It was one of the frustrating moments of the racing year, both for those involved and punters on the outside looking in.
When the Supreme Horse Racing Club went down the pan, it threatened the immediate careers of the horses under the banner – including Kemboy, one of the favourites for the Gold Cup, while putting those who had invested in the syndicate at risk of losing all their money. All registrations under Supreme ownership were cancelled in a row that looked set to drag on for months.
However, there is a rainbow at the end of the particular storm. Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) have agreed to accept entries from Kemboy’s connections, who are now operating independently of the Supreme banner. HRI are also willing to accept entries from six other horses affected by the scandal: Cadmium, Robin De Carlow, Defy De Mee, Aramon, Harrie and Hybery.
A statement from HRI read:
‘The new registrations have been formed under new syndicates comprising members who have come forward as shareholders in those horses.
‘The new syndicates have agreed that any prize money won will be held within their Horse Racing Ireland syndicate account, and no withdrawals will be permitted until at least the end of the 2019/2020 National Hunt season.’
It means that the Wednesday deadline for entries into the Savills Chase can now be met – a Grade One renewal that Kemboy won in scintillating fashion last year.
Connections will be hoping for a repeat at Leopardstown on December 28, with eyes also on the Punchestown Gold Cup in 2020.
But of course, there’s the small matter of the Cheltenham Festival prior to that, and a stacked Gold Cup field in which the seven-year-old finds himself a leading candidate for honours alongside the ante-post favourite, Lostintranslation.
That means that any previous ante-post bets you may have placed on the Willie Mullins raider will now still stand.
Supreme Sense of Disappointment
Owning a share of a racehorse is a dream for many people, and that’s why this case involving the Supreme Horse Racing Club should act as a cautionary tale for everyone interested in investing to do their due diligence first.
Not that any wrongdoing on the part of Steve Massey, the club’s trustee, was expected until the revelations hit the press.
He, and the Supreme brand, have now been banned from owning or co-owning horses in Ireland after repeated failure to respond to requests for information regarding the ‘overselling’ allegations’.
Someone who was oversold was New York businessman Brett Graham, who believed he owned a 40% share in Kemboy.
But any excitement soon turned to anger when he found out that shares in the horse had been oversold, and thus his percentage was in fact a lot smaller.
Still, Graham is just happy the situation has been resolved. Saying:
“This [the HRI announcement] was a big step and the horses can get back to racing,
“Willie can get back to training them and the owners can get back to enjoying racing again, which has been absent for a long time.
“We’re back to some normality and we have all the faith in the world in him. There’s a long way to go in the process, but the scars still run deep because nobody is going to end up where they thought they were.”