“Dipping your toes” into the world of horse racing

“Dipping your toes” into the world of horse racing
Jack Hayes

The world of thoroughbred horse racing is one of luck, pageantry, and immense value to the Victorian economy.

According to the latest Victorian Racing Industry Size and Scope report, our state’s racing industry generates nearly $3.2 billion in value for the economy, it employs more than 25,000 full-time workers and provides $1.7 billion per annum in household income.

Entering an industry of this magnitude can be overwhelming, but, as East Melbourne local and leading racehorse syndicator Rob Slade will tell you, it is one filled with immense reward and passion.

He first founded Slade Bloodstock 25 years ago after dipping his toes in horse ownership through syndication.

“My clients come from all walks of life. I don’t have a demographic where you go, that’s our ideal audience. You can have the boiler maker or the lawyer, all gambits of life from all parts of Australia,” Mr Slade said.

“Investing in a horse is just one part of it, there is the social side which is one of the biggest drawcards, and it is a great opportunity for business networking.”


“The beauty is anyone can get involved in racing and the sky is the limit; you could have the next Black Caviar, the next Makybe Diva or the next Winx – somebody has to own them.”


The Slade Bloodstock colours of white with black and yellow hoops rose to prominence in racing circles with the success of Alinghi – a four-time Group One winning horse, including the 2004 Blue Diamond Stakes and the 2005 Newmarket Handicap.

In total, Alinghi netted its owners more than $3.5 million in prize money; not bad for a horse that only cost $80,000 as a yearling (a horse older than one).

After trading in a life as an accountant in 1997, Mr Slade has grown his business into one of the top 10 syndicators in the country and has developed a fine eye for picking great horses.

“There is a lot to look at in a horse. You want a horse that is athletic, a good leg on it, good length of body,” he said.

“You begin to know physically what you want in a horse; after all you are buying the equine version of a human athlete.”

Mr Slade cut his teeth in the early 2000s with Australian Racing Hall of Fame trainer, Lee Freedman.

Readers will know Freedman through his training of arguably Australia’s most successful horse, the three-time Melbourne Cup winning, Makybe Diva.

Mr Slade purchases around 10 horses each year and is currently putting the call out for shares in Brazen Beau; a Nick Ryan-trained colt by Super Vobis and Inglis Series.

Five and 10 per cent shares cost $6500 and $13,000, respectively, and ongoing costs can range between $150 to $180 per month.

Nick has only been training for a few years but is a great young horseman and his horses are on fire at the moment,” Mr Slade said. “You have to recognise someone who is at the top of their game and also that someone is going to attract attention from potential owners.”

“As well as owning a horse, it does educate you from a different perspective in relation to racing, you will see racing differently and if you are a punter, you will see it far differently.”


“If you go in with the right attitude, eyes wide open and go in knowing that it’s a terrific vehicle for social networking, you don’t know where it can lead you.”


Mr Slade is also finalising the paperwork to launch Club Millions No. 1 Ltd, a three-year racing club aimed at winning Magic Millions races, and of course any others along the way.

It involves only 250 members who pay a $1000 joining fee and $320 per month for one year, with the second and third years free.

Investors will then have access to three horses – one each from Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales – purchased at the 2023 Magic Millions sales on the Gold Coast in January.

The horses will be trained by acclaimed trainers Annabel Neesham (NSW/QLD), Ciaron Maher and David Eustace (VIC/NSW) and Tony Gollan (QLD).

To speak with Rob about owning a share of city calibre racehorses call 0417 036 865 or visit sladebloodstock.com.au.

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