The Crowning Glory

Apr 19, 2017

The powerful rise of Australian racing syndications has been crucial to the growth of racehorse ownership and to giving everyday Australian’s a chance to live the dream and excitement of owning a thoroughbred. Here we take a closer look at one of the best in the business, Triple Crown, to understand a bit more about their journey and that of their owners.

Led by straight-shooting brothers Chris and Michael Ward, Triple Crown’s racetrack success since 2010 has been phenomenal with 19 Group race victories under their belt including Group 1 victors Hot Snitzel and Peggy Jean and other stalwarts including last Saturday’s Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes winners Redzel who made it four stakes win, and Dothraki among others.

Chris, let’s start from the beginning of the racehorse ownership process, what do you look for when buying a yearling? We’re looking for an athlete that’s well-balanced with good muscle, a good temperament and a nice fluent stride. They need to have the genetics to suggest it is possible for them to reach the top level but the physical specimen is the key ingredient. There aren’t too many Olympic athletes lining up in the 100m final who look like shot-putters!

What's your bloodstock selection process? Mike and I go through every pedigree in the catalogue separately and then cross reference our thoughts as to which horses meet our strict criteria for the initial shortlist. We then spend around a week before each sale inspecting all the horses and again cross-referencing our thoughts until we have narrowed down a wish list. We put a figure on each horse as to what we believe gives us the opportunity to then offer them at fair value to our clients and then it’s auction time.

Benefits of racing a horse with a licensed syndicator? It helps spread the cost and risk for starters. There are a lot of hoops that licenced syndicators need to jump through for ASIC and the regulatory state racing bodies which gives share purchasers the confidence that their investment is being treated respect and helps avoid any potential pitfalls that people may experience otherwise.

Licenced syndicators have their books audited annually which include random spot audits, and potential shareholders are presented with an approved Product Disclosure Statement so they know in advance exactly how the syndicate will operate.

How does Triple Crown differ from its competitors? Our racetrack success and transparent client service. We’re fortunate to have been the leading syndicator for quite a few years now with our racetrack results even though our average spend and horse numbers is still lower than a lot of our competitors. We have a strong team environment which our owners seem to enjoy. And the fact we have been appointed as the exclusive syndicator for Snowden Racing is a great honour and opportunity for our owners.

What sort of thrill do you get when a winner crosses the line? You cannot describe the feeling of owning a winner without doing it an injustice. It needs to be experienced to be truly understood. It is exhilarating beyond words. It’s one of life’s great experiences that stays with you forever.

Best piece of advice for first time racehorse owners? Deal with the top few leaders in each field i.e. trainers, syndicators, agents, jockeys, breakers, and farms. It improves your percentages of success ten-fold.

What’s one thing the Australian thoroughbred industry can do better? Come down harder on the occasional bad egg and kick them out of the industry. Integrity is everything. We need to protect owners and participants, and ensure a stronger industry long-term.

And one thing the Australian thoroughbred industry does well? Prizemoney! When you compare all the different racing jurisdictions around the world, we are always in the top 3 for prizemoney levels.

How many yearlings are available to buy in to with you at the moment? We have five new horses available to race with Peter and Paul including a Smart Missile filly who is a ½ sister to two stakes class horses and comes from a strong family that includes the likes of Group 1 stars Malaguerra and Mirror Mirror. This type of filly not only offers great racetrack potential but also really good residual value after her racing career. We sold Peggy Jean as a broodmare prospect last year at Magic Millions for $1million.

Another we currently have is an outstanding Epaulette colt. Peter trained Epaulette to two Group 1 wins and a quick chat with him will leave you in no doubt as to how good a racehorse he was. This colt looks an ideal Guineas type and there are no better trainers to take him down that path.

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Interview: Sarah Peatling Words: Chris Ward Image courtesy: Triple Crown

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