• PickStar

Australian Horse Racing's Most Expensive Flops

Some horses have it, and some don't. Superb breeding doesn't always guarantee success. According to this list from Punters these are some of the most expensive duds in Australian Horse Racing.


Cost: $1.875 million

Earned: $58,210

This horse didn't make a lot of friends in his day, after finishing second at his first three outings, he was transferred to Peter Moody and broke his maiden status at $1.40 in a Mornington maiden. He then was deemed good enough to have a go in a Group 1 race, which was a very poor decision. Godspeed won one race from 13 starts before retiring, in the end he earned little more than $50,000 for his unhappy owners.

Royal Battalion

Cost: $2 million

Earned: $0

In this case a good bloodline got the horse nowhere, fast. With a brother who earned over $3.7 million hopes were high but the colt turned out to be a failure. He had seven trials for Gai Waterhouse who couldn't get him to the track and eventually banished him north where in his debut race at Gatton, beat one horse to not finish last.

El Cairo

Cost: $2 million

Earned: $48,965

This colt had a great start, winning his first trial at Newcastle but turned out to be an 800m barrier trial specialist who struggled in actual race conditions. He did win one race in a Hawkesbury maiden but the other 28 outings were failures.


Cost: $2.2 million

Earned: $6,800

This particular horse was described as "slow to come to grips with the rigorous life of a race horse" by trainer Lee Freedman. While he won his debut at the Sunshine Coast that was his only claim to fame on the track. Overlord was sold to South Africa where he didn't do much better, only recording two second placings before retiring.

Shoot Through

Cost: $2.2 million

Earned: $28,475

Shoot Through was a nightmare for the punting community, he was beaten as favourite or second favourite in five of his first six races before taking a win. he continued to torment punters, running second five times. He finished his career with one win from 19 races, with six second placings.


Cost: $2.4 million

Earned: $28,190

This purchase would have stung a little, the gelding made his debut at Bendigo, finishing well behind the winner. Following his maiden win at Geelong, Wilderness failed to get even a minor placing in his next five races.

Belle Couture

Cost: $2.6 million

Earned: $21,775

This beauty who is a half-sister to the legendary Black Caviar was nosed out in a photo finish on her debut race, crushing dreams of an unbeaten streak like Caviar's. She came back with an impressive maiden victory at Caulfield but was beaten in her next two outings. Her owners decided to pull the pin on her racing career and she was sent to the breeding barn.


Cost: $2.7 million

Earned: $5,050

At his debut was thrown in the deep end, lining up against Black Caviar at Caulfield. He finished seventh and was promptly banished to the country racing tracks. L'Heritier raced at Geelong, Ballarat and Kyneton in an attempt to break his maiden status but only managed a third placing. He was retired after zero wins from six starts.

Mount Olympus

Cost: $3 million

Earned: $19,215

Bought by trainer Gai Waterhouse for an eye watering amount, hopes were high for this horse, but turned out to be a complete dud when he couldn't keep up at trials. On his track debut he missed out on placings and on his second did the same thing, coming in almost last. He was sent to the paddock to get it back and resumed racing with a dominant maiden victory at Newcastle, but that was the only win for this horse in 20 starts. Mount Olympus retired having barely made a dent in his cost price.


Cost: $4 million

Earned: $7,150

This horse was expected to be a star, bought by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum of Emirates Park, but was a slow developer in his trials. When he finally made his debut at Gosford he placed second but did one better at his next start in Goulburn. Following that run, Emaratee suffered a fatal cardiac arrest that put an end to his racing career.

A special mention goes out to Jimmy, the most expensive colt ever bought. He was a half-brother to Black Caviar and was purchased for a whopping $5 million. However he never made it to the track, dying from complications from the treatment of a spider bite.

Did we miss any? Leave us a comment or on Facebook.

PickStar shares the most inspiring, weird and wonderful sports content from around the world, along with exclusive interviews and podcasts with sports stars and leaders in the sports industry. Don't miss a thing! Sign up to our mailing list and follow PickStar on Facebook.

PickStar is the marketplace to book sports stars for any campaign, event or experience. Choose from 700+ athletes past and present, PickStar works fast with ANY budget. Find out more.

#HorseRacing #MelbourneCup #Betting