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  • NZ Racing Desk


Bilbao gets up at Ashburton under stable apprentice Rafi Firdhaus

A social media-driven group have now made their presence felt in an ownership role.

The burgeoning Boys Get Paid movement driven by Auckland accountant Luke Kemeys struck gold today when their colours were carried to victory by jockey Rafi Firdhaus aboard the Andrew Carston-trained Bilbao at Ashburton.

“It’s pretty exciting as a group,” Kemeys said. “It’s a great debut for the Boys Get Paid as a group, this is our first horse and there’s 20 involved in this horse and 50 in the one, that’s in pre-training, in Taranaki with Janelle Millar.”

The Boys Get Paid have teamed up with Brent Cooper, manager of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing-supported Social Racing initiative, in the Darci Brahma four-year-old Bilbao while Carston also shares in the ownership.

Luke Kemeys (black polo) and some of the Boys Get Paid crew pictured at Ellerslie. photo:

“It’s on the 12-month plan to have three horses racing in the Boys Get Paid colours with the next one in the Waikato,” Kemeys said.

“We work on a lease initiative, but if things keep going well we might look at buying at Karaka in 2019.”

Social media has been the foundation on which Boys Get Paid’s popularity had been built and their Facebook following has grown rapidly.

“I reckon we’ll be pushing past 9,000 today,” Kemeys said. “It’s good to be able to put something back into the industry.”

Boys Get Paid also has a growing Instagram following and a website presence at

He also organised a function at Ellerslie on Karaka Million night in conjunction with the Auckland Racing Club.

“We ran a punters club where people put in $100 and we ended up with $58,000,” Kemeys said. “We turned that amount into $136,000, which was pretty phenomenal.

“That was an event, but mainly people do their own thing, and we’ll try and keep the Karaka Million type events quite exclusive and maybe look to do two or three like that each year.

“I think the Karaka Million is something we could turn into our Melbourne Cup. It sounds pretty lofty, but I was recently watching highlights of Black Caviar and Winx, and you see the people there and my thoughts are, why can’t we have the same sort thing?

“I think the Karaka Million, in my mind, could be the closest thing we get to doing it, outside of Cup Week in Christchurch, and we plan to work closely with the Auckland Racing Club to grow it and create that atmosphere, run the punters club and live stream some of the things that are going on.” – NZ Racing Desk.

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