Hobby is paying dividends
A racing syndicate which started as a hobby between 10 Tatura locals has ‘‘snowballed’’ into something much bigger.
After owning shares in a number of horses on their own over the journey, the Tatura contingent decided to join forces five years ago in order to create some extra interest throughout the racing season, and the syndi- cate Tat Boys 1 was born.
‘‘We’ve all had a few horses in our time, but it’s good to be in it together now,’’ syndicate manager Steve O’Toole said.
‘‘We started with a foal and a mare in August 2013 and it’s just snowballed.
‘‘We called it Tat Boys 1 in case we wanted to start another syndicate down the track.’’
The syndicate now has shares in almost as many horses as it has members (eight), and is enjoying success at the current Darwin Cup Carnival yet again.
Pot Black, a seven-yearold gelding by Bel Esprit out of Mrs Bently, claimed victory at the Darwin Racecourse at Fannie Bay last Wednesday — the fifth time in asmany Darwin carnivals it has saluted for the Tat Boys.
‘‘Pot Black’s won for the last five years in Darwin,’’ O’Toole said.
‘‘Our trainer takes about 20 horses up each year in May and they stay on for the whole carnival.’’
Pot Black, which has secured more than $160 000 in prizemoney and is trained by Kyneton-based horseman Neil Dyer, went around again on Darwin Cup day this year, but not in the main race.
Its half-brothers Latest Bentley and Bentley Tycoon were also on the race card, meaning it was likely a big day in Tatura for the syndicate.
‘‘A fair few of us have been up to watch it in Darwin, but only a few will be up there this year,’’ O’Toole said.
Other members of the syndicate include Tony Melton, Craig McPherson, Damien Finteln, Damien Mercury, Taffy Morton, Laurie Mulcahy, Phil Darby, Kanga Kennedy and Phil Slender, and you can usually find them cheering their horses down the straight at Melton’s Victoria Hotel or Tatura Park.
‘‘We just meet at the pub or the footy club,’’ O’Toole said.
‘‘In general it’s just a fun thing but everyone gets involved, so it’s good.’’
Regular winner: Pot Black, pictured here being ridden to victory by Jarrod Todd at Donald in October 2017, continues to deliver wins for a local Tatura syndicate.
Winner: Pot Black, ridden by Jarrod Todd, returns to the mounting yard after winning the Pea Co BM64 Handicap at Donald Racecourse on October 13, 2017.