Racing Thoroughbreds as a member of a Syndicate

By Jill Lunn

Syndication is growing in popularity as a way to enjoy being part of horseracing as an owner. There are many types of partnerships and being a member of an authorised syndicate is a fun and cost-effective way to participate and experience the thrill that owning a horse brings.

Phyllis Huitema, a Committee Member on the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Racehorse Owners’ Association, loves being part of a syndicate. She is a member of the well-known Heels and Hooves Syndicate that has many members and now enjoys the ownership of three horses trained by Stephen Marsh.

Heels and Hooves is an all-women syndicate that was set up by Stephen along with Bloodstock Agent, Dylan Johnson. As part of the syndicate, an official partnership with Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand was established. As well as helping raise awareness of breast cancer, a percentage of all prize money won by each horse is donated to the Foundation. The horses owned by the syndicate race in “breast cancer” pink and white colours, designed like Stephen’s stable silks with a large dot front and back.

The first horse the syndicate invested in is the 3YO filly called MOET DOWN, by champion sire Pierro out of the well-related mare Cancel. This talented filly is a race winner and was a very game second in this year’s Group 3 Mufhasa Stakes at Ellerslie on 2nd March 2024. Her half-sister in Australia, Group 1 winner Madam Pommery (coincidentally also raced by an all-ladies syndicate), recently sold at the Magic Millions sale for a staggering $2.7 million. MOET DOWN looks to be a very exciting prospect next season for her many syndicate owners and holds significant residual value as a broodmare.

The second horse purchased for the syndicate is a 2YO filly; she is also by Pierro out of the stakes winning mare Rockolicious. Named SEXY AND I  MOET, she has had one start at Matamata in May where she finished fourth, having been an impressive trial winner. She looks well-placed to target the elite fillies’ races next season as a 3YO.

The group recently purchased another filly at this year’s Sydney Easter yearling sales. This filly is by speed stallion Russian Revolution and boasts a precocious early running pedigree. She is currently being broken in by Sam Beatson at Riversley Park before joining Stephen’s stable later in June.

Phyllis describes racing as a member in this syndicate: “When you belong to the syndicate you don’t have to buy in every year to every horse, you make your choices about what you want to buy in. Some of the women own 2/5ths of 5/8ths of the horse and some women own a lot of the horse, but I can tell you on race day we all own the entire horse. Its great fun! We all try to wear pink on race day.”

Being part of a syndicate is an inexpensive way to have fun and enjoy the sport of racing, and Phyllis and her friends certainly do that whilst being able to support the Breast Cancer Foundation in a unique way.

The Heels and Hooves syndicate is open to all ladies at all levels of ownership. The group meets once a year (outside of race day) for the highly anticipated Moet Champagne lunch. Often held at the spectacular Cambridge Stud, this provides an opportunity for the syndicate members to meet each other, make new friends and, of course, get up close and personal with their latest filly.


Moet Down gets her debut win on 17 January 2024 at Te Rapa

Moet Down gets her debut win on 17 January 2024 at Te Rapa

Happy Heels & Hooves ladies!

Happy Heels & Hooves ladies!