Osborne’s Unwanted Baron Eyes Millennium Fairytale

Beer Baron, the horse nobody wanted to buy at the sales, has the chance to vindicate trainer Neil Osborne and land a fairytale win in Saturday’s $2 million Inglis Millennium (1100m) at Royal Randwick.

Trainer Neil Osborne (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Try as he may, and to his surprise, Osborne was unable to sell the Cosmic Force colt at both the Classic Sale and Ready To Run sale so he retained the horse in his small team.

And win, lose, or draw at Randwick it’s already been a shrewd move to keep Beer Baron as he’s banked $294,000 from just one start where he was run down near the line in the Inglis Nursery back in December.

As he’s 75 per cent owned by Osborne’s wife Denise he won the $200,000 Pink Bonus for the first eligible horse home in that race.

“Right from the time he was a baby, when I took him to the sales, I felt he had something special about him and that he’d be a nice horse,’’ Osborne said.

“I pleaded with guys I knew but couldn’t get anyone on him.

“We didn’t get a bid at the Classic Sale then I took him to the Ready To Run sales and he looked the goods, his bit of work was sensational but we couldn’t get anyone interested.

“We bred his mother and his grandmother but we’ve never really sold many out of the family, because it’s not that commercial.

“It has got better with his mother who was placed in town and won four races for us and her first foal won in Hong Kong.”

After being underestimated at the sales, Beer Baron went into his debut in the Inglis Nursery as a $51 chance and almost scored an unlikely win.

He was forced to sit four wide and gave cover to the eventual winner Odinson who managed to reel him in over the last 100m.

“If he’d had a bit more economical run early he might have won,’’ he said.

“The gallop before the Nursery I was disappointed in, prior to that I thought he could win the race. He was going like a jet.”

Osborne, who runs Mane Lodge at Sutton with his wife, regards I Am Snippety’s runaway 2014 Wellington Boot win as his biggest success.

That biggest win could well have been the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes the same year had the filly not sustained an injury when leading comfortably on the home turn.

He knows Beer Baron will again be the underdog, he was $21 with TAB on Tuesday after drawing the inside barrier, but said the youngster has had a smooth build up including an easy Goulburn trial win on January 30.

“I thought he was on the verge of going shinsore (after the Nursery) so he had three weeks off and we’ve got him back again,’’ he said.

“I was going into the trial with my heart in my mouth a little bit thinking he might be a bit underdone. If any of those horses beat him you’d be going ‘we probably shouldn’t be going to the Millennium’.”

Tommy Berry again rides Beer Baron on Saturday and Osborne is confident enough a rain affected track, if that’s what eventuates, won’t be a concern.

He’s encouraged by Berry wanting to stick with the colt and would like to see him in a stalking position with speed guaranteed to come from wider out given the favourite Fully Lit has drawn one from the outside.

“If he could be just behind the pace, he came off the pace in his first start and hit the front, that’d be good,’’ he said.

“He probably had too hard a run early (in the Nursery), we’re hoping Gai’s will have too hard a run from 17 and we can pick it up.”

– Racing NSW

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