Australians own racehorses at a greater level per head of population than any other country on earth.
And the bidding at this week’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, the country’s biggest, demonstrated one of the main reasons why.
Almost 6,000 syndicates are registered Australia, and the biggest and best of them were on the job at Magic Millions.
Organisations like Darby Racing, whose members owned the recent Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, Dynamic Syndications who raced Cox Plate winner and Champion sire Savabeel, Triple Crown, who bought dual Everest winner Redzel at auction for $120,000 and have watched him win $15 million in prize money and Ontrack which bought and raced Darley stallion Brazen Beau.
Along with other like Prime Thoroughbreds, First Light and Blue Sky have been active at the Magic Millions sales, and yearlings by Darley stallions have been on their lists.
One of the most active, and most successful, is Star Thoroughbreds, who on day three of the sale paid $280,000 for Lot 595 a colt by Teofilo from the Stravinsky mare Fornini.
Star principal Denise Martin, who last year selected Brazen Beau’s first Stakes winner Accession at the sales, described the colt as a “perfect fit” for the Star team.
“We are looking for horses who provide value for our clients and have the quality to get them to the races and to give the best prospect of a return,” she said.
“This colt was just what we look for.”
Star’s record is one of the best.
Horses like the Golden Slipper winner and successful stallion Sebring, the five-time G1 winner Theseo and the recent Stakes winners Foxplay and Invincibella are among the hundreds to have carried the Star Thoroughbred purple and white stars to victory.
Also busily bidding on Darley-sired youngsters this week has been Dynamic Syndications whose purchases included two Exceed And Excel yearling as well as a pair by Exosphere.
Another syndicator, Joe O’Neill of Prime Thoroughbreds, who has an outstanding record at both the Magic Millions sale and the accompanying raceday, will take home a Shooting To Win filly.
“We’re not necessarily looking at the top end, more for a horse we feel confident about getting to the races. That’s what appealed about this filly,” O’Neill said.
While syndication might not be for everyone, it is made for Australia.
In the most recent racing season more than 82,000 Australians were registered as owners of the 35,100 horses who ran in almost 20,000 races at the 2,647 race meetings staged across the country.
One of the major reasons for that level of participation is the $733 million in prize money that makes owning even a few hairs in a tail worth the effort.
As Grant Morgan of Ontrack Thoroughbreds says, it’s all about getting people involved.
“We had more than 30 involved in Brazen Beau,” he said.
“They all got their names in the race card, they all can say they owned a Champion and they all had the time of their life.”