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Bluebloods : Karaka 2010 Yearling Sale Preview
PEDIGREE FOR SUCCESS 39 ohn Galvin formed his brand new syndication company, Fortuna Ltd, in January 2007. By November 2008 -- 22 months later -- he was leading back to scale Tell a Tale after victory in the $1 million NZ 2000 Guineas- Gr.1 for a huge group of delighted owners. It's any syndicator's dream to achieve that sort of result in less than two years of trading. Of course John Galvin is pleased with the start of his syndication company, but it hasn't in any way changed the business plan going forward. Galvin doesn't want to get huge & be syndicating scores of horses every year. No, the same strategy put in place at day one, remains the focus going forward. "I want to continue to syndicate 4 to 6 horses per annum," Galvin told me. "The aim must be to compete at the best level; continue to produce black type horses. It's all- important that we provide our owners with a worthwhile ownership experience." To the 16th of November 2009 Fortuna Ltd syndicates had been represented by 8 starters. Six of the eight had been winners and it included the black type winners Tell a Tale (Group One) and Rio Fortune (Listed). Collectively the group has collected 14 wins. John Galvin and his Fortuna Ltd syndication company have been successful in establishing a client base of around 190 clients in less than three years. Significantly around 120 of those are first- time owners. So how does Galvin deal with the high expectations of owners, especially those new to racing and not, perhaps, experienced in the up-and-down reality of racing horses? "The best way to handle the expectation of clients is to not set the bar too high in the first place," Galvin revealed. "There's no guarantee, but what Fortuna can offer is the reality that their odds are improved. David Ellis buys the horses; Mark Walker trains them; we only buy quality stock and guarantee professional management. It's those four ingredients which improve the chance of success for our clients." John Galvin has a pedigree it would seem -- certainly in the mind of this writer -- perfectly suited to racehorse syndication. It's a working background which is remarkably varied; everything from selling encyclopaedias on the streets of Wellington, to scrub-cutting, to shearing sheep, to share- milking, to standing for Parliament, to the highly successful Financial Services Company he has been operating from Hamilton for the past 23 years. "You learn a lot about human nature, and yourself for that matter, knocking on doors to sell books or trying to become a politician," Galvin revealed. Te Akau Stud's David Ellis is the reason John Galvin is syndicating horses these days. "I've had a lifelong interest in racing, but had no direct involvement throughout the 90's. In 2002 I met David Ellis and ended up getting involved in a syndicate to race the excellent 2YO filly Kapsdan, then later came my involvement in Darci Brahma." John Galvin suffered serious health issues around this time and told me that is was during this period that he formed a close friendship with David Ellis. "Darcy Brahma's 2yo & 3yo campaigns occurred while I was in recovery and I got very involved and interested in the entire process," said Galvin. While providing winners for his client base is an all-important priority for Fortuna, John Galvin is keen to point out another management factor which he considers a key to the longevity of his syndication company. "The exit strategy is very important. Driven by Mark Walker, a brutal assessment of horses prospects must be made early on. If the horse is not considered capable of competing in black type company, then we need to be out of it by the end of its 3YO year or early in its 4yo campaign." The Fortuna Ltd owners come from all walks of life. "We've got doctors, chemists, retailers, farmers, administrators and truck drivers -- all sorts really," Galvin told me. "A key priority is to educate them about every aspect. If the horse is going to have a 'water walker' preparation, then they need to know exactly what that is. Same goes for a race review, I need to spell out exactly what happened in everyday language." John Galvin said that there are two things which have given him the most satisfaction in his near three years of business as a syndicator. "The involvement of so many new people in racing has been very special. So too has been getting a $1 million earner (Tell a Tale) from our first crop." So where will John Galvin & Fortuna Ltd be in 2015. "I'd like to think we will have syndicated 50 or 60 horses by then. Winning black type races is what it's all about. And we'll continue to buy horses in the same bracket ($60k to $120k)." Successful syndicator John Galvin talks with NZTM CEO, Adrian Clark TELL A TALE wins the 2008 NZ 2000 Guineas Gr1, for a purse of NZ$1m, for the Fortuna No. 5 Syndicate J
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