EVERY one of Brazen Beau’s 38 owners has a remarkable story but it would be hard to top the tale of northern NSW lawnmower man Murray Cornelius.
The colt, who won Saturday’s Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, has already been sold as a stallion prospect for $10 million to racing powerhouse Darley.
Watch his win here.
Not bad for the group of owners who paid as little as $2000 for a slice of the $77,000 yearling by I Am Invincible.
The owners range from bankers to humble blue-collar battlers, but Cornelius, who has a lawn mowing round near Ballina, has provided the ultimate feel-good story.
He was in agony, desperately needing a back operation. Thanks to Brazen Beau, he can now afford one.
The elite colt is also his passport to a dream European holiday when Brazen Beau races at Royal Ascot later this year.
Brazen Beau has helped changed the lives of his many owners with his on-track deeds.
‘’I only bought into Brazen Beau for a small amount — basically just what me and the wife could afford,’’ Cornelius told The Courier-Mail after arriving in Melbourne on Friday.
‘’I have been in a few horses but obviously nothing near as good as this fella.
‘’The plan is for me to have a back operation now, although it might take a while as I am on a long waiting list.
‘’In the meantime, we might have a bit of fun with the Royals at Royal Ascot.’’
Sheik Mohammed splashed cash for Brazen Beau after the colt won the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington last November, but leased it back to the owners to continue to race and collect prize money in his final racing campaign.
Queensland syndicator Grant Morgan, from Ontrack Thoroughbreds, says the Chris Waller-trained horse has changed the lives of many of its owners.
“The smallest shareholders have turned a couple of thousand dollars into a couple of hundred thousand dollars,’’ Morgan said.
“They were a pretty fresh group of owners and a really eclectic bunch with everyone from accountants to bankers to computer programmers.
“When Brazen Beau was sold it was a democratic process and all the owners decided. I needed a formal sign-off from every owner and 38 individual signatures on contracts.
“To be honest, I didn’t envisage Sheikh Mohammed buying him, but Darley has been fantastic and the process has been very smooth.’’
Brazen Beau had been something of the forgotten horse in Saturday’s Newmarket, rated as a $4.80 chance by bookmakers after Lankan Rupee left him standing in the Group 1 Lightning on February 21.
“Going into the Lightning, Brazen Beau had never raced in a 1000m race before and also probably wasn’t at full fitness for that race,’’ Morgan says.
“On Saturday the 1200m was in his favour as was the pull in the weights.
“He has been trained specifically for straight racing. I think Lankan Rupee had to be the one for us to beat again.”