Buying a race horse: A safe bet?

Published 9:22 AM ET, Fri March 8, 2013
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Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, soak up the atmosphere at Australia's Melbourne Cup. Owning a thoroughbred has long been the luxury hobby of the mega rich. But an increasing number of "Average Joes" are also entering the elite industry. Robert Prezioso/Getty Images/File
Famous thoroughbred owner Queen Elizabeth seems to have passed on her passion for horses to granddaughter Zara Phillips, an Olympic silver medalist equestrian rider. Phillips' husband, former England rugby captain Mike Tindall, recently paid £12,000 ($18,000) for a race horse as part of a syndicate of four people. Leon Neal/Getty Images/File
English Premier League football star Wayne Rooney's wife Coleen (center) watches the action from the race track. The couple own three race horses, including one called Switcharooney. Andrew Yates/Getty/File
He may have directed 2011 film Warhorse, but Steven Spielberg's equine interests don't stop there. The Oscar-winner also co-owns thoroughbred Atswhatimtalkingabout, which came fourth in the 2003 Kentucky Derby. Tim Whitby/Getty Images
Some of the biggest race horse investors hail from Qatar, including its ruling Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (right). Last year, Qatar Racing bought the world's most expensive yearling at auction, stumping up a whopping $4 million for a 19-month-old colt called Hydrogen. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images/File
Australian race horse Black Caviar storms home to her 23rd consecutive victory at Melbourne's Lightning Stakes Day last month. The syndicate of five owners paid $315,000 for the horse which has now won more than $7 million in prize money. Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Not only has Black Caviar won millions on the track, she's become a lucrative brand, launching her own range of grooming products, appearing on the cover of Vogue and publishing a best-selling biography. Regi Varghese/Getty Images/File
Trainer Peter Moody was a catalyst behind Black Caviar syndicate, advising co-owner Neil Werrett to invest in the thoroughbred. "Peter Moody has been incredibly patient with our horse. A lot of trainers run them into the ground -- not him," co-owner Colin Madden said. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images/file
Even greater returns may await race horses off the track. Retired champion British colt Frankel now commands a fee of $188,000 each time he produces offspring. Tom Dulat/Getty Images/File