Magic Millions Off To A Fast Start

GOLD COAST, Australia–Coolmore will eventually add last year’s G1 Coolmore Stud S. winner Merchant Navy (Aus) to its stallion roster to stand alongside his champion sire Fastnet Rock (Aus), and the principals of that operation will have high hopes that those two will someday be joined by the session-topping colt at Wednesday’s opening session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale–another son of Fastnet Rock bought for A$1-million.

With the knowledge that more breakout lots are expected later in the week, figures were largely up after the first day of trade for Australasia’s first yearling sale of the season. While there was just one seven-figure lot, 17 made at least half a million compared to 11 last year. The clearance rate was slightly down at 81% for 182 sold, compared to 85% for 187 sold last year, but the gross was up to A$39,170,000 (it was A$35,907,000 12 months ago). The average was up 12% to A$215,220 and the median was similarly up 13.3% to A$150,000.

Element Hill’s Fastnet Rock colt out of Risk Aversion has already been paid some hefty compliments in his young life, with Coolmore’s Tom Magnier drawing comparisons between him and Merchant Navy, and John O’Shea saying, “he is the best Fastnet Rock I’ve seen since Foxwedge”, who he trained to win the G1 William Reid S.

“He’s the right horse and he has the pedigree,” O’Shea added. “He’s probably a bit sharper than Foxwedge and he has a pedigree to boot.”

The bay is the second foal out of the stakes-winning Risk Aversion, herself a half-sister to stakes winners Shania Dane (Aus) (Danehill) and Scintillation (Aus) (Danehill). A plethora of stakes winners appear under the second dam, including last year’s dual group winner Man From Uncle (Aus) (Uncle Mo).

The sale capped an excellent day for the Hutchins family’s Element Hill, which also sold a A$650,000 Redoute’s Choice (Aus) filly. The Hutchinses kept mares with Coolmore before purchasing their own property in 2010 (click here for a pre-sale feature on that consignment).

“The Hutchinses have been such great clients for us and we thought this was the nicest horse in the sale,” said Tom Magnier. “We thought this horse looked very like Merchant Navy. The Hutchinses have bred a lovely horse, and to have this horse with John is exciting.”

O’Shea has recently re-opened a private stable after spending three years as private trainer for Godolphin. Godolphin, which is typically not active as a buyer at the Australian yearling sales, purchased a colt by Not A Single Doubt (Aus) (lot 122) for A$200,000 on Wednesday.

Fastnet Rock ended the day as the sire of two of the top five lots. He had four crack a half-million, also including lot 215, a colt consigned by Segenhoe Stud and bought by Marie Yoshida’s Asian Bloodstock Services. The bay is the third foal out of the stakes-winning and producing Radharcnafarriage (Ire) (Distorted Humor).

While proven sires generally dominated the top of the market on Wednesday, one first-season sire with a breakout horse was Newgate’s Deep Field (Aus) (Northern Meteor {Aus}). Lot 231 was also purchased by Asian interests, going the way of Hong Kong’s Orbis Bloodstock for A$675,000 with Justin Bahen conducting the bidding. Consigned by Kia Ora Stud, the bay is a half to the stakes-placed Unique Quality (Aus) (Elusive Quality) from an international family that includes a pair of standouts in Hong Kong: the Hong Kong Derby winner Super Satin (Aus) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) and the dual Group 1 winner Blazing Speed (Aus) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}).

A Snitzel For Harron Syndicate…

James Harron’s record of selecting future stallions speaks for itself, the agent having been involved in the purchase of Vancouver (Aus) and Capitalist (Aus) at Magic Millions alone. The latter Golden Slipper winner was one of the pioneers of Harron’s colts’ syndicate of yearlings with sire potential, and lot 52, a son of Snitzel (Aus), will race in the same green silks with trainers Peter and Paul Snowden after Harron prevailed at A$900,000.

“He’s a ripping colt,” said Harron, who bought another young sire son of Snitzel, Wandjina (Aus), as a yearling. “Snitzel’s just doing an incredible job and he was one of my picks of the sale. He was a fantastic shape, a quality colt. He had a great size of hip and is a really active and athletic type of horse, really walked and looks every bit a racehorse.”

Consigned by Arrowfield, the bay is out of the War Emblem mare Madame Andree (Aus), who showed great promise while in training with Paul Messara but was ultimately unraced. It is an international family that includes GI Met Mile winner Exciting Story (Diablo) and G3 Regret S. winner Sweeping Paddy (Paddy O’Prado).

Harron said he followed the colt’s progress at the sale closely after viewing him at Arrowfield during the Hunter Valley parades.

“I did see him at Arrowfield in the Hunter Valley and then I looked at him numerous times here and just watched his progression through the sale,” the agent said. “He’s a really exciting colt. To pay that kind of money you have to have confidence. You watch them go through the sale and handle that pressure that’s put on them, because that pressure is only going to increase when they go into training. But he looks a nice, early running type of horse.”

The colt is the third foal out of his dam, whose 3-year-old Madame Pauline (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) is unbeaten in two starts since the catalogue was published. That filly and the mare’s 2-year-old filly Nancy Grace (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) are both with Paul Messara.

“Madame Andree was a very talented mare I trained,” said Messara. “She never made it to the track but she showed a massive amount of talent, one of the best horses I thought I’d ever trained, on par with the likes of [Group 1 winner] Ortensia on the track. She won a trial really well and just before her first race unfortunately she did a tendon.”

Because of the mare’s talent, Arrowfield took a gamble and sent her to its top-flight sires for her first three coverings.

“As a result of having such a high opinion of the mare we sent her to stallions above her pedigree and what she had done,” Messara said. “We sent her to Redoute’s twice and then to Snitzel.”

Messara said vet issues prevented Madame Pauline and Nancy Grace from being offered for sale.

“Unfortunately both of those were unable to be sold due to x-ray issues,” he said. “The first one is Madame Pauline and she’s had two starts and two wins and is stakes class in the making. Nancy Grace is the 2-year-old. She’s yet to have a run but also looks promising.”

Harron’s session one haul also included a A$600,000 son of Exceed and Excel (Aus), the second foal out of the G1 NZ 2000 Guineas winner Oasis Rose (NZ) (Oasis Dream {GB}) (lot 142).

A Precious Element…

Element Hill’s Josh Hutchins admitted earlier this week that his family keeps the family members of its foundation broodmare Tracy’s Element close to its chest, and as such it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that an elegant and athletic granddaughter of that South African champion, by three-time champion sire and emerging broodmare sire Redoute’s Choice (Aus), would be popular at Magic Millions. Lot 51 eventually went the way of Linda Huddy, best known for racing the 2010 G1 Australian Derby winner and overall five-time Group 1 winner Shoot Out (Aus) (High Chaparral {Ire}), for A$650,000. Huddy was visibly thrilled to secure a filly from such a coveted family, saying, “We’ll take her home and give her some time out in the paddock because this is pretty hard on them here at the sales. We’ll break her in and go from there.”

Huddy says she has been 15 and 20 broodmares and 20 horses in work.

“We’re not big but it’s a nice size for us to handle,” she said. “She’s a great asset to us, I just loved her.”

Tracy’s Element is best known as the dam of Australian Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy (Aus) (Red Ransom), and she also produced the stakes winner and sire Red Element and is the dam and second dam of a plethora of stakes horses, including G2 Silver Slipper S. winner and sire Shaft (Aus) (Flying Spur {Aus}). The Redoute’s Choice filly’s dam is the winning Encosta de Lago (Aus) mare Madam Tracy (Aus), and that cross has produced the Group 1 winners Musir (Aus) and Peeping (Aus). Tracy’s Element is the namesake of the Hutchins family’s Element Hill, which on Thursday offers an I Am Invincible (Aus) colt out of another daughter of Tracy’s Element (lot 399).

Element Hill sold a daughter of Redoute’s Choice’s son Not A Single Doubt (Aus) (lot 114) later in the session for A$370,000. That one was bought for A$240,000 as a weanling. Not A Single Doubt sits fourth to his paternal half-brother Snitzel (Aus) on Australia’s general sire table midway through the racing season, with High Chaparral (Ire) and Fastnet Rock (Aus) splitting them.

Kelly Back For More Magic…

Californian Jon Kelly has been an avid supporter of Australian racing, and the man who bought the sale-topping colt here five years ago was back in action at the top of the market on Wednesday when securing a filly by popular young sire I Am Invincible (Aus) (lot 145) for A$625,000. The filly was consigned by Yarraman Park Stud, which stands the sire. Kelly had dispersed four fillies he had previously bought at this sale at last June’s National Broodmare Sale, and he explained he did so because he prefers to focus on racing rather than breeding.

“We do breed but we’re more into racing than we are breeding,” Kelly explained. “We still have several mares but we’re not planning on breeding down here, we’re planning on racing. The enthusiasm of the Australian public for racing is captivating. It’s quite different than the rest of the world. The only place that halfway compares is Ireland. America doesn’t do it at all. It’s fun, and the other thing for me is there’s no Lasix. I don’t like drugs in animals. Global Glamour won two Grade Is in seven days. That can’t be done in America because the Lasix dehydrates the horse. I really don’t like that so I’m very fond of Australian racing and the rules. They have people that do things they shouldn’t do as well, the whole world does, and we don’t like it, but it’s part of life.”

Kelly’s wife, Sarah, is a part-owner in the aforementioned Global Glamour (Aus) (Star Witness {Aus}) as part of the It’s All About The Girls syndicate. Global Glamour was a A$65,000 purchase at this sale and runs in Saturday’s Magic Millions Plate. She was narrowly beaten in last year’s Magic Millions 3YO Guineas. Sarah Kelly owns another piece of a horse in a ladies’ syndicate with trainer Gai Waterhouse, but Kelly said the I Am Invincible filly will be his first horse in training in Australia since he sold his four fillies last year. She also goes into training with Waterhouse.

“She’s a beautiful young lady,” Kelly said. “She’ll be trained by the right person, Gai Waterhouse, and we look forward to having a good time with her.”

After its success with its inaugural horse, Global Glamour, It’s All About The Girls last fall expanded to Ireland and purchased two yearling fillies at Goffs to be trained by Jessica Harrington. Kelly said he has charged the syndicate’s Legs Lawlor and Anna Seitz with finding a filly to race in Southern California.

“We’re going to try to emulate it in Southern California,” he said. “I just asked the two ladies to help me put together a ladies’ syndicate in Southern California but there’s no trainer as good as Gai, so they’re going to have to hire a man for the first time. He may have to wear a dress!”

Tycoon In Demand…

South Australia’s Mill Park Stud regularly brings a select but quality draft of yearlings to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, and in lot 137 it offered a colt from a proven cross–a full-brother to the G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Booker (Aus) (Written Tycoon {Aus}). New Zealand-based agent Bruce Perry went to A$600,000 for the third foal out of Noondie (Aus) (Flying Spur {Aus}), and he will now look to find owners for the horse and said it is undecided whether the colt will remain in Australia or go to New Zealand.

“I loved the horse, he had great balance and is by a great sire,” Perry said. “The mare is already doing the job and he ticked all our boxes. We thought he was one of the nicest colts in the sale and we’re very happy to get him. Hopefully she’ll make it two for two. He was the one we wanted so we’re delighted.”

Written Tycoon, among Australia’s leading sires and the sire of champion Capitalist, proved popular on day one of the sale. His highlights also included a colt bought by China Horse Club in partnership with Newgate and WinStar Farm for A$520,000 (lot 13).

Deep Crop Of First-Season Sires…

In addition to his A$675,000 top price, Deep Field had a pair sell for A$300,000 and four more sell for in excess of A$200,000. Supporters of Deep Field will be encouraged by the promising start made by another son of Northern Meteor, Zoustar (Aus), with his first 2-year-olds this year.

Deep Field’s Newgate barnmate, the five-time Group 1 winner and Horse of the Year Dissident (Aus) (Sebring {Aus}), had a colt sell for A$525,000. Lot 200 was consigned by Newgate and purchased by George Moore Bloodstock on behalf of the Hong Kong investment company CLSA. He will go into training with Moore’s father, Hong Kong champion trainer John Moore, who said, “he’s a good sort and he fit our criteria. Everything out of the mare has done the job and George loved him as much as I did. He’s off to Hong Kong and he’ll be sold to a syndicate that’s headed up by the vice president of CLSA. We’re delighted, that’s their first purchase.”

The colt is out of Prompt (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}), who has produced the stakes winners Prompt Response (Aus) (Beneteau {Aus}) and Prompt Return (Aus) (Beneteau {Aus}) and the stakes-placed Diamond Glow (Aus) (Bel Esprit {Aus}) as well as Mr. Right (Aus) (Statue of Liberty {Aus}), a winner in Hong Kong.

Moore said the Dissidents as a group appealed to him, but that lot 200 was selected first on type.

“We go through the sale and I’ve always educated George to come up with athlete first then look at the pedigree,” he said. “From that point of view this horse is the right type.”

Dissident’s day one prices also included yearlings sold for A$460,000, A$300,000, A$270,000 and A$260,000.

Newgate’s third first-season sire, Wandjina (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}), had a top price of A$250,000 and had six sell for six figures.

Also making a good impression on day one was Rubick (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}). His haul was headed by a A$470,000 colt bought by Damion Flower of Jadeskye Racing, which campaigned the dual group-winning sprinter Rubick in partnership. He also had a colt sold for A$350,000 to Hong Kong’s Orbis Bloodstock.

Arrowfield’s Olympic Glory had yearlings sell for A$160,000 and A$180,000 on day one.

Darley first-season sire Hallowed Crown (Aus) (Street Sense) had a six-figure price on day one, a colt sold for A$120,000 to Triple Crown Syndications, owner of last year’s The Everest winner Redzel (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}). Hallowed Crown’s barnmate Shooting To Win, a G1 Caulfield Guineas-winning full-brother to Deep Field, had three sell for six figures on the day including a A$200,000 filly.