It has been a long time since Jamie Walter bought his first horse, but the 20-year wait for a group 1 winner could come to end when Private Eye wears Proven Thoroughbreds silks in the Epsom at Randwick on Saturday.
Proven Thoroughbreds is one of the most recognised syndication brands in racing, buying competitively priced horses that are regular winners. And although they have been close with Sir Moments in Queensland, a win at the highest level has eluded Walter in his long career.
“We haven’t got there yet but things have been going right heading into this race,” Walter said.
Private Eye was only a $62,500 purchase at the Magic Millions in Adelaide, typical of the value purchases of Proven, and the son of Al Maher has provided a $500,000 return before racing for the $1.5 million purse in the Epsom.
“I still had a bit of him to sell at this time of the year as a two-year-old,” Walter said. “He was just a nice horse at the Adelaide sale, and I remember ringing Joe [Pride] because had the half-brother Royal Witness.
“I asked him if he was interested in buying him when he said he wasn’t; I asked would you train him, and he said yes.
“[Private Eye] has a strong family and, if you go back to his third dam he has Snitzel there, but I have to say he has been perfectly placed by Joe.
“He has looked after him and we are just starting to see the benefit of that patience.”
Private Eye has put together seven wins from 12 starts, including a Queensland Guineas success after which Pride put him away for the Epsom and the Golden Eagle.