The folks at ACM Group can’t help but take a punt on the horses every once in a while. We love the thrill associated with gambling, and as horse racing is the sport of kings you can tell where our hearts lie when we do choose to take a little flutter.
The great tradition in Australia, is of course, selling our horses into Asia. We began to develop our horse industry by importing our first horses from India, England and the US, but by the fourth decade of the nineteenth century Australia had enough horses to begin exporting them. Some New South Wales army officers sold a shipment of horses to India for cavalry remounts in eighteen thirty. This exporting of horses to India would continue up until around nineteen thirty. This trade included the sale of Australian thoroughbred horses to India, where a racing industry had been established.
Through the British colonial connection Australia also supplied racehorses to Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The Japanese were customers as well, when their military bought some eleven thousand horses as remounts for their army. During the years of the First World War more than one hundred and twenty thousand Aussie horses were shipped into West Asia. These horses were rated as superior to the Arab breed and they were extolled by their users, such as the Australian Light Horse. In nineteen nineteen Australian horses competed in Egypt and were successful in a number of racing events.
During the nineteen fifties Australian thoroughbreds were exported to Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan. The strong bond with horse racing in Hong Kong and Malaysia has maintained through the decades of the twentieth century a substantial Australian input into these race clubs and their industry as a whole. Asian investment in Australian racing has seen them as racehorse owners contribute to the strong financial growth of the industry over the last three decades. Asian owners have been investing in breeding studs in Western Australia for many years. Asian owners have won many of the feature races in Australia over the last twenty years. Horse racing betting may be the next frontier.
In recent years we have seen Japanese horses successful in Melbourne and Caulfield Cups. The strong link between Japan and Australia in the horse racing field sees horses from both countries competing to win each other’s feature races. The Middle East, which is categorised as part of Asia, has seen horses and owners from Dubai and the other Arab Emirates competing for featured prize money in Australia for a couple of decades at least. Horse racing at the Group 1 level is, now, a highly international affair with horses bred on one continent regularly racing on other continents. Asian horses in Australia: who to back in 2016? I am sure that there will be a bevy of then to choose from.