Magic Millions wrapped the first day of its Gold Coast Yearling Sale on Wednesday with strong economic indicators. A total of 187 horses sold for 35,907,000 AUD ($26.5 million) for an average of 192,016 AUD ($141,679) and a median of 150,000 AUD ($110,680).
Those figures are up from last year's first session, where 158 horses sold for a total of 29,124,500 AUD ($21,489,657). The gross receipts increased 23.3 percent. Last year's opener average was 184,332 AUD ($136,010), making this year's number an increase of 4.2 percent. The median remained unchanged.
The rate of horses not attaining their reserves was 15 percent, an improvement from 20 percent last year.
“We've extended the catalogue of Book 1, so we do have more numbers across all sessions,” said Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox. “So to [improve average and RNA rate] is a Herculean performance.
“If we turn the lights off on Saturday night with that clearance and that average, we'll be tickled pink.”
American interests figured into several of the session's top prices. The first of two Tapit yearlings catalogued in the sale commanded the day's second-highest price at 700,000 AUD ($516,498) from buyers Mandalong Stud and Gary Nickson Racing.
“We only came just to buy the filly. We got here this morning and we are flying back this afternoon,” said Nickson. “Ric [Pisaturo of Mandalong] picked the filly out. He knew the sire from America from his trips over there. When he saw her in the sale he said we are going to buy the filly.”
Newhaven Park was the consignor for the filly, out of Ready's Image mare Leinan.
A filly by More Than Ready from the Kia-Ora Stud consignment raised 600,000 AUD ($442,713) from Vinery Stud. She is out of American graded stakes winner Heart Ashley, who won the Grade 3 Miss Preakness and G3 Miss Cicada and is herself a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Cupid.
Stonestreet Stables was also among the buyers of top lots for the day with the purchase of a filly by I Am Invincible out of Tale of the Cat mare Furline. Agent John Moynihan signed the ticket on behalf of a syndicate including Peter Leidel, Aquis Farm, and Blue Sky Bloodstock. The hammer price was 500,000 AUD ($368,992).
“This was actually for Barbara [Banke of Stonestreet] and one of our good friends for whom this is his first purchase in Australia: Peter Liedel, who owns Lady Aurelia with us, [as well as] Justin Fung from Aquis Farm, along with Julian Blaxland,” said Moynihan. “Justin and Julian own a horse with us in the U.S., and we talked to Peter before about potentially partnering with us with something down here.”
The top price came for a colt by New Zealand-bred sire Dundeel out of Group 1 winner Miss Finland, who brought 900,000AUD ($664,069). Boomer Bloodstock signed the ticket for the yearling, who was consigned by Arrowfield Stud.
Yearlings sold through the Gold Coast sale will be eligible for the Magic Millions series races later in their careers. This year's main race day, which takes place on Saturday, has combined prizemoney of 10 million AUD ($7.38 million) across ten races.
Book 1 of the Gold Coast sale continues on Thursday at 10 a.m. local time.
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