Buying Your First Horse

Buying a Yearling at Auction

2014-LOT-15-Redeeming-LassBuying at auction can be just as exciting as winning a race. More than 5,000 yearlings are sold at auction each year around Australia. The horses are old enough to be assessed by your advisers (vet, trainer, bloodstock agent) for conformation etc, but have not been broken in, so their racing ability has not been exposed.
The average price at yearling sales around Australia vary from sale to sale, but prices can start at a few hundred dollars or reach as high as $1 million plus.

Champion racehorses can come from humble backgrounds, but are more likely to be found at major sales where yearlings are selected on pedigree and conformation and are considered the ‘cream of the crop’.

Sales for ‘tried horses’ (horses that have raced) are also held regularly and there are usually yearlings and unraced horses offered at these sales.



Catalogue are available for Magic Millions major yearling sales approximately six weeks before each sale. Catalogues provide extensive details about the relatives of each yearling offered (i.e. how many foals/winners the dam has produced, the race and progeny record of a sire).

Catalogues also contain the conditions of sale – the legal terms upon which all purchases are based.

Online editions of catalogues are available to view the catalogue online first find the sale on the calandar and if currently available a link for the online catalogue will be displayed.

For iPad users a brilliant catalogue “app” is available on the apple store called “EquineLine” it has catalogues from many of the prominent sales around the world available for download and has all the features you’d need to assist in selecting a horse from a sale.  As with our Online catalogue results, videos, pedigree updates and other details are included as they become available.

If you are using another kind of tablet our standard online catalogue is responsive to screen size and will display on tablets and phones.

Attending  A Sale

Anyone can attend any Magic Millions Sale and seating is unrestricted. They are public auctions and you are free to bid on any lot, as long as you have the finance available. You are quite free to ask an attendant to bring a yearling out of its stable for inspection by you, your adviser or your veterinary surgeon. Once the auction commences, about 25-30 horses will be sold per hour.

Getting the Facts

foal_at_footIt’s easy to obtain information on the thoroughbred industry from any of the industry websites, or specialist newspapers and magazines on sale at most newsagents. These publish the results of yearling sales, stakes races and the sires’ lists (leading sires by earnings, by winners, etc). Magic Millions can also help with information and advice.

Magic Millions consistently sells quality racehorses, many of these have secured Gr.1 races and/or achieved Champion status we list many on our website.

Why buy Australian

Australian horse sales offer pedigrees/bloodlines of International quality, including the most prominent bloodlines from USA, England, Ireland, Japan and France.

Australian horse Sales offer the best dollar values as compared to buying in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Australian horses have outstanding success records in all export markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. For example, Hong Kong Australian horses lead all other imports on a percentage of winners basis.

Australian bloodstock is well regarded throughout the world, with total exports increasing by almost 100% since 1997, with the number of imports decreasing, indicating the popular demand for Australian thoroughbreds worldwide.

Prizemoney in Australia is a key indicator of the economic health of the industry. In the past six years prizemoney has risen by over 50%, indicating a strong and growing industry.

Australia is one of the leading nations in distributing prizemoney amongst owners, with the third highest total prizemoney in the world, totalling $308 million at an average of $14,535 per race.

What Will It Cost?

Costs vary depending on what state a horse is trained, as well training costs are considerably higher in metropolitan areas compared to those in country areas.

For further information on training costs, registration, insurance, spelling, breaking-in, nominations, track fees etc, please contact Magic Millions or the Thoroughbred Breeders office in your State. State Thoroughbred Breeders offices have available a brochure outlining approximate costings relating to training racehorses in your region.

Your First Racehorse

horse_parade_areaThoroughbred racing is described as the ‘Sport of Kings’. In many ways this is misleading – in Australia at least. While the rich have certainly taken an interest in racing, participation in the sport is not confined to blue bloods or multi-millionaires.

If you want to you can own a racehorse. Owning a horse is much more than watching it race for a few brief minutes every now and then. If you invest in the industry and become part of its lifestyle, one thing should be uppermost in your mind – owning a racehorse is a sport, not a business.

Everyone connected with racing is taking part because they love the sport, the horses, the excitement. Part of the challenge in racing is the very fact that money can’t guarantee success. There is a long list of expensive racetrack flops and an even longer one of bargain buys – horses bought for a proverbial song who have returned their owners their purchase price many times over.

There is nothing as thrilling as seeing your horse win, be it a Group One event in the city or a maiden handicap in the bush.

Getting Help

If you are new to the industry, don’t try to buy a horse without seeking advice. A skilled professional from Magic Millions or other recognised Bloodstock Agent or trainer will provide advice and assistance. They will analyse a sale catalogue for you, bearing in mind your budget and goals. They will then present you with a short list of suitable horses which are expected to fall within your price range, inspect a horse at the sale and arrange for a veterinary inspection of any horse in which you are particularly interested.

Going Alone or With Friends

There are several ways to enjoy ownership of a horse.

Sole owner: All the glory, but all the cost too.

As one of a maximum of ten partners: Race clubs recognise up to a maximum of six partners racing a horse, each partner appears in the racebook as an owner and is given raceday privileges such as entrance to the members’ enclosure and mounting yard.

As a member of a syndicate: A syndicate must be registered and a representative appointed. Syndicators must be licensed (the Registrar of Racehorses can supply details). Syndicators buy yearlings at sales and then offer syndicate shares in them through advertisements in the media. Of course you can form your own syndicate.

Through leasing: This popular method of racing a horse requires no up-front purchase price. The horse owner, usually the breeder, leases the horse to a partnership or syndicate as above. The terms of a lease may vary, but often the lease is for a period of three years, with no cost to the lessees except that they must pay the lessor one third of all gross prizemoney that the horse may earn. Horses for lease are infrequently advertised, but your trainer or adviser will probably know of owners willing to lease out a horse. During the term of the lease, the lessees control the racing career of the horse and are regarded as the owners. At the expiry of the lease, the horse must be returned to the owner.

For further information, please contact the staff at Magic Millions.

Thank you to Thoroughbred Breeders Australia:
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia Ltd
Phone: (02) 4869 5283 Email: [email protected]