David Allan International Racehorse Magazine Interview: 23 October 2017


David Allan has been a fixture in South African racing and breeding for
fifteen years and overseas for much longer as an owner, breeder, racing
and breeding manager for clients and sales selector for buyers in a dozen
countries. www.allanbloodlines.com shows amongst others how the South
Africa Racing Groups work. There can hardly be any more reasonably
priced opportunity. Marie Chin finds out how and why.

Marie: Judging by the AllanBloodlines Twitter and Facebook pages, you have had a flurry of winners in South Africa and UK recently – does that signal some good value for the upcoming Cape Summer?

David: I certainly hope so. In our Hintlesham Racing Group in the Cape there is no up-front cost or long period of waiting before full training – we cover those costs ourselves so we are hoping that a good number of people will come in during October and November to enjoy a busy and successful summer, all going well.

Marie: They don’t have to pay up front to buy in?

David: No not in this Hintlesham Racing Group. They are in the position of owners – on the racecourse, sharing stake money won 8% up to 25% each but with racing management on their behalf and detailed
communication included. Unusually there is a share of sale proceeds if sold, so it is akin to leasing but with a lot more added into the package of enjoyment.

Marie: Training fees are expensive. How much do people have to pay?

David: For (say) 10% interest in four horses R 5 000 + VAT per month all up.

Marie: Wow – including everything?

David: Yes unless good enough to travel to another centre but then he or she would probably have won plenty already. If a horse needs a break or a rest, the monthly cost pro rata will go down. In fact when a runner has done what he or she can and needs to retire, we take the horse out and either replace or reduce the costs pro rata.

Marie: That’s amazing! You are really giving people a gentle time.

David: It’s all about involvement in a sport with so many dimensions of enjoyment way beyond what is usually “marketed” in South Africa so we want to make it easier to be involved – whether for people who love racing or people who have never raced. This works really well for fillies who give great pleasure on the racecourse and at the training stables and have family associations that we can chat about in reports.

The latest fillies now are a winner of three and Feature placed, two winners of one who lived through a grim Cape Winter and are looking great in their coats now, and a new girl who has had a couple of prep runs and needs a trip.

Marie: Some people want colts, do you do anything for them?

David: Sure. A colt may or may not be better than a filly on the track but is usually more tradeable if good. Therefore, this requires actual ownership and payment up front. Our newest syndicate is for 2 year olds only – two colts, a lovely filly and a fourth tba. Only R 24,000 + VAT to purchase and own 10% of all four, then the same monthly fixed costs as above.

Marie: How long have you been offering this kind of soft package?

David: More than 10 years in South Africa and nearly 25 years in the UK. Here, we are in the Cape with 30 x Grade 1 winning trainer Vaughan Marshall who helps us make people welcome as well as being an excellent, caring trainer and a foodie with an expert palate for Sauvignon Blanc.. People from other provinces have joined us as well as people overseas – you don’t have to attend every race and we keep people closely informed. Although not in the Hintlesham colours, we have runners elsewhere – two winners at Turffontein very recently in my colours and leased out, so there is scope to expand.

Marie: Racing is a social event on the racecourse, at the stables, or in close email contact. You have a deep involvement in the South African bloodstock industry – can people get even more involved that way?

David: As much or as little as they wish. Yes, we manage stallions and look after three dozen broodmares and all their babies, as well as working the sales. Add to that my involvement in AHS/Export activity and working on the yearling sales schedules, and people can learn, visit or debate as much as they like. It is a global sport and industry so we add that dimension as well whether people here want to get involved in depth or just like to hear about it.

Being involved with a racehorse – and we do them four at a time – is to know a beautiful athlete who tries his or her heart out for you and is welcoming when you go to visit. You can punt if you like or don’t punt if you don’t want to but above all you get up close and personal with these fabulous creatures and are “in with a shout” at the races at the most reasonable cost we can manage.

Being involved with a racehorse – and we do them four at a time – is to know a beautiful athlete who tries his or her heart out for you…