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Picture: The Grey King was bought at the Cape Racing Ready To Run and 2yo Unbroken Sale

The concept of buying lump sum shares in an expensive horse have been highlighted recently by the sensational Flightline, who is part-owned by a syndication company called West Point Throroughbreds – and now there is an opportunity for South Africans to do the same through a company in Cape Town called The Kings Club.

The Kings Club was founded by Jonathan Snaith, Gina Goldsmith and Dayne Allenbrook.

They offer a range of services in racing and breeding: CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE KINGS CLUB  

The first task they had to get their syndication service off the ground was to identify a suitable horse. 
They toured the farms and spotted a lovely grey Vercingetorix colt at Maine Chance Farms.
“We fell in love with him,” recalled Gina.
They planned to bid for him at the BSA August Sale.
However, Maine Chance Farms were hit by a virus and decided to withdraw their entire draft from that sale.
The colt was fortunately sent to the recent Cape Racing Ready To Run and 2yo Unbroken Sale.
He did not take part in the breeze ups.
He is out of an Australian-bred Redoute’s Choice mare called Zappy Choice, who won one race and who is a half-sister to a Hussonet filly who finished fourth in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks and who also scored both a Group 3 and a Listed third place finish.
Jonathan, Gina and Dwayne were therefore surprised to land him for R350,000.

Gina Goldsmith signs for the Vercingetorix colt

The horse was sold at the sales as Zephyr Bay but the Kings Club fittingly renamed him The Grey King.

Now came what they thought would be the hard part.

They offered 1% shares at R7,300, which covers two years of training and keep, veterinarian bills, nominations, declarations, transport and gallop fees.

However, they were once again pleasantly surprised because the shares sold like hot cakes and were gone in no time.

In fact one owner offered to buy 100% of the package, but that would have defeated the purpose.

A maximum share is 20% and minimum 1%.

The most encouraging part of the venture so far is that there are a number of first-time owners who are involved, some of whom are new to the sport.

The knock on effect is thus immense.

The prize money the colt earns will be kept in a bank account and the shareholders will be paid out after two years.

The colt is being broken in at trainer Justin Snaith’s Phillippi yard.

Gina said Justin “just loves him” and is excited about his future.

Justin comments: “The grey Vercingetorix colt caught my eye from the moment I saw him. He has a presence and is an imposing tall colt with a beautiful action – he floats. I believe he is a classic type who could be absolutely anything in time – I am really excited to see what he is capable of.” 


He also has an amazing temperament for a two-year-old colt.

He was taken to the beach recently and the syndicate owners were surprised by how “well mannered and well behaved” he was.


The Kings Club will not limit themselves to expensive horses.

They will be looking for a couple at Cape Racing’s Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 in January.
However, they would also like to buy one for the younger set, for students etc, and try and get them involved in something fun.
The Kings Club has got off to a flying start and adds another dimension  to the positive vibe which is sweeping through South African racing at present thanks chiefly to the vision of Greg Bortz and his Cape Racing team.
Hopefully The Grey King will set the Kings Club up for years of fun which will see many being introduced to the exciting and intriguing sport of racing.
Who knows, maybe the owners can get as lucky as the seven who invested in Flightline through West Point Thoroughbreds.

The president of West Point Throughbreds, Terry Finley, had bought himself and clients into a Derby winner before, but he dreamed of having a champion i.e. an Eclipse Award winner. He thus decided on a business tweak and rather than buying a whole horse for, for example US$100,000, he decided to invest in a share of a million dollar horse. With the help of Kentucky Bloodstock agent David Ingoro, who had previously picked the immortal Zenyatta, he identified Flightline. The horse was purchased as a yearling for US$1 million and Finley managed to buy 17,5% of him for West Point Thoroughbreds. That 17,5% was split between seven investors. A 2,5% breeding share in Flightline was sold at auction this week for US$4.6 million, so you can work out how much 17.5% of him is now worth!