes behind our own 2 names and fortunately they didn’t pick mine. The only problem is the way the name is spelt only half the people call it by her correct name, because like Aphrodite it is meant to sound like it has an IE on the end rather than just an E. Anyway she completed a preparation and had a trial at the end of it, and didn’t run very good, but I didn’t worry too much as It’s Thyme finished 20 lengths behind the 3rd last horse in his 1st trial with another 20 Lengths to the last horse. She was put out for a spell to grow some more.
When she came back I went to Ballarat for her first race, and the first person I see on track was race caller Matt Hill, I asked him how he was going to pronounce her name and he said it correctly, he had looked it up! I said to him thats why your the best caller in the business. When I went to the stabling area to see her for the first time I was surprised how tall she was, she towered over the other horses but was still very skinny and still had a lot of growing to do.
When the race started someone had forgot to turn on the on course PA system, so it took me a while to pick up where she was, but she ran on for a nice 4th place, she had been stuck on the rail most of the race and got going late. it was a couple of week later, she went to Kyenton, which is about 90 minutes from Melbourne and one of the most scenic tracks in Victoria, but the track is very tight with only a small straight, the favourite was to be ridden by Craig Williams and she had ran 6th in a listed race as a 2yo, on the turn Amphitrite picked up and ran straight past her, unfortunately the leader got away with an easy pace up front and we failed to catch her, but Craig put her in his black book of horses he wants to ride. The traveling foreman, Darren Murphy said she needs a bigger track with a bigger straight.
The Weir stable is such a large operation (650 Horses in at 2 different venues 4 hours drive apart) i think it is hard for them to keep track and as a result, she was next running at Mornington, which is also a tight track with a small straight. I couldn’t understand it, but she ran a cracker of a race and again just couldn’t catch a horse called Fundamentalist. So we were now going for a spell. It was over the next few weeks that Fundamentalist won a listed race and a Group 2, ran 2nd in another listed race before going to Queensland and running 3rd in a Group 1, before it too went for a spell.
Darren Weir first made his name at the May Carnival at Warrnambool I think he had 14 winners from 30 races over 3 days, and I go there every year and had never spoken to him as he was never at the races when Amphitrite ran, so I introduced my self as an owner of Amphitrite, and he was unsure which horse that was because he knows them by the stable name, he does have 650 horse’s. Anyway i said Beach, his response was, oh the big skinny thing. I told him about the fundamentalist form, and how close she was. 2 days later i get an email from the syndication company that next campaign we are going black type racing (coincidence?).
Anyway just before she came back from her spell she had been nominated for the Group 1 Thousand Guineas, I jumped on the Sportsbet app and saw she was 150/1 so using a power play I got the odds of 250/1, I had $50 on it, thinking that I was wasting my money but worth a crack to collect $12,500. 2 days before she is due to run at Sale, which is about a 4 hour drive, it pops up that she is to be ridden by Craig Williams, what? where did that come from, she was the only horse he was listed to ride, WOW Craig Williams wants to go all the way to Sale to ride her, maybe my bet was not so bad after all.
I met some of the other owners including 1 couple from Bega in New South Wales, who travelled 6 hours by car to get there. They are doing things tough because of drought, and most of the other owners are just small time like me. Anyway, before the race I told Craig he better win she could be good enough to make the guineas. The betting had opened up with her paying $9, I got $7 and she started at $3.20, with 230 metres to go she was in all sorts of trouble, Craig swung her to the outside and within 150m she went woosh, going start passed the field to win eased up on the line. I missed half the run as i was trying to take a photo, but we won. Weir was straight on the phone to Craig, Craig said she still had a little way to go but she has massive potential.
With only a month to the guineas I was thinking she should go to the Poseidon stakes (there is an Oman), she was nominated for the race and needed to get her prize money up to have a crack at the 1000 guineas, she would have been 2nd emergency and would have got a run but was not entered, she was instead put in at Flemington on the Wednesday after in a benchmark 64, surprisingly that race had 10 last start winners in it, all maiden races but still tough. Before the start the horse next to her was playing up in the barrier and was scratched. i was hoping she was not in any danger, she was 2nd up and didn’t have the same zip at the end of the race as she had at Sale but she won and still looked to have a bit in hand. By this time 250/1 was now about 10/1 for the Guineas.
She was then entered for the Edward Manifold Stakes a Group 2 at Flemington, only a week before the Guineas, I had spoke to Darren the week before and I asked him if she is any chance of going to the guineas and he said probably not, with this knowledge I rang sportsbet to see if they would offer a cash out, I would have taken $500 but they said no. Facing some good opposition Craig had her in the perfect spot and when he gave her a touch with the whip she exploded away to win by a length and a half. The feeling of winning a group race is unbelievable, I must have watched the replay 100 times in a week. When being interviewed Weir had said that his other 2 fillies were going to the thousand guineas but was unsure what he was going to do with her, I cornered him in the winning owners bar and asked him are we going now? and got an emphatic maybe! If she pulls up ok.
So she was entered and everything with her was ok, I got a call from Cameron the syndicate manager, can you go out to Caulfield to do the barrier draw, I said no problem, it is in the committee room, might be a function. I caught the train as it is the quickest way to Caulfield and went with my friend Kyle, on the way out i get another call from Cameron, if she draws wide she is going to be scratched, all that added pressure, I have a bet for $12,500 riding on this! We get there and it is just a room with some pastries for breakfast and the TV cameras up front. First they draw the Caulfield Guineas, the winner of that is generally worth $40 million, after that is the draw to the 1000 guineas.
The race is sponsored by schweepps, who make lemonade, and on the table is 16 bottles of blood orange lemonade with a trinket hanging off the bottle, while they were placing them on the table, someone was checking that all the numbers were there then moving the bottles around. Kyle was watching the bloke and said to me he though the bottle at the front on the right was number 8, I was not listening to him, I will pick my own barrier. I didn’t believe him considering we were 25 metres away. Amphitrite was the 2nd horse called out, I walked up to the front and looked at the bottle Kyle said and then went across 2 and turned the trinket with 16 on the back. I closed my eyes what have I done, 16 out of 16. i showed the guy on stage, and turned around and saw 3 cameras there, I tried to smile but I wanted to cry. Its over! When Kyle’s bottle was picked sure enough was barrier 8! How the hell did you know, he said just an educated guess, when the guy was checking the numbers he marked in the middle of the page.
It was all over, I rang Cameron and said sorry, over the next few days there was a scratching but Amphitrite was not one of them. They had decided to run anyway, she came out and sat last and as I expected 2 of the front running favourites who were both a query running 1600m started to stop with 200m to go causing a wall and Amphitrite flew down the outside to catch and beat non other than Fundamentalist right on the post. I won $12.5k in bets 7.5K in prize money and she is worth well over $1,000,000 as a broodmare. I have to say I have never had a better feeling in my life than winning a group 1. My bookie said he has never know anyone who has a group 1, but I love hearing the stories of other people who have had a bet and were cheering her home including people that have been posting in the forum. I have spoken with people in America, New Zealand, England and all over Australia. I just love that everybody has been winning.
So anyway the plan is to go to the Wakeful stakes into the Oaks, but Weir has another filly called Verry Eleegant from New Zealand and is capable, of winning the wakeful. We beat her in the Edward Manifold but she got caught up in the pack and came home almost as well as Amphitrite and was made faoritec for the oaks, so Weir decided to run in the Empire Rose on Derby day against the fillies and Mares, unfortunately Craig had already accepted the ride on Oohood as he thought she was going to the wakeful. So we got Dean Yendall instead, from gate 7 every horse on her indie went forward and we got put on the rails, Yendall was impatient looking for a gap that never come, meanwhile Shellalegh who was sitting behind Amphitrite on the fence got the gap that we would have got had Yendall stayed there and went on to win while we were stuck behind the wall finishing 11th and not having a serious hit out.
It ruined the picket fence now the paper reads 11110 but she did run 11th, so it could be 111111, anyway, it was decided to run her in the oaks. We think she will defiantly get 200om but this race is 2500m and we are heading into the unknown, and considering the history of this race it means a lot! so to calm myself I have spent the last couple of hours writing. For anybody wanting to watch the race will be on at 5pm Thursday, or 1am Thursday game time.
https://www.racing.com/form/2018-11-08/flemington/race/8 log in with Facebook if you wish to watch. you can watch all the race replays from her previous runs and she has her own Facebook page, where you can see photos and videos search @group1beach