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The Diamond syndicate operating 20 years

(Members of The Diamond syndicate with Coulee after her win in the 2017 White Robe Lodge Handicap)

The Diamond syndicate, which was formed 20 years ago to race horses with White Robe Lodge trainers Brian and Shane Anderton, has a get - together planned for the premier race meeting at Wingatui on February 3. This would coincide with the White Robe Lodge Handicap won this year by Coulee, raced by The Diamond syndicate, breeders Brian and Lorraine Anderton, the Woolshed Wednesday and White Flash syndicates, Gordon Dickson and Maurice Hampton. The WRL race, held on Premier Day, will be run at Weight for Age next year.

"We are compiling a history of our wins and are planning a display of photos. We are hoping to have some of our wins on a flash drive to play on TV's through a laptop on the day,'' said Sharyn Anderton (wife of Shane) and manager and founding member of The Diamond syndicate.

Other original members in the syndicate are Lynne Lowry (mother of Jacob), Murray McBride, Wayne Van Gorp, Mike Turner, Kevin Booth and Richard Johnston. They have been joined by Mark Isaacs, Paul Parsons, Nick Parsons, Don Todd, Charlie Voight, Robert Bain and Gay Hale.

Horses raced by The Diamond syndicate have won 51 races.

Coulee has been the standout performer with her wins in the group three White Robe Lodge Handicap and gr three South Island Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes at Riccarton twice. The daughter of Gallant Guru - Cherry Creek has won nine races and $250,947 in stakes.

The Diamond syndicate was formed from a group playing Touch sevens.

"We used to play Touch Sevens in Green Island and members of the team were keen to race a horse if the cost was not too high, "recalled Sharyn.

Fortune did not favour The Diamond syndicate at the outset. Their first horse, Major Babe(Personal Escort - Red Diamond filly) broke her neck in a paddock accident after finishing fifth in a 2yr-old race at Riccarton in November, 1998. Her sister Mega Babe was restricted to one start and another sister, Ruby Guard did not manage a win in 15 starts.

The Diamond syndicate had its first win with Fermoy at Oamaru in June, 2000 when racing the McGinty - Apteryx mare with the Progressive syndicate. Fermoy, bred by Progressive Farms Ltd, was ridden by Paul Richards and had two further wins.

Soeztoc, a half sister by Blazing Keel to Fermoy, won two races for the The Diamond and Progressive syndicates in 2002 and 03.

Fly Solo, a Personal Escort - Solo Star mare, won six races for The Diamond and Woolshed Wednesday syndicates, the first at Gore in 2007. The same year Amplify (Danzighill -Personify mare) won for The Diamond syndicate at Wingatui.

The two syndicates raced Of The Essence, winner of 10 races including the Gore Cup in 2008 and 09, the Clare Memorial Cup at Omakau and Queenstown Cup at Cromwell. The daughter of Yamanin Vital - Bonnie Jay, bred by Brian and Lorraine Anderton, is the dam of Times Flying, a Raise The Flag 4yr-old who is back in work after one start last season.

It's Essential, a half sister by Seasoned Star to Of The Essence,  had the first of her three wins for Diamond syndicate at Gore in 2011.

Tawnce won a hurdle race at Oamaru and a steeplechase at Waimate for The Diamond syndicate in 2006. The Personal Escort - Tawquette mare, also a winner of the flat,  was returned to Brian and Lorraine Anderton for breeding and her only registered foal, Ready Eddie (by Yamanin Vital) won the 2017 New Zealand Grand National Hurdles.

Gold Leaf and Cheap Date are other jumps winners for The Diamond syndicate. Cheap Date won three over hurdles. He was 7yr-old resuming over 1600m on the flat at Wingatui in March, 2012 from a six month break and a hurdling campaign when he  gave apprentice Courtney Barnes her first winning ride.

Gold Leaf, raced by The Diamond syndicate with Brian and Lorraine, Terry Burke and Ron and Jennifer Williamson won the 2017 Great Western Hurdles before he went amiss. He gave jockey Shankar Muniandy his first win over hurdles when successful at Wingatui in 2016.

The Diamond syndicate took a share of Londonderry Air when he joined the Anderton stable last season. The half brother by Raise The Flag to NZ Grand National Steeplechase winner High Forty has since won three races. The Raise The Flag - Clear A Bell mare Cristallo won two races for the syndicate before she was sent to stud last spring and mated with Ghibellines.

Winners for The Diamond syndicate compiled by Kevin Booth:

Fermoy 3 wins

Soeztoc 2

Tawnce 3

Of The Essence 10

Amplify 1

Fly Solo 6

Cheap Date 4

Its Essential 3

Cee Gee Jay 3

Coulee 9

Cristallo 2

Gold Leaf 2

Londonderry Air 3