YOR Racing win with Curve

J Scott Former News, Latest News



Mark McNamara, the voice of Canterbury racing and part-time horse syndicator,was rewarded for an elusive first win with the YOR ! Racing With Mark Jones Racing Syndicate when Curve delivered at Forbury on Thursday, June 6.

He admitted it was a big relief to finally reward the 120-strong syndicate with a win after a previously luckless run since the syndicate was formed in September.

“About a third of them have been first-time owners. They have been really good, the people in the syndicate,” said Mark McNamara.

“They’ve been happy to hang on to both ends _ the bad before the good.”M mcnamara mkd

However, he is quick to point out the venture was designed essentially as a fun experience.

The aim was to find horses to race in a relatively short time frame, without waiting years for the horse to get to the races.

He designed the syndicate to allow more people into the industry with a one-off payment, instead of being weighed down with monthly costs.

“I told them straight up if you want to get rich, don’t buy a share. This is for fun. It’s the best feeling in the world to own a horse and that’s what I’ve aimed for.”

The syndicate includes owners based in NZ, Australia and Malaysia, and includes personalities such as northern race caller George Simon, and champion netballer Irene Van Dyk.

The latter was introduced to her first harness racing foray by fellow syndicate holder, Trackside radio presenter, Maryanne Twentyman.

Curve, a 4YO Courage Under Fire mare, is the syndicate’s fourth horse, with just Kate Stephanie (since returned to her previous connections) previously making it to the races.

She had shown enough in training to be a winner for earlier trainers John McDermott, Gavin Smith and Brad Mowbray, but hadn’t always performed as well on raceday.

“Curve was going home long before Kate Stephanie, but Regan (Todd) stuck up for her.

“She led up at Oamaru (May 24) first-up for us. Regan drove her beautifully but she spat it and the others ran past her.

Regan Todd persuaded trainer Mark Jones to give Curve a stay of proceedings as she built on a fair fifth, to run third at Forbury on May 31.

She was left with Waikouaiti trainer Bruce Negus in between the last two Forbury starts, rather than trek back to Canterbury.

Jonny Cox stepped up for a winning first drive behind Curve, sending her forward from the gate to secure the trail, behind shuffled three back with a lap to run.

Cox couldn’t have scripted a better run for the Syndicate winner.

Leader Bryleigh Star ran wide under pressure at the end of the back straight, with Curve getting a dream run through behind De Malmanche before switching into the open at the right time.

From there, the syndicate willed their steed home with Cox getting her to the line, half a head in front of Megie May in 2:47.4 (2200m).

Syndicate members, Barry Lee and Bev Miller were on-course for the winning photo.

Mark McNamara was unable to be there after having commitments at Nelson on Friday, but says the syndicate have been great offering thanks to Mark Jones and his team.

The question is where to now for Curve ?

“It will be hard out of maidens but we’ll see how she goes in the short-term,” said Mark McNamara.

For that week anyway, the Syndicate were grinners and winners.

By Jeff Scott