TV celeb Neil Andrews’ BenMag Bloodstock Syndicate will enjoy their first runner in partnership with Mike de Kock in Race 1 over 1200m on Turffontein’s Inside Track, Thursday.
‘Ready To Fly’ is ready to race and Mike has described her as ‘one that can hop a bit’ (that’s ‘quite a fast one’, in Mdk slang). She is considered to be 80% ready and is drawn wide on a tricky track, but she is expected to finish in the money.
Ready To Fly was a R240,000 purchase from the Bloodstock SA National Yearling Sale – and she was syndicated among 40 shareholders, some with shareholding of 1%, others with 5% or 10% or more and Neil said: ‘Nico Kritsiotis and I promoted her syndication on our Clocking The Gallop show and they were soon taken. We are supporters of fractional ownership. It’s the way forward, gives all shareholders the ownership experience. Our package was all inclusive for 18 months, so it was a question of ‘pay and the pain will go away’ – our shareholders won’t see another bill for at least 18 months.”
Neil had his first winner with Mike’s yard, Siberian Queen, many moons ago. He loves pedigrees and bloodstock and said: ‘I’ve dabbled with selecting and buying bloodstock over the years, I found Emerald Cup winner The Mouseketeer and raced him with Francois Diederichs. So I try to go to a sale with my choice of pedigrees ticked, and then I leave the conformation bits to experts like Jehan Malherbe and Jane Thomas. I considered Ready To Fly a value buy at 240k, if one can call that ‘value’. She ticked the conformation boxes and had my pedigree stamp, being by Gimmthegreenlight out of a mare by Jet Master.”
Neil’s BenMag Bloodstock Syndicate was named after his children Benjamin, Elijah, Noah, Melissa (and) Gregory, and another daughter Hannah has also come along since the original naming. He joked: “‘Perhaps we’ll change it to ‘BenMagh’ to include Hannah and give the syndicate a nice Arabian ring, but first things first. I hope she wins first up so we can re-invest at this week’s sale!”