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Black Caviar's owners a rarity

Black Caviar co-owners Colin and Jannene Madden, from Victoria, kiss the winning cup after the super horse won the Group One BTC Cup at Doomben.
Black Caviar co-owners Colin and Jannene Madden, from Victoria, kiss the winning cup after the super horse won the Group One BTC Cup at Doomben. Jerad Williams

THERE aren’t many horse-racing syndicates where the biggest problem is how to divide the spoils.

But that’s the case for the owners of the world’s top racehorse, Black Caviar, who won her 13th race from 13 starts in Brisbane on Saturday in front of 20,000 punters who flocked to Doomben to watch the horse with the rock star-status run.

Co-owners Colin and Jannene Madden were in Byron Bay yesterday, with the actual BTC Cup they won on Saturday, lunching with friends at the Byron at Byron restaurant on their way home to Melbourne.

“There are five families in the syndicate and we all take turns at the trophies and make full replicas for all,” Mr Madden said.

“We want everyone to share the fun; it’s not about the money.

“That’s why we’re here to have lunch with Ross and Jenny (Burgess).”

Ross Burgess, from Lennox Head, admitted he and wife Jenny knew nothing of horse racing, and when his childhood mate called him up to “come watch our horse run”, he thought it would be just a nice Saturday’s outing.

“I didn’t realise what a big deal it was until a bookmaker told me she had been voted the international horse of the year,” Mr Burgess said with a laugh.

Ironically, Mr Madden said the syndicate was never about winning but was formed to support co-owner Neil Werrett after he lost his wife.

“It was so we could have something to laugh about rather than cry about, and to my amazement we got our money back,” he said.

Even more amazingly, the syndicate’s second venture, Black Caviar, has now won nearly $3.5 million – a 16-fold return for the owners’ original $200,000 investment.

Mr Madden rejects out-of-hand comparisons with Australia’s greatest racehorse, Phar Lap, calling it unfair.

“There is only one Phar Lap, even though (Black Caviar) is getting close on one point of measurement – Phar Lap won 14 consecutive races,” Mr Madden said.

Mr Madden credits the team for much of their success, particularly trainer Peter Moody.

“He is a knockabout kind of a guy and a great horseman. He selected her and trained her with incredible patience, because big horses can hurt themselves.

“And Luke Nolen is an extraordinary jockey, the way he paced her on Saturday ... it’s a great team and we just tag along,” he said.

Topics:  black caviar brisbane horse racing


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