Winners Circle

Winners Circle

The day finally arrived when our beloved Donald (Startthefriar) made it to the starting gates at York, lining up in a 1100m 3yo maiden. Coming off a solid trial win and working the house down at home we were quietly confident but York is a quirky track and we were just happy to be there.

There is a large group of owners from all walks of life in Donald and many had made the trip. It's fair to say we owned the racecourse when race four runners were in the mounting yard. As it was my first starter in Lucky Duck Racing colour's I was getting nervous close to start time but Donald himself was glowing in the coat and  relaxed as ever.

The starter opened the gates and as he has done at the trials he was tardy out much to my horror. Being a monster of a horse he covers the ground quickly and Clint Johnson-Porter recovered to have him midfield the fence after a couple of hundred metres. Turning for home the leader had kicked and other runners fanned wide to give chase. In what was a clinical ride Clint went through the inside then around the tiring leader and first past the post with something in hand. The race caller even commented "They're Happy Downstairs" as people watching must of thought we had won the Melbourne Cup. The only one not happy was probably the bookie on course who looked at the long line of syndicate members and friends waiting to collect.

After 1 minute and 4 seconds the journey from the yearling sales ring in June 2016 to racetrack debut in February 2018 was complete. I must admit feeling quietly content and pleased with myself after going out on a limb and selecting the horse myself. It wasn't all plain sailing, horses never are.

His first campaign was very promising. He won a 400m jumpout then went to the spelling paddock to give his knees time to develop. He was always going to be a late maturer and preaching patience to first time owners is not always easy. 2nd prep as an early 3yo started with a promising jumpout then two trials. Both trials were run in atrocious conditions and he was disappointing. Blood tests showed nothing major but he was flat and we tipped him out to look after him and let him recover. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as after a good spell and some spring sunshine he grew even bigger and the rest is history.

The look on our faces post race is what racing is all about. Trainer Jason Miller and his team have done a remarkable job in looking after the horse and having him right on the day. You will not win every race you turn up to but to have a chance to experience it and be part of the whole journey is priceless.

If you would like info on our second horse Wayne, an unraced 2yo Patronize gelding who is a very nice type himself, fill out the show interest form on the racing page. He comes back into work soon and should be trialing in June. Donald has proven you don't have to spend big to be a winner. He is also much closer to racing then all the yearlings about to go under the hammer at this years Yearling Sales.


Yearling Sales

Yearling Sales

It's that time of the year again when buyers big and small play the lottery of buying yearlings, dreaming of owning the next champion of the turf and paying for an early retirement.  There are several sales via auction around the country, all with different average selling prices.  Magic Millions is the most recognizable, with sales held in most states of Australia.  With so many lots on offer it can become overwhelming to newcomers so let's look at a few tips and info on how it all works.

Advantages of buying local; Most States have bonus schemes for yearlings bred locally.  WA's Westspeed and NSW Bobs two prime examples.  It is a no brainer for mine to race the horse wherever the scheme is eligible. Basically you double your prize money without being penalized by the handicapper.

Research Research Research;  Before buying at an auction or a share of someone else' s yearling scrutinize the breeding thoroughly.  There are a few different theories around the industry such as don't buy a mare's first foal or anything after numbers 6-7.  Of course they are not foolproof.  Personally I wouldn't buy a Blackfriars filly as all the really good ones are males.  The mares side are more important as the top sires have hundreds even thousands of yearlings each year and there are plenty of them running around in bush maidens.  You can pretty much ignore it's race record as plenty of well bred horses that flopped at the races have produced good horses from their bloodlines. Before selecting/buying my first yearling last year I have spent years practicing by selecting a shortlist, estimating their worth and creating a spreadsheet with their actual selling price.  I then try and follow their careers and record their prize money.

Stick to your Budget; Auctions can be dangerous when the adrenaline is pumping.  Remember the hammer price is usually plus GST.  If you are on a small budget (relative speaking), pick lots that are likely to be in your price range.  If a blueblood is not attracting many bids there is usually a reason.  It will have a reserve price or it's xray's might show a deficiency.  While horse's don't know their price tag and many bargains have gone on to glory such as Yankee Rose (10K), with prizemoney on offer these days you only have to win or even place in a few midweeks to pay the bills and make a profit.  The real expensive ones are usually bought by studs for the future or the very best trainers with lot's of clients and have to win a stack of races just to pay for itself.  The number one sin is buying a yearling purely because you missed out on the ones you came for.  You can alway's approach the buyer and see if any shares are available.

After Hammer Costs;  There is plenty to organise before you even start bidding.  While you will find someone to agree to train your horse it maybe not who you had in mind.  Bigger trainers especially have to like the horse and think it can race competitively in the city, smaller stables might be full.  Ideally it's importantto get the trainer to inspect the yearling with you and get their opinion. If you don't have a trainer presale you need to havesomewhere for it to go.  Most trainers send them to particular agistment farms or breaker's but they don't take them home at this stage.  Fall of Hammer Insurance is vital.  I once had a share in a horse who had a float accident in the sales complex carpark! Many sales have feature races or series for horses bought at the particular auction.  They are generally very good prizemoney.  However if you don't want to nominate just in case, consider how likely your horse will be competitive or even racing by raceday.  I didn't nominate with our "Donald" last year because it was obvious he was a late maturing type and probably 3 before he raced.

Lucky Duck Racing's 2017 Yearling Plan; 2016 saw us purchase our top pick of the Magic Millions Perth Winter sale.  "Donald is going great guns and all partner's can't wait till he races later in the year.  We aim to add to the stable at February's Perth Magic Millions.  If your interested in joining a Lucky Duck Racing Partnership then fill out the show interest form on the horses (New Arrivals) page on the website so you are one of the first in line to receive info on what we came home with.




Lucky Duck Racing is an internet based community free for anyone who likes horse racing on any level from the daily punter to the once a year Melbourne Cup Sweepstakes entrant,  whether you like to pick your lucky numbers or study the form down to the last detail.

Based in WA but covering all Australian horse racing with free tips, news and providing a platform to meet other like minded people in our community.

Do you dream of owning a Racehorse? Lucky Duck Racing assists members form private racing partnerships at a fraction of the cost of public syndication companies.  Being members only partnerships gives you complete control of your share and money with LDR there for professional industry advice and assistance.

Sign up today for our newsletter to keep you in the loop, check out our member's horses on the horses page including any open partnerships under new arrivals and look out for upcoming parties on our social events page.

Corporate Bookmakers

Corporate Bookmakers

Gone are the days when your options of betting on the ponies were limited to the local Tab or trackside with the bookies.  With the Internet came corporate bookmakers who set up in tax havens around the world and stand behind terms and conditions most recreational punters wouldn't even know existed such as maximum payouts on quaddies and other markets.  It is quite absurd that they can accept a highly risky bet from a punter then not have to pay out in full if that risk pays off.  It's not like they ever have to part refund stakes when you lose.  Being a highly competitive market and with so many meetings available to bet on however they do serve a purpose.  They have also forced government controlled Tab's to be more competitive with there product which not that long ago was sadly missing.  The trick is understanding and getting the most benefits from betting with the corporate bookies.   Here at Lucky Duck Racing we have used several services and can help point friends in the right direction.

Smartphone Apps are vital in this day and age when life is too busy to stay glued to a computer.  Nearly all have an apple compliant app with android versions becoming more available.  Besides needing updating regularly I haven't had too many bad experiences except for Ladbrokes where I have had several issues with tech problems when placing a bet.  My complaints on this issue also fell on deaf ears.

Sign up deals and betting promotions are the most popular form of advertising for business in a very competitive market.  These deals especially sign up are often restricted to residents of certain states.  If your from WA like me you aren't usually eligible due to Government regulations.  However like a "good" lawyer there are loopholes most are more than happy to exploit.  My advice is to join without depositing money and they will soon be offering you "exclusive" deals through your emails.  I am yet to place a bet on a promotion such as bonus bet for 2nd and not have it honored due to living in WA.  My advice is to test the water by placing a small bet first time and see what happens.  As always with any deal there are term's and conditons and it is imperative you read them all before accepting.  Most common is turnover requirements before you can withdraw winnings usually at minimum odds of $1.50.  Bonus bets don't include original stake in winnings, one exception to this is Unibet who do include it.

Prices : The most common prices offered are fixed odds and top tote (best of three totes and starting price).  I find Sportsbet the best for early markets, especially metro harness racing where they are about the only ones who open markets day before.  Like all bookies fixed odds depend on what they are holding against each runner but some seem to be more generous consistently.  I personally find Classicbet quite competitive from a price point and William Hill at the other end of the scale.  Both Classicbet and Luxbet are also willing to take larger bets on their promo's compared to others.  Top fluc is the best price from the on course bookies when placed 30 mins before jump.  Most offer this on metro meetings but only a few including Classicbet, Luxbet and Palmerbet attach it in place of the starting price with their top tote product for certain metro meetings.  Ladbrokes and now Sportsbet offer a boosted price on one runner anywhere per day.  If you have seen the add with Gary Sweet's odds spiraling uncontrollably don't get too excited.  I have been offered as little as 5c and no more than 20c on a favourite.  Top tote often pays better.  If you think it is a good price before you boost it and expect it to shorten or miss a price as it is supported then that is the time to use your quota.

Others to try and take advantage of there sign up deals, (why not,  you don't have to use them all to have them open) include Crownbet, The Betting Club, Madbookie and many more.  Please share any experiences good and bad with fellow ducks.  Referring friends usually benefits both with bonus bets but always get their permission first.

Who am I

Who am I

My professional background is hospitality.  Having owned and operated successful cafe's with my wife for the last ten years I have decided to sell up and concentrate on my real passion ie horse racing.

I have been following horse racing since I could read, pinching dad's form guide and offering him advice or asking for a couple of bucks to bet on the tote around the back of the course where the ladies thought I was too cute to refuse.  My grandad has been a keen punter his whole life and has an excellent eye for a good horse ready to fire.  I was always and still am pestering him for pointers when examining them in the mounting yard or sales ring.

Horse racing around the world is known as the sport of kings.  Today's fields are full of runner's from billion dollar global studs such as Godolphin and billionaire businessmen from Asia.  Don't get me wrong without them the industry couldn't survive.  They put a ridiculous amount of money into the sport that provides an income to breeders, trainers, jockeys and so much more.  However, as a punter, I find it extremely difficult to bet confidently when these runners make up half the field.  Which owner's turn is it or which horse needs to win for it's breeding career?  Furthermore any talented 3yo colt is whisked off to stud which is great for the owner and big breeders (the horse probably doesn't mind either), but as an avid fan of watching the best there is in any sport I can't help feel today's group 1 races for older horses are missing the very best top end talent. I have created Lucky Duck Racing to try and bring a little bit of fun and adventure back to the “majority” of horse racing enthusiasts that don't own an oil rig or global corporation.

My favourite racing stories are when the battlers beat the odds.  We all remember Joe the Taxi Driver and his punt on a broken down horse in a paddock that would turn out to be one of the greatest sprinters the world has seen.  Bought for a bag of magic beans ($1250) compared to the average cost of a racehorse, Takeover Target would go on to earn over 6 million in prize money and take Joe on a fairytale ride around the world winning races in the UK, Japan and Singapore.  One of WA's most memorable clashes was when he went stride for stride with Apache Cat another “people's horse” who won fans with his extravagant markings in the 2008 Winterbottom stakes, holding the cat by a head. Another fairytale result was last year's Melbourne Cup won by Prince of Penzance.  For years now the biggest race on Australia's racing calendar has been deemed near impossible for locally bred horses.  European bred and trained horses come from superior staying bloodlines and the only way seem to have a slim chance at keeping the cup in Australia was to import a proven stayer from overseas for a price way out of reach for most. Prince of Penzance was bred in NZ and started at odds of 100-1 behind favoured runners from racing powerhouses such as Japan's Fame Game and the UK's Trip to Paris. Ridden into the history books by Michelle Payne who become the first woman jockey to win the cup in its 155-year history.  These are just two examples of stories I find inspiration and admiration from.  Being from Wa I am always cheering on our champs when they travel, recent examples being Miss Andretti, Scenic Blast and of course the “Fighting Tiger” Northerly. 

My aim with Lucky Duck Racing is to create a community of like minded racing enthusiasts who get a thrill out of the sport itself not just chasing the big win on the punt.  I want to create a place where we can all swap stories, experiences good and bad and views on our beloved sport.  Ever wondered why an online bookmaker offers you tips or “specials” involving boosted odds.  Yes, it is a form of advertising in a very competitive market but I am pretty certain there isn't a bookmaker in the world that genuinely wants you to win his money.  Most will even cut you off if you are one of a rare breed of punters who finish in front regularly.  Have you ever paid for a tipping service?  I personally won't pay for a service if I can't find out the true identity of the source.  Some are paid by numerous radio and tv stations for their tips which are all available free to air or at least paid tv then offer a tipping service charging for virtually the same information.  If punting is your thing then there are literally hundreds of services out there that can be helpful especially if you don't have the time to study trials, replays, speed maps etc however if you're a recreational punter who loves the social side of having a beer down the pub while pooling a couple of bucks together and seeing who can do the best victory dance then Lucky Duck Racing is here to help.  We will never charge for tips or information and will happily share members views. Having said this we also will put effort and time into our information as we all still love keeping our money.

Is owning a racehorse a lifetime dream.  Lucky Duck Racing can make it much more affordable than you might have realised.  By creating a community of horse racing enthusiasts from all walks of life we strive to find people shares in yearlings to suit all budgets.  Having owned shares in horses for ten years now I get a big thrill seeing my charge loom up to the leaders in the straight whether it's in a Bunbury maiden or Ascot open handicap.  Especially pleasing is being able to share the joy and excitement with friends and family, many who we meet through the social environment of horse racing partnerships.  Watching the replay over and over with friends at a winners party with a beer or bubbles in hand is our idea of a great night out.  

Currently, in Australia,  public promoters of horse syndicates need an AFSL from ASIC.  We as the retail consumers are forced to pay for this very costly process as well as the promoter's advertising and associated business costs.  By creating our own partnerships with fellow Lucky Ducks not only do we all get an equal say in our horse, (public promoted syndicate managers have day to day control of your horse) we save money by not having to pay the extra costs which can often be more than the actual share of the horse. 

I warmly invite you to join us at Lucky Duck Racing by joining the mailing list and sharing in the fun and excitement our beloved sport brings.  Spread the word with friends and family and have your say on all things racing.