Horse Racing is Big Business in Australia

Horse Racing is Big Business in Australia

Horse racing is a big industry, the third largest in Australia, but one built on tradition.

While the most famous race, the Melbourne Cup dates back to a first running in 1861; it is not Australia’s oldest race. The sport goes back to the first fleet and Hyde Park in old Sydney Town is credited with the first race meeting in 1810 in the new colony.

But as Australia colonised so did racing, towns were built with a pub a school and a racetrack and there are now 367 dotted across the vast brown lad, doing much the same as they have always done.

Sure strands starts have been replaced by barriers, photo cameras now determine finishes, dedicated horse racing channels have usurped crackling radio audio, but basically not much has changed.

Until now! Australian horse racing is the most egalitarian in the world, here it is not the Sport of Kings, the much used cliché that poorly displays the reality that any person on the right day, Beryl or Gordon from the suburbs, can beat outmuscle Sheik so and so with his oil backed wealth.

A better term is “anyone can play’ in Australian horse racing. And they are doing that in increasing numbers.

The first public auction of racehorses in Australia was in 1805. The premier selling house, Inglis, dates back to 1867 conducting fall of the hammer sales. But times have changed, much of it driven by syndication, but horses are now “takeover’ targets of speculators and bloodstock agents or “EBay” like commodities via on-line auctions.

There were 78,895 registered owners racing horses in the last season. Add to that some 5035 syndicates that combined 27,351 members all embracing the comradery that their horse could be the next Black Caviar.

And while 3827 earned no prizemoney at all (apart from a few drabs of starter’s fee appearances), another 11,280 horses returned their owners up to $10,000. If you wanted to play big time, 881 horses earned between $100,000 and $500,000 while just $75 earned above $500,000.

So what’s the big change? It’s the G1Xchange, where put simply, anyone can trade shares in a racehorse.

G1Xchange is Australia’s only platform for buying and selling shares in thoroughbred racehorses. The platform is intended to help to bring liquidity and transparency to the market. It’s a stock exchange for the thoroughbred industry.

Or if you need the financial speak it’s the “Commsec for thoroughbred shares” with the industries very own Equity stock exchange. The aim is all about generating asset liquidity for the 3500 trainers this industry and allows all owners to better manage their passionate racing ownership portfolios.

This is all done via a disruptive new digital platform that follows all compliance and thorough transparency to make the “trading” of any share in any of the 35,000 thoroughbreds in the country not only easy but easily managed within the rules of racing.

Think about it from many doors of the participants starting with the paying owner.

Here is an easy way to manage your “portfolio” of horses, sell down the lesser performing stock and free up some liquidity, or entertain offers in horses of interest to others.

But it is for trainers also that the G1Xchange can be an asset to their business.

Trainers are amongst Australia’s biggest owners, they have speculated the horses to fill the stable and attract the client and in many cases are “left’ with what’s unsold.

Here via the G1Xchange is another way to get them to market.

Maybe that share performs as you have expected and wins races, attracting that extra interest which you can then trade down as a profit or increased price.

Or the converse is that under performing horse in the stable, the G1Xchange allows disappointed shareholders the chance to trade out themselves or encourages to sell out that stock to reinvest and find a new prospect.

Put simply, the G1Xchange is the game changer for how racehorses and shares in racehorse are exchanged. There has been nothing like it, think Betfair, think Uber, think Air BnB and you have G1xchange, disrupting the benign norm of their field.

Think of the size and scope and opportunity within Australian racing for this to be the massive success it can be.

In the past season there were 2651 race meetings held across Australia conducting 19393 races with 186471 starters. All these horses could have been traded any day and numerous times a day.

This database puts Australia a clear 2nd on the table of the number of races run (USA stages 41,120 races, Japan 15182 and Great Britain 6308) to give some perspective.

On these almost $15.8b was wagered across all legal betting platforms, some $9.738b with the state TABS and an ever increasing share to corporate bookmakers and in this measure $5.575b. This represents 14% of the global market of $95b with legal operators.

Prizemoney in Australia over the period was near on $630m (including state based bonus schemes) and that an annual increase of 8.16% on the previous

Significant to show the size and scope of the Australian market, UK prizemoney was just $157,900m, America $1.1b, and Japan comparable at $557m.

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.