It wasn’t hard to know how race three at Riccarton was unfolding on Saturday afternoon, you just had to listen to the roars of the large group on-course to support race favourite Morweka.
The speedy Showcasing mare had the members of the Galloping Wekas Syndicate Number Two and their many friends roaring with appreciation as she streaked clear in the home straight to win the rating 82 1200m contest by more than seven lengths.
Syndicate member, Joe Wallace, who was on hand to witness the triumph after sneaking away from a wedding he was attending in Christchurch, was blown away by the noise and support for the Terri Rae-trained galloper.
“It’s not often you have people clapping and cheering with 400m to run in a race but that was what the atmosphere was like on Saturday,” Wallace said.
“There are 56 members of the syndicate although not all of them were there, but there was a pretty big group when you counted family and friends and they were having a ball.
“It’s experiences like yesterday that make racing such a wonderful sport and I’m thankful that I get to be a part of it.”
The Galloping Wekas syndicates are the brain-child of Wallace’s parents, well known racing and breeding enthusiasts Les and Janine Wallace.
The syndicates came about after Les suffered a bad injury when working with a horse, the injuries at one stage looking like they would force the Wallaces to abandon their racing and breeding interests.
“At one stage it looked like Mum and Dad might have to give up their involvement in horses after the accident,” Wallace said.
“They managed to battle back and part of that was keeping the mare Spera, who is the dam of Morweka and also Blue Hope, who is the dam of Skyweka, the first horse that was syndicated.
“I think Skyweka started off with about 10 people in the syndicate, and she won five races and was placed seven times, and with Morweka that number grew rapidly.
“The whole idea is to give people a taste of racing a horse at an affordable price.
“We’ve had such a great time and the demand for more syndicates has meant we now have two other horses racing under the “Weka” brand, Wekaforce and Starweka, plus mum and dad are putting together another group to race a full brother to Morweka.
“He is a cracking yearling colt by Showcasing, a stallion that is absolutely flying, and he looks a really precocious sort that is paid up and eligible for the Karaka Million. There are a handful of shares left.”
Wallace was also quick to pay tribute to Morweka’s trainer Terri Rae who had told the group Saturday’s race had been the mare’s target for quite some time.
“Terri has done a terrific job with Morweka and she had said to us she would have her ready to win first-up, so there were a few bets landed,” he said.
“All congratulations should go to her and also jockey Lisa Allpress who rode her a treat.”
While Wallace was still savouring the victory, the Galloping Wekas Syndicate Number Three had another horse in action at the Trentham meeting on Sunday, where Starweka finished fifth.
“I’m sure there were a few people on track to cheer her on and the main thing is win, lose or draw that everyone enjoys the experience,” Wallace said.
“There are in excess of 100 people involved in the Galloping Weka syndicates, so mum and dad have done a great job of involving so many people and making it a lot of fun.” – NZ Racing Desk