Rags To Riches

Having recently bought a filly on the cheaper side with up and coming Sunny Coast based trainer James Healy, the On the Drift boys are daring to dream big.

Could we have a potential Group winning horse on our hands?

Well if it happens to us, it certainly won’t be the first time in Australia that a horse with an inexpensive asking price has gone on to win a bucket load of prize money.

With that in mind, here are some cracking examples of rags to riches stories in Australian racing.

She Will Reign

Bought for $20,000 by Darby Racing in the 2016 Inglis Classic Sale, this filly only raced in her 2yo & 3yo seasons.

Her owners must have thought they had a fast filly on their hands right from the start, when she won by a lazy 8 lengths on debut.

Not only that, she nearly paid her wage at her very first start! But that was only the beginning.

She went on to win 6 out of 12 career starts, including the richest 2yo race on the planet, the Golden Slipper & the Moir Stakes as a 3yo.

She is still the only Golden Slipper winner to win another race since Pierro won the Slipper in 2012. 

Her total career earnings amassed $3.2 million, while the ownership also made a fortune when she was sold to stud overseas at the end of her 3yo season.

Widgee Turf

Not all bargain buys have to be group 1 winners! This old bloke was bought for only $4,000  as a weanling by Queensland Owner Gordon McIntosh.

At his very first start, Widgee secured his price of admission and then some, winning $11,000 in a maiden plate.

He did his best racing as a back marker, and on his day he had a short & sharp turn of foot.

He went on to win another 10 races throughout his 41 start career, winning two stakes races & even finishing third in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes behind Begood Toya Mother. 

He retired with a cool $1.26 million in prize money in the bank (must be nice) as a 7yo gelding. What a wonderful ride he gave his owners.


The big fella.

Although Behemoth was initially sold for $120,000 as a weanling, his current owners Grand Syndicates purchased him as a yearling for much less – $6,000. Yep, talk about a price drop. 

This gelding showed promise right from the get go, placing as a 2yo and winning his first race as a 3yo.

Since then his career has been super consistent, culminating in back to back Group 1 victories in the 2020 editions of the Memsie Stakes and Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

He’s gone on to run in the Everest and the All Star Mile, with over $2.5m in prize money jagged along the journey. Sometimes being in a syndicate really pays off in a big way.

Mystic Journey

When retired Sydney barrister Wayne Roser bought this girl for $11,000 as a yearling, he thought she was a bit special. He was bang on.

Mystic Journey was the inaugural All Star Mile winner, with her prior start being a victory in the Group 1 Australian Guineas. In those two races alone she picked up more than $2.5m in prize money.

Whilst the Tasmanian flyer hasn’t matched those dizzying heights in her several preps since, she’s gone on to win nearly $4m.

Not a small amount to pour into your retirement fund Wayne!


At $22,000 he’s the most expensive horse on this list, but when he retired Buffering was one of Australia’s highest ever earners netting over $7m.

What’s crazy about the Heathcote trained sprinter’s career though is the fact that he didn’t win a Group 1 until his 36th start as a 6yo.

He had placed on plenty of occasions, often behind Black Caviar, but just couldn’t get the choccies.

Despite this, the Queenslander would go on to win 7 Group 1’s, including the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai. What a career.

If there was one knock on him is that he couldn’t get a Group 1 victory in front of his home crowd in Brisbane!

Ah well, what a treat this star would have been to own during his career.

So punters, we are daring to dream that one day our Healy-trained filly can go on to taste the success these stars have. You just never know. Wish us luck!

Written by,

Declan Jones & Dan Hutcheon

On the Drift

Instagram: @onthedriftpoddy

Twitter: @onthedriftpoddy