The first step is identifying a trainer to guide you in the right direction.
Trainers give your horse the work required to reach prime racing condition. They are experts in their fi eld and ideally can not only condition your horse, but set it for a racing campaign to maximise your prospects of a healthy fi nancial return. You can have the best horse in the state but without a quality trainer, it is highly unlikely to ever reach its true potential.
Finding the trainer who is right for you requires some thought. As a guide, have a look at the "Trainers Premiership Tables" and also look for trainers with good strike rates. Trainers with good winning strike rates may only have small numbers of horses but know how to get the best out of their stock providing a high ratio of winners and placegetters to runners.
If you are a keen punter perhaps there is a stable that you have had success following. If you have been impressed with how a particular trainer has handled their stable, that may be a good starting point when looking to enquire about purchasing your horse.
There is an up to date list of public trainers printed every two months in the Racing Ahead magazine which can be made available to potential owners. For further information contact David Shortte or Zane Arthur - Club Promotions and Development Officers at RWWA on 9445 5333.
When you contact the prospective trainers, it is critical that you are comfortable with them and address a number of points to ensure you understand all aspects of the relationship and commitment you are making. Now that you will be paying the bills for the horse, it is important that you are kept informed of what is going on with your steed.
Some of the issues you might like to address with potential trainers are:
Once you have answers to all these questions, you will form an opinion on what style of training operation will best suit your needs and expectations as an owner.
If the process or budget required for outright purchase is a little excessive while you test the water of horse ownership, a syndication is a fantastic way to minimise your contribution of time and money while still enjoying the thrill of owning a racehorse.
Syndication will give you a percentage share in a horse, (or horses) and the selection of the horse, trainer, jockey etc. can be left up to the professionals (either the Syndicator or the manager of the syndicate).
It's an ideal way to dip the toe in the water and once you've been involved as a syndicate player, the opportunity always exists to buy a horse outright or perhaps take a majority share in a partnership to increase your level of influence over the horse's career.
As well as being a great learning experience and means to manage fi nancial commitment, syndication also presents the opportunity to make some great new friends. Many syndication groups co-ordinate social events for their members and encourage the large groups of syndicate members to gather and cheer on their representatives on race day. A high number of syndicates are formed by workmates, team mates, family members and friends and the exercise becomes a great side interest for people to enjoy each others company.
Syndicates normally have 10-20 members and need to be registered with the principal body (Racing and Wagering Western Australia) in the state with a representative or Manager appointed.
The Syndicate Manager is responsible for overseeing the fi nances of the syndicate, and is expected to report to fellow members on a regular basis.
Any prizemoney earned by your racehorse is sent to the Syndicate manager to be distributed to the syndicate members.
Nowadays most syndicates have their own website which allows all members the opportunity to keep up to date with the horse's progress via a newspage. It would be impossible for the trainer to contact the entire syndicate by phone but by maintaining the website everyone is aware of the horse's condition and progress.
Deciding on which syndicate to join is also an important decision to make. Be prepared to ask questions such as:
Training fees will differ greatly from stable to stable and state to state depending upon the success of the trainer, the quality of the training facilities and the stakemoney percentage retained by the trainer.
Metro trainers who predominantly race at the city tracks for the bigger prizemoney generally attract a larger fee than their provincial counterparts.
The following training fees are a rough guide for annual training fees based on 100% ownership. Note these fees can differ greatly depending upon the overall training package in place.
Leading Trainer - $27,500 p.a
Metropolitan/Provincial Trainer - $20,000 p.a
Country Trainer - $15,000 p.a
Disclaimer: Training fees are an indication only
Horses are much like our elite human athletes and require rest periods in between racing campaigns, so they can perform at optimum level.
Consequently, there are generally separate fees for when they are in work (full training) and when they are spelling in the paddock, also known as agistment. When a horse goes to the paddock for a spell they are given time to relax both mentally and physically. They get to have some time out and recover from any injuries and in general it is time to have a little holiday before they return to their busy training regime.
A lot of horses are sent to a separate facility for their spell and the cost to keep them during this period is considerably less than when they are in full training receiving intense individual attention.
While spelling, the cost will generally be between $15 - $30 per day plus any other expenses such as veterinary bills. Once the horse returns to full work with their trainer, the time put into them increases greatly resulting in the fees rising to anywhere from $50 - $80 per day.