Former Star News sports editor Brad ‘Tangles’ Kingsbury is on the cusp of realising a sporting dream.
Kingsbury has a share in promising stayer Oceanex, who won her way into the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup by winning Saturday’s Andrew Ramsden Handicap at Flemington.
He and fellow coterie members at the Bonbeach Football Club own a five per cent share in the four-year-old mare, trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent junior.
The $70,000 purchase is now rated a 26-1 chance to win Australia’s most famous race on Tuesday 3 November.
“We’ve only got a five per cent share between us, but that’s not the point,” Kingsbury said. “We are all part of the journey. We get all the emails from the trainers and now we’ve got a runner in the Melbourne Cup. It’s unbelievable.”
Kingsbury is a life member at Bonbeach, having played and coached there for years.
Given there are no patrons allowed at the races, he watched Saturday’s race with a few other members of the syndicate in a bar at his new Chelsea home.
The syndicate kicked off in 2018 at the suggestion of Steve Cochrane, another racing tragic at the club.
“I have had horses before, but a lot of these blokes have never been involved before. It’s great.”
One of Kingsbury’s first forays into racehorse ownership was Ace Kingdom, trained out of Pakenham by Chris Vilcins, who won four races at Pakenham and Bairnsdale. Others in the ownership included Star News Group managing director Paul Thomas, group editor Garry Howe, former journalist Megan McNaught (now Gomez) and payroll clerk Karen Tivendale.
Kingsbury explained that he has had a lifelong interest in racing.
“I reckon I’ve been betting since I was 15 and have been in horses since about 1999.”
He said the Melbourne Cup campaign wasn’t really on the cards for Oceanex, who had not really been given a staying preparation.
“This was never her aim,” he explained. “We were going for the Doomben Cup. After she won the Matriarch last year we set her for the autumn, with two races in Sydney and then on to Queensland.
“She had a couple of ordinary runs in Sydney, but they rearranged the program in Queensland so we brought her back down here.”
On 2 May she won the Port Adelaide Cup at Morphettville – “she gave Sopressa wind-burn” was Kingsbury’s assessment – and then won the Andrew Ramsden, earning her a spell and a spring campaign in Melbourne.