By Duane Ranger
Ever wanted to go to the Yearling Sales and buy a horse – but found the price just beyond reach?
You are not alone. One of Australia’s best harness racing journalists and gifted horsewoman, Brittany Graham, has felt that way for a few years now and wants to do something about it at the Brisbane APG Sale on Sunday January 26.
“I’ve never had quite enough money to buy one outright, and I thought this year I might do something about it, because I’ve had so many people come up to me asking how they could own a racehorse.
“So now I’m building up ‘ownership groups’ not syndicates, with the hope of buying a horse or two at the APG Sale at Albion Park on. There might be 10 in one group or perhaps three or four in another depending on price, but every owner will get his or her name in the racebook,” Graham said.
“Racing Groups are much easier to manage than Syndicates,” she added.
Graham said she had about 15 names on her emailing list now. She said she was now going through the catalogue and looking to trim her shopping list down to five, and then hopefully get one, or two.
“I’m still doing my homework, but I’ve already got my eye on a few. I think this is a good concept because there are several initiatives to race in Queensland.
“Who knows we could be on to a future champion. Owners will have a one in 41 chance of owning the sales Group One 2yo winner. Then there’s the QBRED scheme.
“$10,000 for the first win and then another $7,500 bonus for the second win. It just makes sense,” Graham said.
“Hopefully if it takes off we can do it all at the Redcliffe Yearling Sale in April (5).”
The 24-year-old, who works for Sky Racing in Sydney, hoped to be getting more Queensland work this year, and could even be based back here.
“If that happens it means I could have a more hands-on approach with the horses with my sister Stephanie. But before any of that they all have to be vet checked and pass a few tests before we buy them,” 24-year-old Graham said.
The Sky Racing presenter knows what she is talking about. She has also reined almost 250 career winners ($1.1m). She is also a Botra Queensland Young Drivers champion.
Together with her training sister, Stephanie, Graham owns Big Bang Leonard, the current ‘poster boy pacer’ at Albion Park, having won his last five starts at the track.
“I’ll be looking at breeding, conformation, and the general look of the yearlings we will be after. If they all become too expensive, well there’s always Redcliffe,” Graham said.
“This is my project for now. I have another one tucked away,” she said.
The other one was getting American harness racing giant, Tony Alagna to buy a son or daughter by Captain Treacherous. Alagna trained that champion to consecutive North American Pacer-of-the-Year titles in 2012 and 2013.
“He’s always asking how Captain Treacherous’s progeny is getting on and hinted he might get down here and buy one or two. He really loved that horse. He was the first 2yo to record four sub 1:50 mile times.
“It’s all about getting more owners and more people involved, but having Tony down here one day would be a real bonus,” Graham said.
Anyone wanting to have a share in a yearling should contact Brittany at: Brittanygrahamracing@outlook.com or via her Facebook page.
“Bought as yearlings in January and then hopefully racing the following season as 2-year-old. This is all new territory for me too, because I’ve only ever worked older horses,” Graham said.
Meanwhile, Racing Queensland’s Harness development Strategy manager, David Brick, praised Graham’s initiative saying this is exactly what the industry needed.
“Ideally it’s all about getting more people involved in the race-day or race-night experience. What Brittany is doing is fantastic.
“We see Syndicates and Racing Groups as the way of the future. It should be a very popular sale,” Brick said.