Se­taro has X-fac­tor

Pretoria News - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

PAS­SION­ATE an­i­mal keeper and rac­ing man Leon Se­taro be­lieves thoroughbred own­er­ship need not be a com­pul­sive loss mak­ing prac­tice and has proved it dur­ing the short ex­is­tence of his Sportofk­ings.co.za Syn­di­cate, who own newly crowned North­ern Cape Horse Of The Sea­son Le­beoana.

Se­taro recog­nises the sustainability of the game he loves depends on bring­ing new own­ers to the ta­ble and agrees “fun and life­style” is a key at­trac­tion point of race­horse own­er­ship.

How­ever, he said, “For me, it all re­volves around the horses.. pick­ing the right ones for starters, for which we have a rig­or­ous phys­i­cal in­spec­tion and back­ground in­ves­ti­ga­tion process. I like to think of our horses as pro­fes­sional ath­letes, much like soccer play­ers in a team. Our horses must pay their way and earn their liv­ing as with any pro­fes­sional ath­lete.”

Se­taro comes from a long line of “an­i­mal” peo­ple and has the “X-fac­tor” in in­stinc­tively iden­ti­fy­ing the pick of the crop and later bond­ing with them and know­ing their needs.

Eudey

The sportofk­ings.co.za syn­di­cate, which cur­rently con­sists of 16 mem­bers, thus have an ad­van­tage in that Se­taro is a sta­ble em­ployee of Sum­merveld trainer Craig Eudey, de­ployed specif­i­cally to work with the Sport of Kings horses on a daily ba­sis. “Get­ting up ev­ery morn­ing at 3am to be at the yard at 4 is made easy know­ing our horses are there wait­ing.

Pure in spirit and a per­ma­nent source of up­lift­ment, all trou­bles are for­got­ten in their pres­ence.

They are my pets and chil­dren” he said and pointed to the ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship which has been formed with Eudey through a shared love of horses.

“Craig of­fers a wealth of knowl­edge and ex­per­tise as a trainer and ev­ery­day I am learn­ing new things and doc­u­ment­ing as much de­tail as pos­si­ble to bet­ter un­der­stand horses in the rac­ing en­vi­ron­ment.”

Se­taro

Se­taro once ran an an­i­mal feed busi­ness and has also worked in many race­horse train­ing yards.

The knowl­edge gained from both ex­pe­ri­ences, com­bined with a sci­en­tific ap­proach to an­i­mal care, has en­abled him to add value in such im­por­tant as­pects of race­horse con­di­tion­ing as feed­ing.

After get­ting out of the an­i­mal feed busi­ness he de­cided to give pro­fes­sional punt­ing a run and In­ter­bet, notic­ing his suc­cess rate, of­fered him a chance to share his knowl­edge with the pub­lic.

He thus be­gan writ­ing and do­ing pod­casts and has been in­volved in the in­dus­try ever since.

He at­tained his love of horserac­ing from his grand­par­ents and was first ex­posed to horses in board­ing school in the mid­lands where car­ing for and rid­ing horses was a daily rou­tine.

Since then he’s been a reg­u­lar at the races and cred­its 25 years of watch­ing pre-race can­ter pasts as the fun­da­men­tal ground­ing to iden­tify qual­ity race­horses to pur­chase.

“Noah from Goa was the first horse I ever se­lected and bought at an auc­tion (for Win­ston Chow) and due to a fa­tal com­edy of er­rors, we had to can­cel the sale and ended up owning him for all of 45 min­utes after the gavel fell.

The next horse I se­lected, ex­actly one year later, was Le­beoana. In fact he was the cat­a­lyst to launch sportofk­ings.co.za syn­di­cate be­cause he ticked all the boxes for Kim­ber­ley rac­ing and be­lieve me we looked at plenty horses that didn’t fit the bill.”

The A P Ar­row geld­ing was sent straight to trainer Tiene Prinsloo in Kim­ber­ley and the the­ory was quickly proven cor­rect.

In his sec­ond start at Flamingo Park, after a pipe opener over a too sharp 1400m, Le­beoana was stepped up to 1800m.

An­drew For­tune switched him to the out­side at the top of the straight, away from horses, and he trot­ted up by nearly seven lengths.

He won six races in all last sea­son and was the high­est stakes earner in Kim­ber­ley.

On Satur­day Le­beoana start- ed the new sea­son in sim­i­lar style, win­ning the R100,000 Non-Black Type RA Di­a­mond Stay­ers over 2200m by 3,75 lengths un­der Ryan Munger de­spite car­ry­ing top­weight of 63kg off a merit rat­ing of 97 (he ar­rived in Kim­ber­ley rated 62). Le­beoana proved in that race he is nowa­days a more con­fi­dent horse and hugged the in­side rail through­out.

Des­tined For Dawn

An­other horse in train­ing which has done well for the syn­di­cate is Des­tined For Dawn, whom Eudey has sent out 12 times al­ready this year for ten cheques, in­clud­ing a win in which he de­fied his “pro­fes­sional maiden” tag and stormed home by 3,75 lengths.

On Satur­day an­other Pr ins loo - tra ined sportofk­ings.co.za horse Samo­gan earned a size­able cheque for run­ning third in the R200,000 Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Flamingo Mile.

In fact at this early stage of the sea­son, sportofk­ings.co.za is ly­ing third on the na­tional own­ers log.

In stakes earned com­pared to train­ing fees, sportofk­ings.co.za is well ahead after one year of ex­is­tence.

The ini­tial key was to have horses which could earn im­me­di­ately, but some will­ing mem­bers have now en­trusted Se­taro to make higher risk in­vest­ments such as buy­ing year­lings.

Syn­di­cate mem­bers join per horse and share amounts range from as small as 2,5% up­wards.

Pic­ture: NKOSI HLOPHE

Sportofk­ings.co.za syn­di­cate mem­bers lead in their ‘au­to­bank’ DES­TINED FOR DAWN after he had fi­nally rid him­self of his maiden tag at Greyville on June 17 this year.

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