TOUGH economic times have been blamed for the collapse of the Living The Dream racing club, which was linked to star trainer Gai Waterhouse.

MATT STEWART reports in the HERALD SUN that Chairman Martin O’Connor confirmed yesterday that the club, which had hoped to attract 5000 members, had folded.

The club attracted just 1000 members, who paid $3750 for a four-year membership.

Club founder, former racecaller Bryan Martin, said he had suffered a “big loss” covering various costs, such as marketing.

“But we made sure everyone was refunded and all bills paid,’’ Martin said, adding the club had fulfilled all its obligations with Racing Victoria and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

O’Connor said it was “a big shame.’’

“I guess it was just too expensive. I don’t really know, I’m not a marketing person but for whatever reason it just didn’t appeal to the public,’’ he said.


Waterhouse said yesterday she had little involvement with the club, which was launched just weeks before scandalous revelations emerged about Bill Vlahos’ “punting’’ club The Edge and the collapse of BC3 Thoroughbreds.



A leading syndicator said: “It might have been a bad time to be launching a racing club, regardless of their best intentions. They’re a bit stiff there.’’

Waterhouse said that while she was the face of the club and its trainer, she had “no real involvement”.

“Although I thought it was a lovely idea,’’ she said.

Living The Dream’s original prospectus, released during last year’s spring racing carnival — which was highlighted by the Waterhouse-trained Fiorente’s Melbourne Cup win — was altered just weeks later after it became apparent the club would not attract anywhere near 5000 members.

There had been some criticism of some aspects of the original prospectus.

It did not provide for a possible dividend for members who might opt to cash in after four years.

The second reduced the target membership to 1500 and offered a cash-in clause.

The club’s first horse was to have been talented import Excess Knowledge, who Martin had compared to Fiorente.