Puget Sound wins for Onamission syndicate at Turffontein

A few CN&CO team members recently became proud shareholders in a racehorse syndicate called Onamission. Carel, Colin (and his other half, Gregory), Kurt and Rob each own 1% of the racehorse Puget Sound as part of a strategy by the Mike de Kock Racing stable to expand the ownership base in horse racing in SA. Here’s Kurt’s account of Puget Sound’s maiden race, which took place on Saturday, 14 January 2017.

The owners arrive dressed in blue and white in support of the maiden runner and first horse in the Onamission syndicate, Puget Sound, at Turffontein Racecourse. We make our way up to the private suites, where we are greeted by Mat de Kock, trainer and founder of the Onamission syndicate.

Overlooking the entire race course and the Joburg skyline behind it, with a beer in hand to calm our nerves, Mat explains that Puget Sound will be running in the first race of the day: the Maiden Juvenile Plate for two-year-olds over 1 000 metres. The bookies have him as favourite to win.

A group of Puget Sound owners with jockey Gavin Lerena

We head back up to the box to get a bird’s eye view of the race.

The horses are put into the starting gates, the bell rings, and away they go.

A good start for Puget Sound as he takes to the front with three others horses, pushing and looking good for the first couple of hundred metres before edging off a bit. He recovers well and is holding in the front three. Anything can happen, but he’s holding strong for most of the race. With around 300 metres to go, “Alex the Great” comes in on the outside and takes the lead. The owners are screaming and shaking for Puget Sound.

“Come on Puget Sound! Come on, boy.”

Around 50 metres to go and Puget Sound puts on the throttle, finding extra legs. You’d swear we were watching a World Cup final with all the screaming going on!

Big heart trumps all! Puget Sound pulls away and crosses the finish line in first place!

The box erupts! High fives, some tears, hugs and jubilation as Puget Sound wins his maiden race. We rush back down to the parade ring and the winners’ circle to greet our champ as he comes in. A fantastic win at that for trainer and overall legend Matt De Kock, of MDK racing especially as it’s the first win for a syndicate of its kind.

Back downstairs we rush to the winners enclosure to congratulate horse and jockey on a magnificent first outing. The feeling is unexplainable. I’m smiling from ear to ear! Puget Sounds win today means he qualifies to run in the Kuda Sprint over 1 200 metres at the Sun Met in Cape Town at the end of the month. Watch this space!

David, Vengi, Clayton and Vivian are registered assistant trainers at Mike de Kock stables. They are now also shareholders in the Onamission syndicate

Huge thanks and congratulations must go to Mat De Kock and his team for thinking this through (with guidance from our very own Carel Nolte and Purple Group CEO Charles Savage, who is no stranger to horse racing). I must say it’s incredible to be an owner in a race horse, even if it’s a small percentage. Onamission syndicate is making it possible for more South Africans to participate actively in horse racing through ownership.

“The only way to bring more people to the track is to make ownership more accessible,” says Charles. “Owning a horse means you come to the races and place a few bets. It doesn’t have to be massive, financially, but the more people who are involved, the more the industry will grow. It’s a similar concept to EasyEquities fractional share ownership, which allows investors to buy portions of expensive shares, making them more affordable.”

What’s most important for me is that owning a share in a racehorse is fun. We’re not in it to make money. And because our individual shares are so small, our exposure to risk is negligible.

Hats off to Mat and the MDK Racing stable for this brilliant initiative. Through Onamission, MDK has also made its grooms and assistant trainers shareholders in Puget Sound. For many of them, this is the first time they’ve been owners. It’s truly empowering and inclusive. I’m lank proud to be part of this amazing syndicate.

If you’re interested in small-share racehorse ownership, keep tuned into the CN&CO blog. Mat says this is just the first horse that will be sold this way. Many more to follow…

See you at the Met!





















Kurt, our favourite Leb, has a zest for life and a heart of gold. He’s also a really good marketer, willing to do almost anything for his clients, even if it involves wearing a tutu!