Johnny Sexton might be relieved to hear there is life after rugby, even if sometimes it is a bit of a gamble.
Former Leicester Tigers and Munster winger Johne Murphy has set up a new firm to run horse racing syndicates with trainer Joseph O'Brien, son of racing legend Aidan O'Brien.
"Our first €500,000 syndicate is nearly full, with over €400,000 confirmed," said Murphy, who manages Thoroughbred Racing Syndicates. O'Brien is training the young horses it has bought at his stables in Piltown, Co Kilkenny.
"We have a real mix of people come on board from Ireland and overseas. People with success in medical devices, building, hospitality and some from my rugby career.
"Some are new to this game, some have had previous success. There is a fun element, but it is focused on profit."
There is a fine line between gambling and investment, Murphy agreed.
"Ultimately, the people who get involved should be able to afford to lose all the money they put in," he said.
"It is very high risk, there's no point in denying that. But I have done some angel investing and it is similar. And the rewards can be very, very high," he claimed. "That is why I was determined to get Joseph on board. In his short career as a trainer he has won at the Breeders' Cup meeting in America, essentially the Olympics of horseracing, and the Melbourne Cup twice."
The pair set out to professionalise the syndicate structure by setting up a company to manage it. The €500,000 syndicate has started with six young horses the pair believe will win prize money and ultimately can be sold for a profit.
"We're targeting the US and Hong Kong for these types of horses," said Murphy.
Other syndicates aimed at different ends of the market will follow. For example, it has spent around €100,000 on three more horses for the new English racing league and plans to sell 20 shares at a more modest €5,750. "It's a completely new concept this year in racing and our horses will be trained by Joseph and essentially race as Team Ireland. It's a racing festival spread over six weeks with 12 teams and massive prize money, €50,000 per race."
After his playing career ended, Murphy went into coaching but was also determined to set up his own business and, having grown up 10 minutes from The Curragh in a horse-owning family, the race game appealed.
"Ireland is probably the Silicon Valley of horse racing. So instead of a tech startup this is a horse racing startup."
"When I retired from rugby first I got involved in a number of syndicates from a fun point of view. I felt they weren't really run as well as they could have been and they didn't end very well. There was a decent chunk of change lost. I learned a few things from that experience."
He has applied this experience to a number of syndicates that he has run himself in a more informal way and over the last three years they have won just over €200,000, he claimed.
Covid presented an opportunity last September to do something even more ambitious, said Murphy.
Prices at the annual yearling horse sales had fallen sharply - by as much as 45pc - due to the hit the industry has taken from the pandemic.
"When I saw that I decided it was time to either go big or go home. I put a formal company together to go after that and try to expose some of the value that was in the market."
The firm bought six two-year-old horses and set about raising €550,000 through a syndicate structure.
"My plan is to bring people into the game at a high level. I come from a high performance background. Joseph is obviously very much at the top of his game. He was a world class jockey and for someone in his mid 20s he's achieved an incredible amount already.
"This is about trying to marry these two worlds to give people that high performance experience but in a different way," he said.