A GENEROUS racehorse owner has bought an £850,000 property for all his staff to live in – and already pays for all their petrol.
Former jockey Tony Ottobre is planning to do up the three-bed – just yards from the beach – so that it's easier for staff to get to work.
Ottobre happened to be driving past the house when he saw it for sale and went into a fierce bidding war with another prospective buyer.
And he held his nerve in a 'feisty auction' as the hammer finally came down at £850,000 – some £61,330 above the original asking price.
Ottobre said his decision was motivated by a desire to get yard staff to stay and work with him rather than move on.
After purchasing the property in Cape Schanck in Melbourne, Australia, Ottobre said: "To get people down to Cape Schanck it’s difficult, because of the extra driving.
"You have to more or less have an incentive for the workers to stay rather than move on.
"So they will have subsidised accommodation."
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He has already offered those with an interest in working for him company cars and foots the bill for their petrol.
Ottobre plans to renovate the space and build an extra two homes on the site if he gets the thumbs up from the council.
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He said: "It’s a pretty good spot, and it won’t be a budget build.
"I thought if I wanted to live somewhere nearby, I would want to live there. And I want the people around me to be happy and successful.
"I have always wanted to be the best at what I do, so I want the people who work with me to be successful too."
Ottobre names his racehorses in honour of his late daughter Jennifer, who passed away from brain cancer aged just 26 in 2016.
One of those, Princess Jenni, has been ridden by Damien Oliver, the jockey nicknamed 'GOAT' who recently announced his retirement.
Ottobre also set up the GoFundMe page which raised £1million for the family of jockey Dean Holland, who was killed while racing last April.
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