Interested in buying a Yearling? Owning a Racehorse?

This is your guide to answer those burning questions about purchasing a yearling


QTIS (Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme) is internationally recognised incentive scheme designed to maximise market interest in Queensland bred horses and increase their racetrack earnings.


To be eligible for the new scheme the initial payment is required by October 14 in the horses’ yearling year and a sustaining payment by June 30 also in the horses’ yearling year.

Listed below is the payment structure for the initial payments required by October 14.

  • Queensland bred – $350 + GST
  • Breed back – $900 + GST

Those yearlings where the initial payment has not been received by October 14th can still be eligible for the scheme. As outlined below there is a two tiered structure depending on whether the October registration was undertaken, and whether the yearling is Queensland bred, or eligible via the breed back component of the scheme, due by June 30th.

Category Queensland Bred Breed Pack
Initial payment made by October 14 $900 + GST $2500 + GST
No initial payment made by October 14 $2250 + GST $6300 + GST

They are then eligible for substantial bonuses when they win or are placed in specified metropolitan, provincial and country races across Queensland primarily as two and three year olds.

QTIS is open to:

  1. The progeny of all Queensland based stallions.
  2. Interstate bred foals whose dam visits a Queensland stallion in the year they are born.

Racing Queensland and the Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association (TBQA) reached agreement on a new QTIS structure to be implemented from August 1, 2012.

The new scheme is a hybrid version of the previous QTIS and QTIS 600 schemes and delivers total benefits of $8.88M to be programmed for eligible two and three-year-olds.

Status Number of Bonuses Bonus Amount Total 
Metropolitan 2YO & 3YO 75 $40,000 $3,000,000
Provincial 2YO & 3YO 305 $15,000 $4,575,000
Country 2YO & 3YO 185 $5,000 $925,000
Restricted races $380,000
TOTAL 565 $8,880,000

This means eligible two and three-year-olds will compete in applicable races for an extra $40,000 at metropolitan meetings, $15,000 at provincial meetings and $5,000 at non-TAB meetings.

Additionally, the following restricted race series will be implemented throughout regional Queensland for eligible horses.


$50,000 – Townsville $50,000 – Townsville
$50,000 – Rockhampton $50,000 – Rockhampton
$30,000 – Mackay $30,000 – Mackay
$30,000 – Cairns $30,000 – Cairns
$30,000 – Emerald $30,000 – Roma

Both Queensland bred and breed back eligibility will remain the only eligibility criteria.

To be eligible for the new scheme the initial payment is required by October 14 in the horses’ yearling year and a sustaining payment by June 30 also in the horses’ yearling year.


Buying 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 $3 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’.


Catalogues 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.


Anyone can attend the QTIS 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 yearlings will be sold per hour.

Pedigree legend

  1. Colour and sex of horse
  2. Foaling date and brands of horse
  3. Year of birth of dam
  4. Horse which has led the Australian Sires Premiership
  5. Mother of catalogued horse
  6. Stakeswinner
  7. Grand dam of catalogued horse
  8. Winner
  9. Prizemoney earned
  10. Stakes placed horse
  11. The name of the stud or individual selling the horse
  12. The stable and box where the horse is located during the sale
  13. Four generation tabulation
  14. A summary of the sire’s racing record and progeny
  15. A summary of the racing record of the first dam’s offspring
  16. A summary of first dam’s racing record and progeny
  17. Donates horse has sired winners
  18. Name of race horse has won
  19. Mare’s producing record

It’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).

Horse Yearling Price Earnings
Dark Ksar $850 $1,065,453
Stylish Century $6,000 $2,460,820
Plastered $10,000 $1,548,340
Regimental Gal $16,500 $1,585,350
Private Steer $18,000 $3,407,290
St Covet $18,000 $1,318,630
General Nediym $20,000 $2,121,898
St Jude $25,000 $1,917,670
Spark Of Life $30,000 $1,519,300
Polar Success $32,000 $2,171,505
Lovely Jubly $36,000 $1,486,000
Mummify $41,000 $4,134,320
Clan O’Sullivan $44,000 $1,786,858
Carnegie Express $45,000 $1,088,960
Testa Rossa $45,000 $3,034,191
Al Mansour $50,000 $1,542,850
Excellerator $50,000 $2,228,495
Kinjite $60,000 $2,211,050
Defier $80,000 $2,638,950
Dance Hero $90,000 $3,910,440
Assertive Lad $110,000 $3,358,275

Queensland horse sales offer pedigrees/bloodlines of International quality, including the most prominent bloodlines from USA, England, Ireland, Japan and France.
By supporting the sunshine state you can be in the race for over 16 million dollars in prizemoney.
Queensland horses have outstanding success records across the nation as well as internationally. Export markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

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.


Costs vary depending on where your horse is trained as 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 Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association or contact people in the industry and get the facts right from the horses mouth.


Thoroughbred 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 and 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 1 event in the city or a maiden handicap in the bush.


Racing has never been more lucrative with state-based incentive schemes distributing more than $14 million in bonuses combined.

The Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme (QTIS) is internationally recognised incentive scheme designed to maximise market interest in Queensland bred horses and increase their racetrack earnings.

QTIS distributes over $8.88 million in added bonuses to owners, trainers and breeders and with the new exciting QTIS race series bonuses.

If you purchase your yearling through the QTIS Sale, you are also in the running for the $5.15 million Magic Millions race series bonuses at no extra cost but with over $14.03 million in added bonuses (on top of normal prizemoney).


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.


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 ten 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.

There are a few decisions to make after your yearling purchase, including where will your yearling go now?


CONGRATULATIONS – you have successfully purchased a yearling in the auction ring! There are a few more decisions you need to make for your valuable livestock before it makes it to the track


Deciding where your yearling will go to spell after the purchase is an important decision.

You need to ensure that it is a reputable spelling complex with well maintained facilities such as, safe fencing so your yearling does not have the chance of hurting itself.

If you have purchased a yearling colt, you may need to find a farm that can accommodate spellers individually.

The Stud where you purchased your yearling from may have spelling facilities as well or talk with friends within the industry and ask them if they have any recommendations. The internet is also a great place to search for spelling farms.

Also consider price and feed when enquiring with spelling complexes as they may be the cheapest, but not necessarily the best suited for your yearling (ie. feed only hay and is in a paddock with a large number of other horses).

Also remember that you can view the facilities and talk to the Manager to ensure the needs of your valuable livestock is well met.


Once you have made a decision on where you are sending your yearling to spell, you need to organise transport.

At the sales complex, there is an area that is specifically set up for transport companies to take bookings.

You may have a company in mind already or the spelling farm may have suggested one to you, otherwise there are a number of people at the area that you can speak with.

Once your yearling is booked on, the transport company will collect her from her stable at the sales complex and deliver to the spelling farm.


Your valuable yearling is now at a spelling complex and developing into an equine athlete.

Although it has been through the sales and been handled, your yearling has not been ridden and therefore, needs to be broken-in.

Yearlings can normally be broken in from the age of 15 months (depending on the horse) and this process occurs at a breaking-in facility.

The spelling farm where your yearling is currently may have these facilities; otherwise they may be able to recommend a few for you to enquire about.

They can also indicate to you of when your yearling may be ready to brake-in.

Education of a young horse is the cornerstone of developing into an athlete, fulfilling its maximum potential, so it is very important that you engage the services of a reputable breaking-in complex.


You can choose a trainer before you purchase your yearling and seek their advice when viewing the yearling.

You may select after you purchase and ask for their recommendations on spelling farms and breaking-in facilities or, you can choose your trainer after your yearling is broken-in.

In other words, you can choose your trainer at any stage.

You may want to choose a trainer who lives in the same town/city so you can visit your racehorse and watch it during early morning track work, but the options are endless.

Trainer’s stables come in all sizes. Some trainers have some stables with only ten (10) horses and on the other extreme a trainer may have a stable of 50 racehorses.

Price is also another factor when considering a trainer. Some trainer’s include certain expenses in their daily charges and other trainer’s may charge these expenses on top of the daily rate.

Again, talk to people in the industry, surf the internet, read racing publications as these are all research tools at your finger tips.

The below link is the Australian Racehorse Trainers Directory and is a great tool to gain information on trainers or browse trainers in a certain location –