Nice to meet you: Luke Kemeys of Boys Get Paid

14 Jan 2020
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Depending on which link you hit on Google, Boys Get Paid’s (BGP) Luke Kemeys is a chartered accountant, rogue wordsmith, a guy with a .com after his name or the one turning up to next weekend’s New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million in red boxer shorts.


Turns out he can pose for the camera too. Luke Kemeys circa January 2018 when we made him pose for a wee photoshoot we’d teed up with the NZ Herald.


Back for his third official BGP Karaka Million shindig here next Saturday; Kemeys is hoping to deliver some of the race night’s massive energy with a joint venture event for 500 or so of his faithful followers and deliver a payday like no other for hundreds more by putting on New Zealand’s largest-ever punters club.

Before he went and put his lucky red boxers in the wash, we sat down & put the guy through some light work ahead of his big race night.

Do you remember your first bet/day at the races? If so, what was the one thing that stood out and made you want to go back?

At uni, we’d head along to our local race track, have a few beers and try and find a winner.

I think the social aspect of it and the excitement was the initial attraction.

The best day on the punt?

Years ago we found Green Moon leading into the Melbourne Cup and we got plenty and stuck with him on Cup Day and looked like geniuses.

The Karaka Million is easily our best days betting in New Zealand and when we ran our first large scale punters club we just missed a $60,000 collect that was more than what we started with.

Even though we lost, the buzz around that race was unforgettable.


Then the question we all hate, the sickest beat you’ve had?

We had a greyhound call Zipping Tay and the syndicate invested the dog’s career winnings on it.

The danger was the kennel mate who was slow away.

We thought we were home when out by 3L.

We think someone moved the finishing post and the kennel mate turned into a cheetah and crushed us right on the line.


Any superstitions when punting?

Recently I’ve been pretty certain a red pair of my boxers are lucky so I’ll be wearing those to the Karaka Million.

[Editor’s note: We’ve spoken with Kemeys and he’s aware he’ll need to be putting dress pants over his lucky ones in order to gain access into the after-party]

What’s one thing you’d like New Zealanders to know about a.) a day at the races and b.) about the sport itself?

If you’re going once a year, dig into your pocket to support a community asset and event – don’t expect it for free.

The sport employees thousands of New Zealanders and having a bet doesn’t make you a degenerate – we’ve all seen you lining up for a Lotto ticket without being judged.

Ardrossan sprints away to win the 2019 Preferment @ Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap here at the 2019 Karaka Million while the BGP-backed Spring Heat (not pictured) finished 14th. She has since bounced back though – even winning

What is the thing you hate to see most after you have backed a horse that doesn’t deliver?

In our 2019 Punters Club, we put $10,000 on a horse called Spring Heat and she bucked 50m after leaving the barriers and didn’t continue the race.

Mentally, you have to compose yourself very, very quickly to accept that and turn the page to the next race when 700 people are involved in your syndicate.

Best punting advice you’ve received/would give someone?

When you’re winning, ALWAYS put some away.

Worst punting advice you’ve received?

“’The grass harness on a Sunday is a great way to recover if you’ve had a tough Saturday”.

What’s one thing you wish you knew more about racing?

What it’s like for a jockey to draw barrier one on the favourite, sit three-wide for half of the race, run last and then have to address the owners and trainer.

Luke mastering the art of pretending to cheer for horses that aren’t actually there… part of our 2018 shoot with him


Favourite track to bet on?

Ellerslie. (I haven’t been told to say this, I promise.)

It is always presented well, plays fair so your horse gets every chance and it handles a lot of racing.

Do you have a favourite horse?

A Darley horse named Beaded. She never ran a bad race and funded a lot of dinners for me.

What is the best punting saying you use?

Trust The Process. Expect The Results.

Outside of the punt, what is your favourite thing about the races?

Racing has an amazing ability to bring people together even though they are competing with each other near on daily.

During tough times, the industry really get around each other – that’s a sign of good people.

Some of 2019’s BGP cheer squad in action at the Karaka Million here at Ellerslie. Next weekend’s event has already outsold last year’s, so expect some noise from the stands. #SorryNotSorry


You can be one for a day… who’s it going to be? Two of BGP’s infamous tipsters, The Goat or Ted? ARC CEO Paul Wilcox or one of BGP’s crowd favourite jocks, Opie Bosson? Te Akau’s racing queen, Melody Belle, or your racing pooch, Boys Get Paid?

Well our dog, Boys Get Paid, is injured and no one likes being injured.

Melody Belle gets up too early.

I’d get Opie sacked as I’d eat too much and couldn’t shed it the next day.

Paul Wilcox gets too many demanding text messages from that Luke Kemeys guy.

The Goat has to sign too many signatures in a day.

So it’d have to be Ted – knowing the winners of just about every race before everyone else would be a pretty valuable skill. Apparently his wife Lynda makes a mint roast as well!

If you had $10 left to your name, how do you turn it into a fortune?

Not through gambling! Buy Coca Cola cheap and sell it at an intersection during hot summer days.

Reinvest profits into more stock.

Repeat until Winter, then swap to chocolate bars at kids’ rugby.

Sorry, no quick wins here, I am an accountant.

Be sure to pay your tax too…

BGP are back; Probabeel (pictured) is coming back; the band is coming back… it’ll be all go on Saturday 25 Jan!


What next?

Major Partners