"Oh my god I've just won the Kentucky Derby."

Those were the words running through Trackside TV presenter and racing media identity Aidan Rodley's head just seconds after he witnessed the Bob Baffert-trained Authentic lead all the way to take out the 146th running of the Gr.1 Kentucky Derby (2000m).

You could be forgiven for thinking Aidan, who hails from Taranaki, had found an oil well, synonymous with many of the world's leading racehorse owners.

But rather he is a micro owner of the star colt, an ownership trend sure to grow in years to come.


Aidan is grounded in the reality that he and four of his Stratford High School mates are included in a group of 4200 that took up an opportunity to obtain a hair in the tail of the Into Mischief colt, already a proven Group One galloper, through their purchase of a US$206 share in the horse offered through online website MyRaceHorse.com.

Founded by 43-year-old Californian Michael Behrens, MyRaceHorse.com has sold 70,000 shares in 47 horses in the last year and owns 12.5 per cent of Authentic, broken down into 12,500 shares that were snapped up by 4200 individuals.

"We literally own a hair in his tail and definitely didn't need to strike some home-town oil to afford the share we bought," Aidan says.

"It all came about off the back of a syndicate we put together for a core group of mates that went through high school together. Over the last couple of years, we had grown apart a little, so we thought we'd get together for a few beers one day and look for ways we could stay in touch a little better.

"We had talked about horse ownership so five of us put a syndicate together that we called McGraw Racing."

He says they started with a couple of horses through New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's Social Racing Syndicates and it had grown from there.

Aidan roared Authentic home en route to a family birthday party and admitted his kids in the back seat of the car thought he had gone crazy as the horse fought off the attentions of hot favourite Tiz The Law to take out one of the world's most famous races.

"I was just going off when he was fighting with Tiz The Law and I think my kids thought I was nuts," he says.


"Being a racing purist, you dream of these sort of things but to actually watch it happen is just crazy."

Syndicate member John Charlton began exploring international opportunities and came across a website in Australia called miRunners.com, that offers micro shares in Australian-based horses.

"One of our guys, John Charlton, was on the lookout for different opportunities and found the miRunners site," Aidan says.

"We now have shares in four horses there including Dusty Tycoon who ran in the A$2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) earlier in the year.

"They also have a slot in the Everest (A$15 million, 1200m) at Randwick next month and have locked in Rothfire for that place so we will have an Everest runner to cheer on.

"He also found the MyRaceHorse.com site which is the American equivalent and that's how we bought the share in Authentic which cost us US$40 each.


"As part of that offer you also get to share in the rest of his racing career and any future career at stud."

Aidan is more than aware that their shareholding is at the lowest level possible, however any monetary return is not the primary objective of the exercise.

"What we get is something far better than just a monetary return," he says.

"We get to say we have a runner in the Kentucky Derby, the Everest and races like that which is just priceless and it helps keep us together as mates.

"The banter before and during a race is legendary and what being friends is all about.

"Before Sunday we were comparing Mint Julep recipes to celebrate the Kentucky Derby traditions which was hilarious.


"We sit on our video chats, give each other some ribbing and have a bloody good time.

"We couldn't be together to watch the Derby but I'm pretty sure when we do gather the Mint Juleps will be flowing and so will the banter around it."

As for micro-ownership, expect it to grow in popularity, particularly with the instant gratification of having a runner in the world's most prestigious races.

One of the key supporters of the MyRaceHorse Stable is billionaire B. Wayne Hughes, owner of Spendthrift Farm, which also own substantial equity in Authentic.

Hughes, who made his money in the self-storage business, is also a partner with Michael Behrens in MyRaceHorse.com and is concerned with the declining number of people involved in US racing and wants to help attract more people to the sport.

"Our concept of MyRaceHorse Stable is purely to get more fans to the racetrack," said Brian Lyle, who is the liaison for Spendthrift Farm with MyRaceHorse Stable.


"It brings in more owners, it builds greater enthusiasm, and it builds up education so that some owners can move to the next level with their involvement in the sport."

There is no doubt the concept has legs, as evidenced by a group of blokes from Taranaki, who can now claim they own a Kentucky Derby winner.