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We like to read about the bargain-buys who win big.

They are few and far between but are out there and are very well received when they show up.

Multiple Gr 1 winner BOHEMETH comes to mind, who cost a pittance as a young horse, yet has won $2,525,900 in prize money, as does the mare NETTOYA who cost just $20k as a yearling, then won $2.5m before selling recently for $900,000.

And of course, the legendary tale of TAKEOVER TARGET who was bought at a tried stock sale for just $1,100 and went of to win $6.3million.

What isn’t reported all that often is the opposite. – the big priced babies who can’t pick their legs up.

At Tamworth today, having his 18th maiden start, CALIFORNIA SPELL (Snitzel – Angel’s Spell), is one of those gallopers.

He cost $550,000 as a yearling.

And he’s as slow as this pandemic.

From 18 starts he has recorded just two placings. Both when 3rd from three different trainers.

He started off with Team Snowden who moved him on before he’d even had a start. They knew.

He was sold for $20,000 and went to the Adelaide stables of Mark Minervini. He raced him there and he ran a creditable 3rd one down but at around this time Minervini was looking to move his stock and trade to Newcastle.

This horse came too and he again managed a placing, at Newcastle back in May of last year.

But he wasn’t going anywhere so after 18 months of ownership, he was sold again.

This time to Muswellbrook trainer Dale Riley and his family for $11,000.

That was August of last year.

In 8 starts for the Rileys he has won $4,000 from unplaced prize money.

Today, at Tamworth he sat three wide to near the bend then weakened out and ran 12th of 13 beaten 13 lengths.

He may well win a picnic race someday, but his go looks likely to be the show ring.

So, money doesn’t always beget money in this sport.

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