Ben can be $1m bargain

Ben can be $1m bargain

Ben can be $1m bargain

IF YOU had $1 million to spend, why would you invest it on one racehorse in the yearling sales lottery?

The answer lies in tomorrow’s G1 Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Beneteau.

The rationale from the average racing follower would be why not buy five horses for $200,000 each, and spread the risk?

Because for every Beneteau there are scores of $1 million-plus youngsters that are racetrack duds. There are simply no guarantees.

But the rewards are massive if you hit the jackpot. Win tomorrow and the $1 million paid for Beneteau is suddenly worth $20-$30 million because of his value as a potential sire, say bloodstock experts.

After all, Beneteau is by three-time Australian champion sire Redoute’s Choice, who will join Danehill as the sire of eight individual Group 1 two-year-old winners if Beneteau wins tomorrow, and out of a sister to 2004 Blue Diamond champion Alinghi.

Samantha Miss, Don Eduardo, Sunday Joy, Shower Of Roses and Viking Ruler are examples of $1 million-plus yearlings who have won Group 1s and gone to stud, at a healthy return for connections.

Arrowfield Stud principal John Messara, Beneteau’s part-owner, yesterday explained why owners invest in $1 million-plus yearlings.

“It’s very hard to find a horse who ticks all the boxes for $200,000. You are always compromising on something,” Messara said.

“In the case of Beneteau we had the right sire, the right female and the physical package, so you pay the price. Also we bred him at Arrowfield, so it gives you confidence.”

Blue Sky Thoroughbreds own 35 per cent of the colt and Messara placed the remaining 65 per cent. He kept 20 per cent, 30 per cent is owned by Sumaya stables from Chile and 15 per cent by David Paradice from Scone.

So what value does Messara put on the colt’s head, should he win tomorrow?

“People keep asking me that, but I don’t know. It’s hard to say, the market is not what we had,” he said

“It’s all a matter of what you stand him for. If he wins the Blue Diamond, it’s a start, then you go to the Golden Slipper. A Blue Diamond win is a qualification but it’s not the be all and end all. You’d like to see him train on.”

The bonus for Messara is that son Paul, 31, is Beneteau’s trainer.

“Someone said the other day there must be a lot of pressure, it must be exciting. I said, `Yes it is. We bred the horse, we are part-owners, we stand the sire and we bred the trainer as well’.”

Source: Tim Habel, Herald Su