We hear constantly, and understandably so, stories about rags to riches horses.
You know the ones – they cost virtually nothing yet go out and make squillions. Old Takeover Target is one of the best and most famous of them – cost $1250 and won over $7million.
But every now and then the other side of the coin is exposed.
Those who cost an arm and a leg and well, don’t live up to expectations.
While doing the form for all races across the country today I found four horses, all recently purchased at yearling sales by Guy Mulcaster Bloodstock for Chris Waller to train who fit that category.
And most of them have shots at some tiny redemptive moment today.
But collectively, the quartet of: LUBUK (I Am Invincible-Bippo No Bungus), ENTERTAINER (Zoustar-Laughing), NOMBUSO (Snitzel-Estatuilla) and the unraced VOLTERRA (I Am Invincible-Tai Tai Tess) cost $2 million.
They were purchased for syndication and they race today in races worth: Lubuk, Entertainer ($15,300 to the winner), Volterra ($22,000 to the winner) and Nombuso (also $22,000 to the winner).
All are fully syndicated and each has a few stand alone part-owners, but, by and large the same major names appear in the ownership of each.
To date, Nombuso who cost $325,000 has had 4 starts and earned $4,500. He is a 3YO who has now been gelded so there is little to no chance he will ever return his cost.
Entertainer cost $150,000 and from just 2 runs has earned $4,800. He too is a 3YO gelding now but has some talent and maybe could, after a few years of racing, earn his keep.
Lubuk, however, can win today at Toowoomba. But he will still fall well shy of his $500,000 cost as a yearling. Thus far from 10 starts, he has no wins and earned $41,000 in stakes. He too is a gelding. I’d like to bet he never makes it to $500k.
The hope of the side is the 2YO, Volterra.
He is on debut at his home track of Rosehill today and his trial suggested he can win. It also said that he might be pretty handy. He is still a colt, but it’s a huge mountain he has to climb and one his patient owners will pray he does because he cost….$1,300,000 as a yearling.
If he wins and goes on to win a stakes race as a 2YO, he has a fair chance of recouping his huge outlay.
Buying potential stallions as babies is a very, very risky business and NOT a good business model at all. But, like some things in life, it can, at times, yield massive rewards.
Horses like The Autumn Sun who was purchased for $700,000 and who won $3.5million, was sold for the value of $25million.
Choisir cost his group of owners, all butchers, just $55,000 as a yearling. He won $1.7million for them and they then sold him for $22million.
Snitzel himself was bought as a baby for $260,000 and won just over $1million. Despite being 17 years old now he still is worth over $20million.
So it can happen.
Good luck to the above quartet and their owners.
I think both Lubuk and Volterra can win their respective races at Toowoomba and Rosehill this afternoon.