Ralph Johns, of Sydney, part-owner of Grafton Cup winner Stormhill, holds the trophy while fellow owners look on.
Ralph Johns, of Sydney, part-owner of Grafton Cup winner Stormhill, holds the trophy while fellow owners look on.

Owners on a ?hell of a ride

By Tony White

Stormhill's sensational win in yesterday's $175,000 XXXX Gold Grafton Cup (2400m) was a sweet triumph for the colt's diverse group of owners.

Retired Gold Coast-based partowner Aden Bryson echoed the nine-strong syndicate's feelings.

"Personally, I responded to an ad I saw in the Financial Review for the horse," he said.

"I've been in a couple of other horses before, certainly none as exciting as this fella.

"I've gone into this with eight other folk who I'd never met before.

"We're having a hell of a ride."

Stormhill was syndicated by bloodstock agents Graham Orr and Paul Byrne after being purchased by trainer Tim Martin for $150,000 as a yearling in Sydney.

Syndicate manager Ralph Johns is typical of the mix of people.

Johns has been a wholesale fruit and vegetable merchant at the Flemington markets, Sydney, for more than 50 years.

"I'm head of the syndicate, but that wasn't through my good man- agement, more luck," he said.

"Getting a horse like this is a dream for all of us. The people come from all around Australia.

"Winning this race and getting together to celebrate is very special."

The other syndicate members are Billy and Vicky Alateras, Pater Van Duren, a West Australian-based surgeon, Greg Youngberry, who runs a nursery in Lismore, Adelaide-based Mary Finlay, Ian Dresner from Sydney and Michael Corrigan from the Gold Coast.

"I think there will be big celebrations after winning this," Bryson said.

Stormhill carried renowned syndicator Harry Lawton's second set of colours yesterday.

The Stormhill success story, with the likelihood of more riches to come, shows you don't need to be a millionaire to be involved with the 'Sport Of Kings'.



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