+61 8 9571 3164 peter@belhusracing.com.au

And it’s started again-the annual round of thoroughbred yearling sales where prices are high, hopes are higher, talk is a plenty, and if you look hard enough somewhere in the sale yards amongst the real sh*t and the bull sh*t, there’s a tubby (sometimes I resent that term), gracefully balding 50 something year old racehorse syndicator with his heavily bearded young apprentice trudging around the hundreds of stalls looking for another bargain buy for Belhus Racing Stables and Grand Syndicates..

Everyone wants a winner that’s for sure, but at what price? At the Magic Millions Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast recently, we sat back and watched (and as mentioned above shook our heads in disbelief) as yearlings went for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even a million bucks plus a couple of times! The average price of a yearling was $170,000-and that was a cheap one! The same thing will happen plenty more times in the first half of this year most noticeably at Easter where the average price of a yearling last year was over $250,000!

A horse doesn’t know how much it costs and this is why I shake my head at what people pay for them. The vast majority of them won’t make their sale price back folks! There’s not a person in this industry that would bet me that they would. I’ll give them even money as much as they like. All they need is a 51% success rate and I’ll pay up. As a matter of fact, I’d be surprised if it’s even 10% (cue salt bush blowing through the streets…). For some of those buyers though, losing half a million bucks is like you or me losing a couple of dollars down the back of the sofa-they just won’t miss it. So who cares?

The catalyst for me putting pen to paper on this subject was someone the other day rejecting one of our horses because ‘it was cheap’. Cheap’s good! We like cheap! Cheap means that you don’t have to win five or six Saturday city races just to break even! Cheap means that you don’t have to hide your share in a racehorse from the wife! Cheap means that if it’s no good, you haven’t lost a lot. And cheap means NO STRESS!

Miss Belhus was cheap. $3,000 and she won $80,000. Mexican Mist (the grey horse in the photo) was cheap. $5,000 and he won over a hundred. Mr Bringlebert was cheap. I paid $2,500 for him landed in Perth from SA and he won the main sprint in Geraldton two years in a row. Sure we dabble in higher priced yearlings and proven horses such as Hot Jules, Devilish Dealer, Hot Shot Brother, Spirit Of Jules, Baron Orczy, Paseo Del Prado etc, etc..), and just like everyone else, sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it wrong. But in thoroughbred terms, I do like ‘Cheap’…

So, for the next few months, we’ll be there at the various sales this year including Karaka (NZ), Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, searching out those horses that we think have what it takes to win city races-without having to spend the equivalent of a house to find out, and once again we’ll be giving every good citizen of this great country the ideal opportunity to join in the Sport of Kings as an owner without having to pay a Kings Ransom for the privilege. We hope you can be one of them…

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