Training Thoroughbreds

The Top Five Problems With Owning Racehorses

Posted by James Curtain on Sep 24, 2016 5:32:47 AM

As much as we love training and racing horses, there are some problems that are often encountered that owners should be aware of.  We believe that owners should fully understand the commitment that they are making at the outset, which includes all the great things to look forward to, as well as the range of problems that may arise.  Here are the top five problems, in our view:

  • Most thoroughbreds never actually make it to the races
  • Most of the horses that do race, never win a race
  • There are usually a lot of interruptions in preparing a horse to race
  • It can be difficult to know exactly what is happening with your horse
  • What to do with the horse at the end of its career
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Topics: Owners


Posted by James Curtain on Sep 3, 2016 5:37:03 AM

Successful Queensland stallion SEIDNAZAR will stand the 2016 breeding season at Old Boyneside at Kumbia in South East Queensland, Australia.

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Topics: Breeding, Stallions

What to look for in your next racehorse trainer

Posted by James Curtain on Jul 2, 2016 10:48:12 AM

What makes a good racehorse trainer, and how do you find one?

 The aim of racehorse owners is generally to have their horse well looked-after, to ensure it reaches its potential at the races, and to have fun in the process.

Good racehorse trainers possess a combination of skills and experience that enable them to consistently meet the goals of their owners.  Here are five things to look for in selecting your next racehorse trainer.

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Topics: Racing Industry, Racing Syndicates, Racehorse Shares

The Importance of Putting Racehorse Owners First

Posted by James Curtain on Jun 19, 2016 1:14:59 PM

Horse racing relies on racehorse owners.  Without owners there is no racing industry.  Recent cases involving egregious conduct on the part of trainers, such as those outlined by barrister Natalie Hickey, highlight the risk of trainers not valuing owners to the extent that they should.

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Topics: Racing Industry, Owners

Three Things You Need to Know Before Buying A Racehorse

Posted by James Curtain on Jan 30, 2016 4:29:30 PM
Most racehorses never win a race.  Taking some time at the outset before committing to a horse can save a lot of money and heartache. Here are some pitfalls to avoid and tips to note when considering shares in racehorses or when buying a racehorse outright.
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Topics: Racing Industry, Racing Syndicates, Racehorse Shares

Stallion Fomalhaut Off to a Flying Start in Queensland

Posted by James Curtain on Jan 28, 2016 12:32:09 PM

French stakes peformer Fomalhaut (Spinning World/Coup de Folie) has kicked off his Queensland stud career in great fashion.

After several quiet years at stud in Victoria, Fomalhaut arrived in Queensland late in the 2015 season, covering just seven mares.  The change of scenery clearly suited the sire, with six of these mares now confirmed in foal.

Here's why you should book your mare in early to Fomalhaut for season 2016:

  • Fomalhaut comes from an incredibly successful international family.  His half-brother is Machiavellian!
  • Fomalhaut's fertility is proven 
  • With two stakes winners and a number of other stakes and metropolitan performers such as Just As Cosmic and Dr Dapper still racing, Fomalhaut has shown that he has what it takes to sire a good horse, without needing top mares
  • A consideration of Fomalhaut's race record, stud record and pedigree make him one of the best stallion choices standing in Queensland
  • At a service fee of just $2200 breeders can access international quality at a fraction of the usual cost.


Book Your Mare in NOW for Season 2016!


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Topics: Breeding, Stallions

The Fit Racehorse II - Tom Ivers

Posted by James Curtain on Jan 21, 2016 11:57:23 AM

The Fit Racehorse II (Tom Ivers)

There are quite a few useful books on training racehorses.  A must-read for racehorse owners  and trainers around the world is The Fit Racehorse II (Tom Ivers). Ivers turned the racing industry on its head with this comprehensive work, in which he denounces the general poor quality of exercise regimes, diagnostics, use of medications, and feeding protocols. It is difficult to disagree with Ivers on much of his analysis. The primary challenge presented by the book concerns the topic of interval training; whether, and to what extent, trainers should consider incorporating elements of interval training into their horses’ exercise programs.

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Topics: Recommended Reading, Training Racehorses

Queensland Racing in Crisis

Posted by James Curtain on Dec 16, 2015 2:19:59 PM

As a full-time country racehorse trainer, I am extremely concerned about the state of the racing industry in Queensland.  The current government, and Racing Queensland, are implementing plans that will ensure the rapid decline of country racing, and the racing industry in general can only suffer irreversible damage as a consequence.

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Topics: Racing Industry

Customer Service for Racehorse Trainers

Posted by James Curtain on Nov 23, 2015 3:38:32 AM

The most successful racehorse trainers in Queensland and Australia are invariably good at dealing with people. Owners need to feel valued. Mark Horstmann and Michael Auzenne, of Manager Tools, identify three critical elements of good customer service:

1. The Customer is Always Right
2. Be Nice
3. Over-Communicate

The first of these is the time-honoured maxim of salespeople around the world. It is the second two that are too-frequently missing. It is not hard to “be nice” – a welcoming smile and expressing interest in the other person usually goes a long way. Communication is something that can be more difficult. Racehorse owners want to know how their horses are going and they want their trainer to be honest with them – What does the trainer think? What did the trackwork rider say? How’s the horse eating? Any problems? When are we racing? Where to next?

A good horse trainer preempts these questions and provides owners with frequent, high-quality information in relation to their horse. Many trainers’ websites now have a “log-in” function for owners where they can access information that the trainer has posted about their horse. While this is a useful tool, it doesn’t show sufficient respect to the owner. Reports should be emailed or posted direct to each individual owner, and the owner should be addressed by their name in these communications. The managing owner should be contacted by telephone in the event of anything significant happening – an injury, an opportunity to “pay up” late for a big race, a jockey needing to be replaced.

Training racehorses is a tough job in itself; without owners, trainers don’t have an income. By valuing owners and applying the principles of good customer service, more trainers will develop relationships with owners for life, which should be the ultimate goal.

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8 Ways to Get Your Racehorse to Eat Up

Posted by James Curtain on Nov 18, 2015 2:45:18 AM
  • Good horses are invariably good eaters. A racehorse that won’t eat up will tend to go backwards quickly. When trainers talk about horses that “don’t need much work”, they’re usually talking about horses that they can’t work properly because they’re not eating up.

    A good doing horse is one that continues to eat even with a high workload. All thoroughbred racehorses should be gaining or maintaining their weight during racing campaigns. The more that a trainer can keep weight on a horse, the greater the chances of the horse racing consistently well.

    So how do you get your horse to eat up? Here are some ideas:

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Traditional Horsemanship, Modern Science

Queensland racehorse trainer James Curtain has achieved great success combining lessons in horsemanship learned since childhood, with cutting edge science from around the world.

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Find out:

  • What's involved in training racehorses
  • What to look for in finding a racehorse trainer for your horse
  • How to find a horse that has what it takes to win races

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