Almost 40 years after completing high school at Aquinas College a group of class mates have joined forces to get behind exciting sprinter, Red Ora.
Red Ora was bred by Mungrup Stud’s Gray Williamson who races the gelding with a bunch of ex-students from the class of 1979.
The deal was sealed at a reunion in Albany and the group’s involvement has stunningly exceeded their wildest dreams.
Red Ora, a son of Due Sasso, has racked up seven wins and two placings from 11 career starts with prizemoney totalling $255,050.
After kicking off proceedings at Ascot last year he secured four more victories to remain undefeated in his maiden campaign.
The gelding stepped out for his first appearance at Ascot last year and went through his maiden campaign undefeated, posting five wins including the Listed Magic Millions Perth 3YO Trophy (1200m) in February.
Williamson said a large part of the group, many of them first time participants, became owners to enjoy the social side of the racing industry.
“The funny thing is we thought the horse would be a good excuse to get away for a boys weekend,” said Williamson.
“We didn’t think he would turn out to be this good and our original plan was to follow him around the country tracks.
“But because of the success he has had we haven’t had to venture beyond Ascot and Belmont in Perth.
“I often joke to the boys that if I had known he was going to turn out to be this good I never would had sold him.
“Many of them are first owners and they have been blown away by how lucky and successful we have been.
“I’ve had to remind some of them to savour and enjoy the ride because this is the exception rather than the rule.
“After he won his first five races I think there were some in the group who thought his winning run would never end.
“But it’s been a great way to expose a group of guys who never would have contemplated setting foot on a race track.”
Williamson and his band of owners will finally get to go on their road trip with Red Ora to target one of Kalgoorlie’s iconic races: the Hannans Handicap (1400m) Thursday.
Trainer Dan Morton targeted the goldfields after Red Ora stormed back to defeat Petrol Power when dropping back to 1200m at Belmont two weeks ago.
Red Ora relished a drop back in distance and will kept to a sprint journey after finishing fourth to Young Lionel at his first attempt over 1600m.
Morton would love nothing better than to get his family’s name back on the Hannans Handicap honour roll after an absence of 28 years
As a jockey he rode Pirate’s Reign to victory for his trainer father, Len, in 1987.
Pirates’ Reign was the first of three Hannans for Len Morton after previous wins to So Dashing (1992) and Bradson (1988).
RWWA: Julio Santarelli