Racing in Australia is not the Sport of Kings, it is the sport of the nation. Australia is probably the easiest country in the world in which to become a racehorse owner. And once you've taken the leap, the best prizemoney structure in the world, makes it more likely that you will remain one.
And you needn't spend a fortune to make one. The story of racing in Australia is full of fairy tales of horses like Takeover Target, a cast-off whose bad knees threatened his racing career until a taxi-driver offered $1250 for him and turned him into a Champion who won $6 million on racetracks around the world.
There are others like South Australian star Happy Trails who cost $11,000 and has won almost $3 million, the Queensland sprinter Buffering cost $22,000 and has earned $4.8 million with more to come - and there are dozens more just like them.
Certainly, there are also many more who are not.
But nowhere else in the world is risk and reward in closer balance than in Australia.
So, having made the decision to buy a horse, the next step is to work out how much of it you would like.
It is estimated that having a horse trained from a major Sydney or Melbourne stable will cost between $45,000 and $60,000 a year. A good rule of thumb is that one Saturday city win a year will cover your costs. Training fees outside the major cities are far less.
You must therefore decide if you want to own the horse outright or share the costs by joining a commercially marketed syndicate, or form an owners' group of your own.
Each of the above involve the purchase of the horse, its training, feeding and stabling, vet's fees, farrier's, race entry fees and transport costs. Invariably you will also be up for the cost of gear, like rugs and bridles.
It is also possible to lease a horse from its owner. The advantages here are that you avoid the risk of buying the horse and you can terminate the lease whenever you wish. The flip-side is that you pay part of the prizemoney - usually 33% - to the owner.
But racehorses don't come with guarantees. Around 14,000 of them are born each year making it essential to get the best advice you can, usually from a registered bloodstock agent, trainer or a licensed syndicator.
Then you cross your fingers and hope and pay.
If you have further questions about ownership please contact .
Owning a horse outright means you get to make all the decisions yourself and in consultation with your trainer; from picking a name, choosing your silks and then having input on where and when the horse will run. You will collect all the prizemoney and enjoy any upside in residual value if the horse becomes a champion, but you will also be liable for all costs yourself.
Enjoy all the excitement of sole ownership while also sharing the bills. A great way to get involved is with a group of likeminded friends.
This can be a cost effective way of enjoying ownership as syndicators often sell 5 per cent shares in their horses. Typically these shares will include all costs, so you know how much your horse will costs. Syndicators should have an Australian Financial Services Licence and have a product disclosure statement available to read.
With no up-front capital outlay it’s a good way to race a horse while only paying training fees and other day-to-day costs. Breeders often lease horses they wish to keep to breed from at a later date.