The naming of Six Empty Wallets, who lines up at Taree on Tuesday, traces back to a group of mates having a few beers.
And when mentioned in jest, it struck a chord with Branxton owner-breeder, Fred Vella.
“We were at the pub one day and a bloke (Bluey Owens) said we should call a horse Six Empty Wallets,” Vella said.
“I liked the name. We’re always at the hotel on Saturday afternoon punting and at the end of the day, usually finish with empty wallets.”
The name was bestowed on a now four-year-old mare by Olympus out of Vella’s well-performed mare, Anvil’s Gold, the winner of eight races – all at Muswellbrook – from 55 starts.
“Bluey was in another horse with me named Fire Gold Rings, Six Empty Wallets’ older sister, and was going to go into the Six Empty Wallets syndicate but pulled out,” Vella said.
“He came up with the name. I’ve never forgiven him.”
Vella races Six Empty Wallets with Peter Cox, who works in the Hunter Valley vineyards, publican Mick Starkey, Cessnock professional golfer Kerrin McMahon and brother Phil, miner Fred Stair and trainer Todd Howlett.
The mare tackles the Noble Realty Forster Class 2 Handicap (1250m) with 1.5kg-claiming apprentice Harmett Singh in the saddle.
A winner of two from seven starts, Six Empty Wallets is coming off a first-up fourth on a heavy track, a surface the mare dislikes, to Subic Bay in a 1150m Class 2 event at Cessnock on October 10.
Notably, last campaign Six Empty Wallets won her maiden second-up at Quirindi last February and Howlett believes the mare has returned this preparation in better order.
“She looks to have improved this time in, a bit stronger and more mature,” Howlett said.