Award-winning jockey sets up new company as old one fails
It's been the subject of plenty of chatter in Queensland horse racing circles over the past few weeks.
Brisbane-based trainer Chris Munce, a former Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, and his wife Cathy tipped their business Munce Training Pty Ltd into administration on April 17.
There was no real explanation as to what went wrong beyond Munce curiously describing it to a sports journo as merely "a business restructure''.
In an email sent out to reassure clients a few days later, he said it would be "business as usual'' as two Sydney-based administrators took control of the company's daily operations.
But notably absent from the April 22 communique was any mention of that fact that he had set up a new company just two days earlier.
Corporate records reveal that Munce registered an entity called CM Racing Corporation Pty Ltd on April 20. He is listed as the sole director and owner.
That little detail was also not divulged to Munce Training creditors when they held their first meeting by videolink this week. Meeting minutes obtained by City Beat show the topic was never discussed.
The company fell over with debts of nearly $83,000 and creditors will reconvene in two weeks to consider whether or not to place the company in liquidation.
Bloodstock auctioneers William Inglis & Sons Ltd are chasing the biggest single debt at $37,007, with McGarry Equine Vet aiming to recover $17,526 and Berndatte Lowe Pre Training hoping to claw back $13,600.
It's not clear yet whether they will recoup any of this money. Administrators Geoff Hancock and Simon Thorn did not respond to a request for comment.
Over a riding career spanning three decades, Munce amassed 42 Group 1 wins, including the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Golden Slipper and Caulfield Cup. He retired in 2015 and is now based at Eagle Farm.
In his emailed note to clients, Munce said that he wanted to "set straight'' the record after media reports surfaced about the drama engulfing the company, which launched in 2013 and had his wife listed as sole director and owner.
"We want to reassure all owners that it is business as usual at Munce Racing and that we will continue to provide the high level of service that we always have,'' he wrote.
"All management and personnel remain working for Munce Racing and there will be no changes in this regard as there will be no changes with day-to-day operations and the dealings you have with Munce Racing. There will be no changes to how your horse is trained and cared for.''
Of course these comments only deepen the mystery as to why the company needed to go in administration. If everything was hunky dory, what was the problem?
Munce, who jointly owns several million dollars worth of property in Hendra with his better half, did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission said Munce will be allowed to continue training.
Brisbane hospitality operator Adam Penberthy has been thrown a lifeline by Coles to help tough it out during these dark viral days.
Penberthy, co-owner of City Winery, will be able to start selling four of his top drops next week through 24 of the group's bottle shops across the city.
The chance to get exposure and sales through Vintage Cellars, Liquorland and First Choice stores was "amazing'' he said yesterday.
Penberthy and business partner David Cush only opened the venue in Fortitude Valley early last year. Trading is down about 65 per cent but, like many in the industry, the pair have pivoted to pick-up, deliveries and home-based food pairings with wine tastings.
The Coles liquor stores will also feature mixed cases of beer from four of Queensland's best craft breweries-Newstead, Brouhaha, Black Hops and Hemingway's--starting this long holiday weekend.
Originally published as Award-winning jockey sets up new company as old one fails