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Owners feature story: Lucky by name and nature

For one of its syndicate members, the Lucky Clover name couldn’t be any more appropriate.

Most people wait a lifetime for a horse as good as Alpine Edge to come along, but Andy McCallum struck gold at his very first foray into ownership.

The retired policeman, who resides at Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland, was persuaded to dip his toe into the world of thoroughbred syndication by his former work colleague Steve Hargreaves, one of Lucky Clover Thoroughbreds’ founding partners.

McCallum takes up the story, saying: “I was just talking to Steve one day around three years ago, he told me he and the rest of the Lucky Clover team were off to the Magic Millions sales to buy a horse, and asked if I might be interested if they managed to find one.

“I didn’t really think I could afford it at first, but when he told me they sold one per cent shares I said I’d be keen to get involved.”

A few weeks later, McCallum was signing on the dotted line for an as yet unnamed son of Better Than Ready, whom the Lucky Clover team had purchased for $160,000 in partnership with Toby and Trent Edmonds and Bruce Slade of Kestrel Thoroughbreds.

After a casual conversation with his brother Ian and long-time friend Bruce Schnitzler, they too took out a one per cent share and it’s fair to say that the only buyer’s remorse the trio might have experienced is that they didn’t dig a little deeper for a larger slice of the pie.

Their “journey of a lifetime” started with Alpine Edge’s dynamic debut victory in the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes in December 2020, and could culminate in a crack at Queensland’s most famous race, the Stradbroke Handicap, in a few weeks’ time.

McCallum is keen not to get too far ahead of himself – Alpine Edge’s next run, in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup at the end of this month, will determine whether or not Team Edmonds press onto the Stradbroke. But by his own admission, it’s difficult not to get carried away with a horse that has won five times – including the $1m Racing Queensland Magic Millions and most recently The Archer – and pocketed more than $1.8 million in the process.

“I’m pinching myself that we’ve had an experience this good with our first horse,” said the father-of-three.

“I didn’t know any of the owners, other than my brother and Bruce, but now I can count many of them as close friends and we often meet up for a beer and a yarn. That’s what racehorse ownership is all about, it brings people together with a shared passion and interest.

“I’ve since taken out shares in five other horses with Lucky Clover, and it’s fair to say that none of them are quite as good as Alpine Edge! But we’re under no illusions about how lucky we are to own a horse like him, even if it’s only a very small share.

“The guys at Lucky Clover are great to deal with and I’ll never forget some of the experiences I’ve shared with my brother and Bruce. Ian had been in a couple of trotters with another brother but had never owned a thoroughbred before, so he’s been as lucky as I have.

“We were there together when he won his debut, and have seen most of his wins together. Ian had to go home when the Magic Millions Raceday got rescheduled earlier this year, so he missed out on seeing that win and was pretty dirty about it. But he was there when Alpine Edge won The Archer, so I reckon that just about made up for it!”

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