Millions fairytale as country boys cash in
Millions fairytale as country boys cash in

Seven mates from a small Wheatbelt town are on cloud nine as part-owners of Unencumbered, a brilliant winner of the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on Saturday.

Perth accountant Damon Hayter bought a 10 per cent share in Unencumbered last year and split it with six friends he grew up with in Narembeen.

Hayter, Brad Romaior, Tim Cusack, Mike Curry, Chris Price and Mark and Todd Henderson struck pay-dirt when Unencumbered flew past Oakleigh Girl to win the Gold Coast feature.

They now have a valuable stallion prospect that is sure to attract big offers from Australia's leading studs.

Hayter, who was on the Gold Coast to celebrate the victory, said he was "living the dream".

"You don't dream of this sort of thing happening to blokes like us," Hayter said.

"We're all from the same country town. We went to school together and have been mates for about 36 years. We picked up $120,000 for the win, plus who knows what he's worth now.

"There was talk (Saturday night) he could be worth $4 million.

"I went over to work with the blokes in Sydney that got involved with the horse."

Unencumbered, a winner at five of six starts for Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker, will be freshened ahead of a tilt at the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in April.

"The sky's the limit. He's a serious horse," Hayter said.

Hayter said the dream experience would lead to his syndicate buying shares in yearlings secured by Baker at last week's Gold Coast sale.

Baker paid $70,000 for Unencumbered at the same sale last year after he was passed in.

The trainer recalled scraping $80 together to back Unencumbered's sire, Testa Rossa, to win the 1999 Magic Millions Classic.

"I was studying at the Otago University and working on Waikato Stud 15 years ago and visited the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions," Baker said.

"I managed to get $80 and had it on the winner Testa Rossa. Here I am having trained the winner who is sired by Testa Rossa."

The West Australian

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