By John Boyce
The search for future stars has just begun at the yearling sales in North America and is just about to get under way in Europe. Every buyer out there has their own plan of attack: how best to uncover as many good horses with the usually limited resources at their disposal.
The great thing that must be borne in mind is that good horses are not that expensive when you analyse the market retrospectively. The issue is how much you spend on the not-so-good ones before you find that elusive gem. Our analysis here concerns the European yearling market since 2010. Take a look at how much the average price has to rise to make a discernible difference in the overall racing class of the purchases. The 150-200k sector produces racehorses with an average Timeform rating of 92.9, which is only 1.8 short of what the 500k-plus yearlings achieve on the racecourse. And at all levels a top-class racehorse can be bought. Here is a startling fact: The 127 most expensive yearlings averaged £856,040 and produced an average Timeform rating of 94.7, yet the 127 best racehorses cost only £155,679 and produced an average Timeform rating of 123.6.
So where can you buy a top-class horse? Well the answer is at any of the major sales. Among the top 20 racehorses by Timeform rating from all sales are representatives from Tattersalls Books One and Two, Arqana, Doncaster Premier, Goffs Orby and Tattersalls Ireland.