New syndicate Gulf Racing Club celebrated their first winner

Owning racehorses can be both an exhilarating and expensive venture. Enormous pleasure comes from owning thoroughbreds that perform well on the racetrack. It’s partly the spectacle and excitement of watching your horse compete; the dream of lucking into a champion that earns big stakes, together with the dramas and camaraderie shared with fellow connections.
Yet, all this comes at a price - it is a costly undertaking as monthly stabling fees of between R10 000 and R15 000 per horse apply.
Syndication is a great way to participate in the benefits of ownership whilst splitting the costs amongst syndicate members to make it more affordable for all.
To illustrate, Spring Palace who won at his second career start belongs to the Gulf Racing Club Syndicate, a group of mates pulled together by syndicate manager Kurt Felix. Winning trainer Justin Snaith credited business executive/racing manager/ bloodstock guru, Justin Vermaak for choosing the horse.
‘This win was a bit of a surprise – Spring Palace ran a shocker on debut, and we were despondent, thinking we had bought a dud,” Snaith admitted. Indeed, Spring Palace trailed in dead last behind The Abdicator at his first try in January “But gelding has helped and I’m so happy for a fun bunch of guys that I’ve known from way back - since our night clubbing days when younger!”
Despite a wide draw at Hollywoodbets Durbanville, JP van der Merwe did all the right things on the son of Potala Palace who was sent off at a starting price of 20/1. “He showed quite an aggressive nature going to post but luckily, I got to the front easily. Then I let him roll and he quickened up well to win.” declared the in-form hoop.
Most of the syndicate members, including nominee, Kurt Felix was in Dubai for the World Cup race meeting at Meydan. But with the wonders of live streaming and global TV coverage these committed racing fans (Snaith jests they fancy themselves as budding trainers too and are not averse to giving him “helpful” advice) were able to watch together and cheer their horse home from afar. It’s those special shared experiences and the upliftment/surprise of winning that make it worthwhile.
Two-year-old, Spring Palace, out of the Badgers Gift mare, Spring Orchid was bred at Nadeson Park Stud in the Hemel n Aarde valley near Hermanus.

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