Australian Breeding

It all begins with an arrangement for a mare to visit a stallion. Her owners look at his credentials, his look at hers, a price is agreed, a meeting scheduled and with a bit of luck, a champion is conceived.

In Australian thoroughbred breeding, this sort of thing happens around 20,000 times a year and can cost up to $200,000 to arrange; the fee in 2015 for a mating with the country's most expensive stallion Fastnet Rock, one of the busiest stud horses in the country, serving around 200 mares during the three-month breeding season.


The thoroughbred matings that occurred throughout Australia in 2015 will produce around 13,657 foals this year. Around 4000 of those will be sold as yearlings, when they are between 14 and 22 months old at bloodstock auctions around the country. The average price for a yearling was $82,000 in 2015.

There are two sales companies in Australia, Magic Millions and William Inglis & Son.

Others are sold as weanlings, between six and 12 months, while many are kept by their breeders and then put into training.

Each year, members of the new generation are added to a racing stock which at the moment numbers around 36,000. From those come the winners of the 19,000 races run in Australia each year.

And from those winners come some of the best racehorses in the world.

Australian Breeding

Australia has produced more than its share of top class gallopers. Horses like Balmerino who won in America, Europe and Britain in the 1970s and Strawberry Road, a Cox Plate winner who ran in such elite international events during the 1980s as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Japan Cup and Breeders Cup Turf. More recently the sprinters Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, Scenic Blast, Starspangledbanner, So You Think and the incomparable Black Caviar have won at Britain's greatest race meeting, Royal Ascot.

Aussie horses have also been sought after at stud internationally and have left sons and daughters that are regularly winning.

For those who stay at home, a prizemoney pool of around $600 million, the world's third largest, is waiting to be won.

Australian Breeding

Francesca Cumani with Newhaven Park's One Million Dollar Colt

And it isn’t only racetrack earnings that makes Australian racing so attractive to owners.

Take Australia's star colt of 2013, Zoustar. He sold for $85,000 as a weanling, was resold as a yearling for $140,000, collected $1.3 million on the track and then sold for more than $20 million to go to stud.

Or Brazen Beau, bought for $70,000 by a group of 12 owners. After the thrill of watching him win a group one race at Flemington on Derby Day, picking up $300,000 in prizemoney along the way, the colt has now been sold for stud for over $10 million.

It's true that not everyone can be as lucky as the owners of Zoustar and Brazen Beau, but many will be.

Fast Facts
  • There were 12,009 Thoroughbred foals born in Australia in 2015
  • The busiest stallion last year was Pierro, who covered 200 mares between September and December
  • Some stallions will fly by plane to the Northern Hemisphere to cover in their breeding season, which runs from February to June
  • The highest fee for a stallion was US$500,000 for Champion Storm Cat in America
  • The average cost of a yearling in Australia in 2015 was $82,000