The likes of Vancouver and Winx have ensured that the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale has enjoyed a phenomenal run of late. No doubt their achievements will be fresh in the minds of buyers as they descend upon the picturesque Gold Coast this week, when they will be greeted by a strong catalogue for 2016 that offers the progeny of 25 G1 winners and the full or half siblings to 23 G1 winners.
Given that the week also builds up to Australia’s first ever A$10 million (US$7.3 million) racecard on Saturday (January 9), the Jeep Magic Millions raceday, the sales house appears poised to host its best Gold Coast carnival yet.
In all, 1,068 lots are catalogued over the three books; Book 1 opens its four-day run on Wednesday and comprises 746 lots while Book 2 follows on Sunday, January 10, and Book 3 takes place on Tuesday, January 12.
With such a strong line-up on paper, Magic Millions will be hopeful of building upon last year’s sale, at which the turnover surpassed A$1 million. The average for Book 1 rose by 18 percent to A$167,470 ($122,305).
Also helping the cause is the sale’s ongoing strong run of success on the track. Star billing goes to Vancouver and Winx, both of whom were bred by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds and sold by Coolmore.
G1 Golden Slipper Stakes winner Vancouver commanded A$185,000 in 2014 from Gai Waterhouse while Winx, recent winner of the G1 Cox Plate and G1 Epsom Handicap, was purchased in 2013 by Magic Bloodstock for A$230,000.
Overall, graduates of the sale have won 49 G1 races over the last three racing seasons. In addition to Vancouver and Winx, the list includes Horse of the Year Dissident, Boban, Shooting To Win and Sweet Idea.
Anticipation also runs high at the Gold Coast in that it presents the first real opportunity for buyers to assess the first yearlings by various sires, and at times with spectacular results. For instance, last year’s renewal was topped by a son of Sepoy, who set an auction record for a yearling by a first-crop sire when knocked down for A$1.2 million to Kentucky operation Spendthrift Farm.
Once again, an abundance of quality young sires have their first crops on offer, among them the star pair Pierro and All Too Hard, who ran one-two in the 2012 G1 Caulfield Guineas.
Pierro, a A$230,000 graduate of the 2011 sale, was a truly brilliant 2yo for Gai Waterhouse who captured the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes, G1 Sires’ Produce Stakes and G1 Champagne Stakes during his unbeaten juvenile season. Retired to Coolmore, the son of Lonhro covered an outstanding first book at A$77,000 and 41 of the resulting progeny, including a half-brother to Vancouver, will be on show at Magic Millions.
Also well represented is Vinery’s All Too Hard, a half-brother to Black Caviar who cost A$1.25 million as a yearling and lived up to that billing by becoming a four-time G1 winner. The son of Casino Prince boasts a draft of 47 yearlings, including the half-brother to G1 winner Zoustar.
A glance at the pedigrees on offer reveal how international the industry has become, and few horses are more international than Arrowfield Stud’s Animal Kingdom.
A son of Brazilian-bred champion Leroidesanimaux, Animal Kingdom is a welcome yet increasingly rare member of the once powerful Blushing Groom sire line and out of a German G3-winning daughter of Acatenango. He was an exceptionally versatile champion himself, winning the Kentucky Derby on his first try on dirt and the Dubai World Cup on Tapeta, and running second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf.
Animal Kingdom, who stands the northern hemisphere season for Darley in Kentucky, is represented by a draft of eight at Magic Millions, among them a daughter of American G2 winner Cat By The Tale (81; Arrowfield Stud), a grandson of champion Alinghi (382; Arrowfield Stud) and a filly out of a sister to G1 winner Road To Rock (12; Arrowfield Stud).
Other G1 winners with their first crops on show include Delago Deluxe (17), Excelebration (9), Ocean Park (1), Reliable Man (5) and Your Song (29).
Perhaps by this time next year, those yearlings will be advertising their young sires to good effect in action at the Jeep Magic Millions raceday. Few cards worldwide reward owners so spectacularly - seven of this year’s nine-race programme are worth A$1 million or more, led by the A$2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic and the A$2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3yo Guineas.
15) b c Street Cry - Aloha (Encosta De Lago)
Few stallions really crack it in both hemispheres, so the death of Street Cry, sire of Zenyatta and current Australian star Winx among others, in September 2014 came as a major blow to breeders in both the U.S. and Australasia.
Street Cry’s final Australian crop of yearlings will come under the hammer this season, 19 of whom are catalogued to Magic Millions. They kick off with this colt, the second foal out of G1 Coolmore Classic winner Aloha.
Baramul Stud consigns and later offer two other eye-catching youngsters by the stallion in lot 30, a colt out of G1 VRC Oaks heroine Arapaho Miss, and lot 639, a half-brother to South African champion 2yo Delago Deluxe.
148) ch f Not A Single Doubt - Dazzling Gazelle (More Than Ready)
Only the third foal out of her dam, this filly is a sister to top 2yo Miracles Of Life.
Miracles Of Life swept through her 2yo season unbeaten for trainer Dan Clarken, capturing the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (Fillies) en route to a popular victory in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes under Lauren Stojakovic.
Although she lost her unbeaten record as an older horse, she still performed with great credit at the top level, notably when successful in this year’s G1 William Hill Classic at Morphettville. In victory, she registered a landmark Australian G1 success for Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables, who had paid A$900,000 for the filly out of the Teeley Dispersal at Magic Millions in May 2014.
Lot 148 is one of 32 catalogued by Arrowfield Stud’s Not A Single Doubt, who is also responsible for a filly out of G1 winner Sky Cuddle (613; Turangga Farm).
233) ch c Snitzel - Flidais (Timber Country)
It was at this sale in 2012 that Gai Waterhouse and James Harron paid A$240,000 for a Snitzel filly from Arrowfield Stud. Named Sweet Idea, she went on to do her connections proud, winning eight races, including last year’s G1 Galaxy Handicap and a quartet of G2 races before changing hands again at Magic Millions, this time for A$1.6 million to her former part owner, Nick Vass.
The star sprinter was later bought privately by the Queen and exported to join her broodmare band in Europe.
Now in lot 233, the chance arises to purchase her brother, one of the stand-outs of a powerful 48-strong draft from Arrowfield Stud.
The colt is also a half-brother to Listed winner Rush while his G3-placed dam is a daughter of dual G1 winner Electronic.
Arrowfield offers 10 lots by their resident sire, Snitzel, the best sire son of Redoute’s Choice, whose 32 stakes winners include six at the highest level. In addition to lot 233, the draft includes a colt out of G1 winner Covertly (131) and a half-brother to high-class Hong Kong sprinter Not Listenin’tome (228), who has run third in the G1 Hong Kong Sprint since the publication of the catalogue.
As for Redoute’s Choice himself, he is responsible for 23 entries, including a colt out of G1 winner Velocitea (700; Rheinwood Pastoral).
242) b f Fastnet Rock - Forest Native (Forest Wildcat)
Each of the four runners out of the listed-placed Forest Native have won but the mare has forged a particularly successful association with Coolmore’s champion sire Fastnet Rock, to whom she bred the classy pair Foxwedge and She’s A Fox.
Both cost sizeable sums as yearlings - Foxwedge realised A$925,000 while She’s A Fox sold for A$625,000 - before enjoying productive careers on the track.
The highlights of Foxwedge’s career came when he was successful in the G1 William Reid Stakes and G2 Roman Consul Stakes. Now a highly sought after young sire at Newgate Farm, his first crop sold for up to A$350,000 at this sale last year.
For her part, She’s A Fox won three races, including at listed level, making this filly, the fourth Fastnet Rock foal out of Forest Native, an appealing proposition.
264) b c Fastnet Rock - Gold Anthem (Made Of Gold)
One of a number of well-connected colts by champion sire Fastnet Rock, this youngster is a half-brother to star sprinter Starspangledbanner, a champion of Australia and Europe.
The son of Choisir, whose seven victories included the G1 Oakleigh Plate and G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes, has since overcome severe fertility issues to become a successful young sire with the likes of G1 winner The Wow Signal and G2 heroine Anthem Alexander to his credit.
However, this is also a family that has also already worked well with Fastnet Rock through G1 winner Amicus, another graduate of this sale who is out of this colt’s listed-placed half-sister Gold Chant.
Further back, it is the family of international G1 stars Highland Reel, Haradasun and Elvstroem.
As for Starspangledbanner, he is represented by six yearlings, includling lot 370, a half-brother to current South African champion Alboran Sea.
377) ch c Sepoy - Leone Chiara (Lion Hunter)
Leone Chiara was a classy G3 winner on the track. However, she has proven even more effective at stud as the dam of four winners from as many runners led by champion Star Witness and G3 winner Nostradamus. Little wonder that Leone Chiara, who is a sister to G2 winners Chinchilla Rose and Ferocity, commanded A$800,000 from Danny O’Brien when offered carrying this colt in the Teeley Dispersal at Magic Millions in 2014.
Victories in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes and G1 Blue Diamond Stakes were the highlights of Star Witness’ championship career. Now standing at Widden Stud, he has made a bright start with his first runners, which include listed winners The Barrister, Pearl Star and Well Sprung.
This colt is one of 38 yearlings catalogued from Widden Stud, which sold Horse of the Year Dissident at this sale in 2012 for A$210,000 to Peter Moody.
411) b f Fastnet Rock - Mani Bhavan (Storm Boot)
Kia Ora Stud’s outlay of $650,000 for the 2008 G1 Spinaway Stakes heroine Mani Bhavan through James Bester at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton November Sale in Kentucky reaped rewards at the 2013 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale when her first foal, subsequent winner Mumbai Rock, realised A$1,550,000.
Now Kia Ora returns to the market with Mani Bhavan’s fourth foal, a sister to Mumbai Rock. Her sale follows on the heels of a productive few years for the family since Mani Bhavan is now also a half-sister to American stakes winners Hear The Ghost, successful in the 2013 G2 San Felipe Stakes, and last year’s G1-placed 3yo Closing Bell.
Kia-Oro also sends through a So You Think filly out of G1 NZ 1,000 Guineas winner Dorabella (163). Her brother topped Kia-Ora’s draft last year when knocked down for A$430,000.
498) ch f Snitzel - Perfect Truth (Galileo)
Snitzel ended last year’s sale with an impressive average of A$234,448 but with a draft that includes the full or half-siblings to six G1 winners among his 60 lots catalogued this time around, it would be no surprise to see him improve on that figure.
The sister to Sweet Idea (233), as outlined above, promises to be a highlight as does lot 498, a half-sister to last season’s G1 Queensland Derby winner Magicool. They are out of European import Perfect Truth, the 2009 listed Cheshire Oaks heroine who is a granddaughter of brilliant British 2yo Durtal.
Other highlights among Snitzel’s draft include the half-brothers to G1 winners Southern Lord (22; Eureka Stud), Roman Emperor (278; Sledmere Stud) and Hurtle Myrtle (531: Kitchwin Hills) alongside a half-sister to G1 winner Captain Sonador (522; Southern Cross Breeders)
612) b/br c Pierro - Skates (Danehill)
All eyes will be on this colt as the half-brother to last season’s star 2yo Vancouver. Also a graduate of this sale, Vancouver’s unbeaten campaign for Gai Waterhouse included victories in the G2 Todman Stakes and G1 Golden Slipper Stakes, after which Coolmore snapped up a controlling interest in the colt.
While Vancouver is the best foal out of the listed-placed Skates to date, the mare also clicked with Giant’s Causeway to produce another G1 winner, Juste Momente.
In all, Skates, who died this year, is the dam of 10 winners from as many runners, an impressive record that mirrors that of her G1-winning sam Skating, whose 10 winners included the G1-placed Murtajill.
While lot 612 promises to be a highlight of Pierro’s powerful 42-strong draft, so does lot 331, a Pierro colt out of the 2009 G1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas heroine Irish Lights from Coolmore.
Coolmore also sends through Pierro yearlings out of G1 winners Aqua d’Amore (colt; 28) and Dane Ripper (filly; 141) while colts out of G1 winners Bonanova (65; Element Hill) and Hurtle Myrtle (313; Segenhoe Stud) and the half-brother to G1 Caulfield Guineas winner Long John (306; Bowness Stud) are other highlights.
745) b c All Too Hard - Zouzou (Redoute’s Choice)
Particularly anticipated among All To Hard’s 47-strong debut draft at Magic Millions is this colt, a half-brother to G1-winning sprinter Zoustar.
Bought for A$140,000 by Iskander Racing at this sale in 2012, Zoustar won twice at the top level in the Golden Rose Stakes and Coolmore Stud Stakes before embarking on his own stud career; he stood the past season at Woodside Park Stud for A$44,000.
Vinery Stud, which stands All Too Hard for A$55,000, also sends through several well-connected yearlings by the stallion in lot 156, a colt out of G1 winner Devil Moon, and lot 540, a colt out of G1 Ballerina Stakes heroine Rightly So.
Baramul Stud’s draft, meanwhile, features a filly out of champion 2yo filly Fashions Afield (213) and the half-sister to G1 Golden Slipper Stakes winner Polar Success (495).
The first foal out of G1 winner Mid Summer Music (424; a colt from Cressfield) is another who looks poised to showcase All Too Hard to good effect.