miRunners is creating a new grassroots movement that will create a new, much larger pool of racehorse owners for the future, creating greater benefits for everyone in the industry.
All of us in the thoroughbred racing industry have a responsibility to nurture its future. It’s the second-largest industry in Australia. Around 50,000 people work in racing, and each year an estimated 2.5 million Australians go to the races. New events such as The Everest and The Kosciusko in New South Wales, and new initiatives such as miRunners’ own Community Horse in Geelong, all fire the imagination of the broader public.
The thoroughbred racing industry is like an inverted pyramid, with royalty, billionaires and the elite at the point – representing relatively few participants, far away from the majority of Australians which we see racing ownership can be for.
Yet there’s a huge opportunity to invite thousands more Australians to participate as an owner in racing. Just 4% of those who go to the races each year own a racehorse. Far too many Australians still feel that thoroughbred ownership and a long-term relationship with racing is not for them, either because of cost, unfamiliarity, no sense of community, or lack of access to those in the know.
Of course, that’s where miRunners comes in! Over 2,100 Australians have already bought units in our first seven thoroughbreds, with more buying every week.
We are proud of how we have genuinely created great ownership experiences for those who were previously locked out. Even more so, the experience we have created was allowed at an entry level of $165 per unit in our first thoroughbred and $275 in our current thoroughbreds.
Making ownership affordable, making it accessible – for everyone
Let’s look at how miRunners makes that possible. MiRunners buys premium-level yearlings and then, without markup, offers ownership in these young thoroughbreds as 1,000 units. For example, MiRunners bought the Team Geelong Thoroughbred Not A Single Doubt X Countess Dehere at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale for $198,000 from Raheen Stud in Queensland. Each unit therefore costs $198, plus a fee of $15 per month to cover all costs. If more than one unit is bought, the monthly fee drops to $5 for the second unit on, up to 20 units per owner. Traditional syndicate prices start from $1,000 per share and can reach $20,000+. MiRunners does not mark-up on yearling purchase price.
In the past, thoroughbred ownership has been in the hands of about 100,000 Aussies, but now, at miRunners, we believe that our new ownership experience will play a significant role in a vibrant future for racing.
We have a core belief that mainstream Australians should get to compete with the same high quality thoroughbred as the super rich. We also believe that mainstream Australia should get access to the best trainers in the world. Off the back of what we’re doing, with premium thoroughbreds made affordable and accessible, with easy (and instant) purchase mechanisms, we can open up premium thoroughbred ownership to thousands of new owners, to create new markets for young horses, in new, larger, owner communities.
The ownership experience
With over 2,100 owners already, let’s look at the experience they are having. Just over 500 Australians own units in Zoushack, which is trained by leading trainer David Hayes. They have followed his progress and development from a yearling, bought at this January’s Magic Millions, through training and early barrier trials under the expert eye of David Hayes, right up to his fourth place in the first race in the 2yo race at the 2018 Everest meeting at Royal Randwick . Many of those excited owners were in the mounting yard, more in the owners enclosure at Royal Randwick, with many more watching on the live Facebook feed. For everyone, this was experiencing the thrill of real premium thoroughbred ownership up close and personal – for most, it was the first time in their lives.
More owners, more options, bigger future
What’s exciting about miRunners is that we’re growing the market of those that get to enjoy the same premium ownership experience, but at a fraction of the price of traditional premium thoroughbred ownership. MiRunners can become an incubator for much-larger industry participation. We’re creating a grassroots movement, something to nurture, that’s a bit radical. Using technology, we go where these future racehorse owners are. As our owners already know, technology lets owners buy quickly via their mobile and trainers communicate weekly to them about the horses’ training and development, talking to hundreds of owners at once.
Owners get personalised updates from trainers whom they have previously only read about in the press or seen on television: Tony Gollan, Gai Waterhouse, Adrian Bolt, Kris Lees, Mick Price, David Hayes, Bjorn Baker, Troy Corstens and new trainers we will soon be adding.
You can see how much our owners love that level of communication by visiting our largest collection of owner feedback – read our Facebook owner raw testimonials.
As one of our trainers, Tony Gollan said: “Where else could everyday Australians get their hands on a quarter-of-a-million-dollar thoroughbred of this quality, this is out of the means of most trainers too.”
It is miRunners aspiration to grow the entire industry so that everyone wins. We can feed more owners in so that everyone in the industry is able to benefit from greater participation and as the education continues of just how much love there is, many owners will no doubt go on to try different ownership models.
One thing is for certain, that if the industry works together, we can create a groundswell of goodwill from thousands of individuals with a stake in racing’s future. miRunners will continue to push this new approach and we’ve barely begun!