THERE are many ways of getting involved in the ownership of a racehorse.
For Ballarat resident Graham Biggs and his ‘Biggsy’s’ syndicate, getting the share of leading Melbourne Cup fancy Dandino came about through a chance meeting with Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock principal Darren Dance at the Darwin Cup.
“He was standing in the circle and started talking about Dandino,” Biggs said.
Dance told Biggs, who was in Darwin with friends to watch their galloper More Bubbly run, that he had a 2 per cent share in the English-trained globetrotting Dandino available and asked whether he would be interested in taking it up.
For a relatively small amount, Biggs and a group of friends could become part-owners of a racehorse contesting not only Australia’s biggest race, but some of the world’s most prestigious feature events.
It didn’t take Biggs too much convincing.
“All agreed and when they got home there was a bill for $20,000,” he said.
So among the list of 20 owners for Dandino, there now appears ‘Biggsy’s’.
The syndicate comprises 10 shares, with several of the stakeholders now having ties to Learmonth Football Club, of which Biggs was president at the time.
Along with Biggs and his wife Fran there is Garry Murnane, Neil and Liz Bourke, Justin Marshman and Justin Kroussoratis, Gary Wilson, John and Lindy Mahney, Darren Woodyatt, Peter Ryan, Carl Briody and Mick McDonald.
What a ride it has been since then.
Dandino, in the care of English trainer Marco Botti, has had two starts for a win in the US St Leger, 2700m, and second in the Caulfield Cup 2400m.
“We’re pinching ourselves,” Biggs said.
He said although holding a small share in Dandino, Darren and Liz Dance were “fabulous” and made them feel as important as the big owners.
And as far as Melbourne Cup Day goes: “this is the day we’ve all been waiting for. We’ll all be there,” Biggs said.