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A yearling is a racehorse of either sex between one and two years of age and are often too undeveloped physically to be considered for breeding.
A yearling will undergo the first throes of training to become a fully-fledged racehorse and will undertake such things as the bridle and headstall, saddle and girth and the introduction of the weight of a rider.
This is the first stages of a horse’s career and is a vital time to determine a horse’s race potential.
As yearlings are too young to race they do not feature in betting. However, many stables aim to catch yearlings at sales in a bid to race them as they tend to be cheaper than a two-or-three-year-old.
There is a risk attached to this for the stable though as yearlings will only be shown walking whereas the slightly older horses will be paraded over a furlong or two, so a trainer can gage better the capability of a horse.
However, judge a yearling correctly and the potential is huge at the fraction of the price with betting markets soon to take an early interest from the horse’s debut race.
The most expensive yearling sold in 2017 went for £4m at the Tattersalls yearling sale which took place in October.
The filly was snapped up by John Gosden for the renowned Godolphin stables. She became the second-highest priced yearling in Europe of all time.