Cheapie chasing a rich reward in Cup
HORSE RACING: As millions of dollars changed hands on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, it's comforting to know that one of the most exciting horses at Saturday's Magic Millions meeting is also among the cheapest.
Bloodstock agent Neil Jenkinson, who works closely with leading trainer Matt Dunn, plucked Care To Think out of the 2015 Magic Millions National (June) Sale for a meagre $16,000.
"He had great presence about him," Jenkinson said. "He wasn't jaw droppingly beautiful, but the one thing he had was great balance. I thought I would have to pay 30 or 40 grand for him, thinking that would be cheap, never thinking I would get him for $16,000."
The son of So You Think, who stood for $66,000 the year Care To Think was conceived, has already won $240,000.
He stands to win another $600,000 if he wins the Magic Millions Cup on Saturday and given he is being spoken of as a Stradbroke horse in the winter, what he is capable of winning is likely to prove his purchase price a pittance.
Standing front and centre of the Care To Think fan club is a big contingent of excitable owners, who are sure to rock the Gold Coast Turf Club if Jeff Lloyd can navigate a winning path on the four-year-old come Saturday.
"I get a massive kick out of seeing the owners enjoy themselves," Jenkinson said.
"There's one syndicate of 10 owners that own 10 per cent, one per cent shareholders each. They get on the drink and it's like they've won the Lotto every time he wins.
"There's others that have been up plenty of dry gullies with horses, even dating back to the first horse Matthew and I put together. They got a big offer from Hong Kong, we begged them to sell, but they resisted and it all went pear-shaped after that.
"To see them now with a nice horse is great."
Care To Think burst into Magic Millions contention with a barely believable win at Doomben late last month, where he overcame a severe traffic jam to win running away.
He needs to conjure some more magic on Saturday after the barrier gods delivered him 19 of 19 (he will jump from 16 after scratchings).
Despite this, bookmakers still have him clear favourite to win the $1 million feature, ahead of $2m earner Lucky Hussler, Villiers winner Crack Me Up and talented Sydneysider Arbeitsam.
"He can still win. He's just going to need that bit of luck," Jenkinson said. "Everyone thought he couldn't win first-up off the gate and he did. What he's got is a devastating turn of foot. He just quickens so easy.
"To run away from Most Important and those horses last time was really impressive. He probably only needs to be in front of four or five and be within striking distance."