Filly's part-owner rejects $1.6m offer

Craig Williams rides Ruud Awakening off the track after winning the $1 million Karaka Million.
Craig Williams rides Ruud Awakening off the track after winning the $1 million Karaka Million.

The buzz of the race and the thought of more riches to come is why an Invercargill man wants to reject a whopping $1.6 million offer for a horse he part-owns.

Jack Faul has shares in 2-year-old filly Ruud Awakening in a 10-strong syndicate that includes his wife Alva and Bluff woman Helen Christian.

The horse hit the headlines at the weekend after outclassing her rivals in New Zealand's richest horse race, the Karaka Million, at Ellerslie, netting her connections $550,000.

Mr Faul, who said the victory was one of the biggest thrills of his life and one he would cherish for all time, yesterday confirmed an American had since offered him and the other owners $1.6m for Ruud Awakening.

However, the 87-year-old Invercargill heating, ventilation and air conditioning businessman said he did not want to sell the horse and his "instinct" told him the other owners would not want to either. They had not yet made a final decision, he said.

The horse had the potential to win lots more money, and if sold the thrill it gave its owners would be lost, he said.

"She's got tremendous potential and there's so much more pleasure and fun to be had in her, and you can't put a price on that." Mr Faul indicated his wife was on his side, saying she thought the horse was great and she was also having fun.

"She's bought a couple of new outfits since the win," he said.

Southland's other part-owner of the horse, Helen Christian, declined to comment on the $1.6m offer yesterday.

Speaking earlier in the week after Ruud Awakening's Karaka Million victory, Mrs Christian said she bought into the owner's syndicate in May when shares were advertised.

She had earlier lost money in two or three finance companies.

"They went belly-up so I thought, ‘No more, I'll have a gamble on a horse'."

It was the first racehorse she had owned, she said.

The Southland Times