Taking the punt on buying a racehorse pays off for locals
BUSINESS and Coffs Harbour rugby identities Ben Warren and Brendan Biddle found racing's elusive pot of gold on the weekend when Taxmeifyoucan won the $500,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas in Scone.
The Investblue Financial Planning partners joined the Motza racing syndicate made up of former university classmates and friends from St Albert's College, Armidale.
Most work in the financial industry, hence the name of the winning gelding.
"We formed a punters club to keep in contact and somebody suggested later we get involved in a horse," Warren said.
"While Brendan and I are only small shareholders, I don't mind you saying we had a fairly decent collect when the horse won the Guineas.
"It's the first time we've had a horse and it's an unbelievable thing not just to win a race as big as this one, but to win one at all.
"Some people try forever and never get anything.
"To be there with your mates and to win one of the biggest country races, it's hard to describe the sheer buzz of it all."
Ridden by Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Blake Shinn and trained at Warwick Farm by Greg Hickman, the son of Ad Valorem (USA) was a 20-1 outsider.
It was the second win for Taxmeifyoucan from 10 career starts with five minor placings.
Among the beaten brigade was highly-rated Flying Snitzel, part-owned by Coffs realtor Scott Nolan.
"Greg the trainer was stunned by the price we got," Warren said.
"He had great form going into the race behind some pretty good three-year-olds and we always thought this was the day and that he could win with some luck in the run."
And the future?
"Greg is going to spell him for a couple of months and bring him back for the Spring races," Warren added.
With stamina in the pedigree, maybe a crack at the Champion Stakes or the Victoria Derby?
"Gee, that would be nice to think we could go that far.
"They are pretty big races and it takes a good horse to get to that level.
"We're just having fun and will see where this takes us."