NZ Media personality Tony Veitch living the dream with Avantage

Classy filly Avantage looks the real deal and that has part-owner Tony Veitch very excited for what’s to come. Photo: NZ Racing

NEW ZEALAND radio and TV personality Tony Veitch is buckled up and ready to ride the rollercoaster that is the racing game with two-year-old filly Avantage.

Best known for his regular radio show Veitchy on Sport, the enthusiastic radio star was searching for a new passion and he couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to racehorse ownership.

The former Game of Two Halves host has a share in Te Akau Racing’s Avantage – a well-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock which is currently unbeaten from its first two starts and is looking like one of the most promising fillies this season.

Veitch might be a rookie when it comes to horse ownership, but he’s prepared for the highs and lows he has heard all about.

“David Ellis told me that she was good, I had no idea, I had no clue about the industry,” Veitch told “I think I’m symbolic of a new breed that are coming on board because it’s something different, something new.

“I wanted some different stuff in life. I was getting bored with the work/life balance and so I decided to buy in.”

It was former Black Caps cricket star Brendon McCullum, who is involved with Vermair Racing, that told Veitch about the opportunity to buy a share in a racehorse.

“Brendan McCullum, who I have a lot to do with through my radio show, said ‘you have to come on board. Until you become a part owner you haven’t experienced it’ and it’s been a blast,” Veitch said.

“It’s not about the money, it’s just about having that fun knowing you have a stake in the run.”

He admitted to Horsebetting that he considered the positive effect it would have on his radio show, but in doing so he’s helping promote a sport that doesn’t get much air time in New Zealand.

“I did it as well in part for the radio show. I figured either way it’ll be great radio and if she’s a dud people will laugh, but if she does what she’s doing at the moment, that’s cool,” he said.

“It’s nice that we’re getting into a sport that isn’t mainstream and the reaction on social media has been great. People are asking me how I got involved, how much it costs, is it easy… I mean, I only set up my TAB account two days ago.”

Neds bonus bet deal

The novice punter was able to open an account in time to bet on Avantage last Saturday, but it wasn’t an easy task to watch his prized possession on Trackside.

“I was doing my radio show at the time and I found it unbelievably difficult to concentrate. I was trying to do interviews about Formula 1 and Brendon Hartley, but I didn’t give a stuff.

“I timed out my interviews so I could watch the race live.

“I got my account set up, I put $500 on the nose and I got to bet on my own horse. I took home about about $250 profit.”

It’s a good thing he did, too. Avantage was a mightily-impressive winner of the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 2YO and having already knocked back a significant offer from Australian owners, the interest would have peaked following that run.

“We got offered $750,000 by an Australian syndicate. I had no idea, I left it up to Te Akau Racing to guide me, but at that stage I thought, ‘wow, what a return on investment’,” Veitch said.

“I put $22,000 in to start with and to get $75,000 back in the space of two months in a great return on investment, but I’m guided by them and it has never been about the money.

“It will be fun if she goes on to be a crackerjack horse.”

The offers from offshore investors could rise following its win on Saturday, which could give the syndicate something to think about.

“David thinks now that she won by so much, the Australian syndicate might come back with an offer over $1 million. Then the owners have to think long and hard, but it’s not a bad start in the business to have a horse like this,” Veitch said.

The Welcome Stakes at Riccarton is next on the agenda for Avantage, but the 2018 Karaka Million is firmly in sight. Te Akau Racing will be vying for consecutive Karaka Million winners after Melody Belle scored impressively last season.

“It’s going to bring me great joy and if she’s in the Karaka Mullion and we’re still owning her on January 29, I’m taking time off work,” Veitch said. “I don’t care what my bosses say, I’m watching her in the flesh.”

It’s certainly the best possible entry into the horse racing game for Veitch, who has a come what may attitude for what the future might hold.

“I’m not saying I’m going to be a major syndicate owner, but I’ve enjoyed the process and Te Akau have been amazing, ” he said. “She’s a broodmare, we could sell her or she could get injured, you just never know.

“A lot of the owners have rung me and said they’re not in it for the money. It’s something different and something fun.

“Long may it continue.”

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Alan Simpson
Alan Simpson
6 years ago

Close your TAB account while you are still in front, because believe me you will not stay in front even if your lovely filly keeps on winning, Veitchy do you have any idea how many millions the TAB makes in profit every year, and year in year out?….close your account Veitchy and just watch and enjoy the ride with the filly.

6 years ago
Reply to  Alan Simpson

You can’t make money with the NZ TAB, but you can make money betting on the Australian corporate bookmakers. Punters in NZ are confined to $20 sign up bonus, but you can get upwards of $700 in Australia.

If Veitchy wants a punt on his own horse, he’s more than welcome to.