Trust In A Gust is giving his owners the ride of a lifetime and the journey is only just starting for the large syndicate.
The Darren Weir trained sprinter was named 2013-14 Super VOBIS Horse of the Year and now his connections are planning a spring carnival campaign that includes a Group 1 at Caulfield later this month.
Ballarat-based owner David Speechley and his son Paul are part of the syndicate that has already shared over a half-million dollars with Trust In A Gust courtesy of VOBIS Gold and its mother scheme Super VOBIS.
VOBIS girls flank winning connections at Moonee Valley; (L-R) Ben West, David Stott, Dennis Napthine, Darren Weir, David, Trisha, Paul & Angela Speechley
Victorian Liberal Premier Dr Denis Napthine is also Minister for Racing and he recently announced funding of up to $19 million in prizemoney and bonuses for the Schemes in 2014-15. The ongoing support by Dr Napthine’s Government will benefit all sections of the industry before flowing through to the wider Victorian economy.
“VOBIS is a great initiative and it makes racing a good horse with family and friends even more rewarding,” Paul Speechley said. “We got a chance to thank Denis Napthine for all those amazing bonuses at Moonee Valley earlier this year.”
The Trust In A Gust syndicate spent some of that VOBIS money on another horse named Symphonix and he won at Bendigo and Donald before finishing second in the VOBIS Gold Classic at Swan Hill in June.
That flow on effect fuels the thoroughbred cycle right through to grass-roots racing people and, in turn, their local communities.
The Trust In A Gust members are also scattered throughout the State as far apart as Ballarat, Warrnambool, Gippsland and Melbourne.
Paul’s father David has bred and raced lots of horses over the years. “I have been in a couple of them with Dad and have followed all of his horses passionately,” he said. “But it was a fluke that my mates and I from St. Patrick’s College and a few other friends got involved with Trust In A Gust.
“We didn’t know Dad already had a share in him. My best mate David Stott manages KTF Racing and he was told to buy into the Keep the Faith – Subtle Breeze yearling at the Melbourne Premier Sale.
“David rang Dad and asked his opinion and was told; ‘You better jump aboard because I’ve just purchased 20% in him!’.
Trust In A Gust (4h Keep The Faith – Subtle Breeze by Storm Cat) started last season winning Super VOBIS races at Echuca and Stawell in September. He kept targeting bonuses in the VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade at Ballarat and VOBIS Gold Carat at Caulfield before completing a hat-trick in the Chandler Macleod Stakes at Moonee Valley in January.
He was also runner-up in the VOBIS Gold Eldorado at Wangaratta in March and VOBIS Gold Reef at Flemington in April.
“Darren has a special rapport with his horses and he knows exactly where and when to place them,” Paul added. “Trust In A Gust has won 7 times in 13 starts and that’s a great platform going into the spring carnival.”
Weir will nominate him for the LR Drummond Golf Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley this Saturday and, all going well, he will then be set for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday, September 28.
None of the Speechley horses have been good enough to win at that level. Among David Speechley’s best has been Chord (Distant Music) who won at Sandown & Moonee Valley as well as last year’s Colac Cup.
Paul has had some fun with his mates with Excuse My French (French Deputy) who won the 2009 Jack Maher Classic at Wodonga and the following year’s Hobart and Tasmanian Guineas double.
“Dad is also in Trust In A Gust’s younger half-brother by Adam Sangster’s new Swettenham Stud sire Equiano. He’s with Lloyd Kennewell over in Adelaide and cost $120,000 at the Magic Millions in January.
“Dad actually tried to buy him off Adam as a weanling after Trust In A Gust had shown so much ability early on.”
The asking price for the Equiano colt is a substantial mark-up on the $45,000 Trust In A Gust cost at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. He was bred and sold by Swettenham Stud and his dam is a three-quarter sister to Balanchine (Storm Bird) who won the 1994 Irish Derby and English Oaks.
“We’re probably getting ahead of ourselves looking at the Rupert Clarke Stakes,” Paul admitted. “But that’s what racing is all about…dreaming of a Group 1 in the big league.
“A Group 1 will be that much sweeter after banking those VOBIS cheques along the way” he explained. “Win, lose or draw, it’s a magic feeling and all the owners are keen to keep reinvesting the bonuses into more horses.”