Moves to syndicate ex-Supreme Racing Club horses progressing well
New syndicates will have to be organised on horse by horse basis
Willie Mullins insists the Gold Cup in March remains Kemboy’s target. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
New syndicates will have to be formed for each of the horses that formerly raced under the Supreme Racing Club ownership banner and those moves are described as currently progressing well.
The fallout of Horse Racing Ireland’s (HRI) decision to bar the Supreme Racing Club from owning horses, after continually failing to respond to requests for information on ownership details, means the careers of reportedly up to 29 horses are in limbo.
They include the Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Kemboy, one of 14 horses that champion trainer Willie Mullins trained for Supreme, the club which was embroiled in controversy after complaints from members about various administrative irregularities including allegations of shares being oversold.
The complex task of teasing out who owns how much of what horses is continuing although a solicitor engaged by a some former Supreme clients says he remains optimistic that stars such as Kemboy will be seen in action this season.
Thurles-based Patrick Kennedy said on Monday he has been engaged by a “significant” number of the up to 500 clients involved in the Supreme horses. He says he has been impressed by the effort being put in to try and resolve the situation.
“In fairness to all the shareholders I’ve come across in different guises I think there’s a huge amount of people being practical in how they’re going to address matters. But that’s not to say it’s going to be easy.
“I’m optimistic. It’s progressing well to try and achieve that the horses will be racing this season,” Kennedy said.
“It has to be done on a horse by horse basis. Each horse has to have its own syndicate created. It will be a horse by horse syndicate. Once we get that achieved and registered we have to hope that can be got there.
“That may have its own difficulties at certain stages. But once that’s done the second thing will be ownership and the bigger picture will be how they want to go forward. We can only take it one step at a time. It is moving well at this minute,” he added.
Establishing who owns what in a scenario where there are allegations of shares being oversold is a difficult process, and one that focuses attention on the area of syndicate ownership in general which HRI has been heavily promoting in recent years.
In July racing’s ruling body introduced a directive that required racing clubs to transfer to a syndicate model, a move designed to make clear that horses are syndicated for racing purposes, and which helped bring the Supreme situation to a head.
On Monday Patrick Kennedy stressed that HRI registration and the question of legal ownership are different when it comes to untangling the Supreme situation.
“It has to be made clear that the registration with HRI is not proof of ownership. It’s a registration for racing purposes of a syndicate. The legal ownership is another stage.
“If, for instance, you owned a share in whatever horse, and you saw a syndicate gone in, and your name wasn’t on it, you don’t have to panic; because you can be added and your rights are not jeopardised,” he said.
Kennedy, who was approached by some shareholders over a week ago, added: “A lot of the shareholders are working very hard to try and regulate matters as far as possible.
“HRI are very proactive and I’m not aware of any shareholder who is being in any way negative. There’s huge work going on between them to get us there and I’m getting more optimistic.”
When that might allow Kemboy in particular to return to action is unclear although Mullins has insisted that it is the Gold Cup in March which will be his ultimate target.
Mullins has more mundane targets on Tuesday when a cancelled Fairyhouse programme finally goes ahead.
Annamix is one of three Mullins runners on the card and the horse once predicted to be the next Rich Ricci-owned superstar gets an opportunity this season to start living up to what was once a sky-high home reputation.
Daryl Jacob travels to take the mount on Concertista who has a second start for Mullins in a maiden hurdle. Considering she was narrowly beaten at the Cheltenham festival in the first of them Concertista should be hard to beat.
Great Field’s half-brother Unexcepted has a first start in over two years in another maiden and considering one of his main opponents, The Very Man, fell on his last start the French recruit could go close.