Eye for a Bargain Pays Dividends for Australian Trainer

When Australian racehorse trainer Chris Munce bid $45,000 for Boomsara at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, joined by a group of many first-time owners, despite being fully aware of the lineage of the horse he was buying, he might not have imagined quite how successful the young gelding might prove to be. However, the three-year-old has already banked a small fortune in winnings, far exceeding the initial outlay.

The lure of finding the next Winx

Since 2013, when Australia’s favorite superstar mare Winx was sold for $230,000 at the Gold Coast event, with every year and auction that has followed, trainers and syndicate owners have been eagerly bidding for horses that could emulate her remarkable racing success. At the 2017 event, run by Magic Millions, average sale prices exceeded $200,000 and generated an overall sale gross of over $130 million, from a total of 649 lots sold at the auction.

Such figures make the modest price paid by Munce look like a drop in the ocean, compared to some of the other notable sales at the same auction. The most notable included $1.2 million for a filly sired by Fastnet Rock, or $550,000 paid for a colt sired by Exceed and Excel; both of which had excellent stakes records in the Australian racing circuit and had attracted great attention from bidders.

Nevertheless, Munce had his eyes on horses sired by another proven winner, Spirit of Boom, hailing from the renowned McAlpine family Eureka Stud in Queensland. Other horses sired by the stallion with the same breeder were fetching much higher prices, including filly Outback Barbie for over $200,000 when she was sold.

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Backing a strong racing lineage

Predicting the winners in highly competitive Australian races can be extremely difficult, with so many strong runners participating, although that’s precisely what happened when Oddschecker tipped Boomsara to win the 2019 Magic Millions Guineas as their favorite pick in January. It was still a very close call, however, as Boomsara won what proved to be an enthralling race by a nose, just ahead of Bondi in second and Outback Barbie in third.

Leading racing experts base their tipping opinions on far more than just recent form, especially for younger horses that are still in their formative years of competing at key events. The best will have researched not only results at races, but also the lineage of horses they tip, particularly if they’ve been sired by a long line of successful winners. The same methodology leading trainers apply when they’re buying yearlings with potential.

While those who had backed the winner were undoubtedly celebrating their good fortune, trainer Munce will have likewise been toasting the continued success of Boomsara. On top of the $1.2 million prize for winning the 2019 Magic Millions Guineas, the three-year-old had already earned $361,400 from previous races, having recorded three wins, two seconds and a third place from nine starts.

That $45,000 that Munce had invested, along with the efforts in training and preparing Boomsara at Eagle Farm, have certainly paid dividends for the former champion Jockey who was born in Casino, New South Wales, of all places. Despite the quirky name of his birthplace, there appears to be no gambling when buying and training horses, with his own winning experience and knowledge of what makes a good mount, the basis of sound purchases.

The joy of victory

After winning by a nose in such a tight race, Munce and the group of owners were understandably delighted with the result for Boomsara. One of the first-time owners in the syndicate enthused: “What a ride, it was just fantastic. Nothing compares. Childbirth and this, it’s been fantastic!”

Having performed so well in 2018, the group of owners have nothing but praise for Munce and the care he’s taken with Boomsara. After a positive start as a two-year-old early last year, the trainer was careful to ensure the gelding was eased into different events with plenty of rest beforehand, which included spelling the horse for 23 weeks from the summer through to autumn.

After winning the Group 3 Magic Millions VO Rogue Plate over 1200m at Doomben to end 2018, Boomsara was in top shape heading into the Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas over 1400m against other notable three-year-old horses. Currently enjoying another well-earned rest, Munce is not rushing anything with Boomsara, carefully planning a future which looks set to continue glittering with success.