Hobby is pay­ing div­i­dends

The Tatura Guardian - - Sport - By Tyler Ma­her

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.’’

Pic­tures: Bren­dan McCarthy/Rac­ing Pho­tos

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.

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