Magic Millions Book 1 Concludes


(l to r) Mark Newnham, Vin Cox and Widden’s Antony Thompson | Magic Millions

By Kelsey Riley

GOLD COAST, Australia–Book 1 of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale drew to a close with a post-racing evening session on Saturday. Figures continued to trend above last year and one more seven-figure lot was added to the sale’s total of nine when trainer Mark Newnham spent A$1.1-million on a daughter of Snitzel (Aus) (lot 830).

The clearance rate climbed with each of the four sessions of the sale and closed at 88.7%. A total of 684 yearlings were sold over 3 1/2 days for A$155,952,000, compared to the A$134,292,500 made by 649 youngsters 12 months ago. The average climbed 10.2% to A$228,000, and the median A$170,000 to A$6.25%.

Mark Newnham was a longtime assistant to trainer Gai Waterhouse before going out on his own two years ago, and one of the many Group 1 winners he had the fortune to work with in his prior role was Sweet Idea (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}). When he saw a filly from Widden Stud at Magic Millions that reminded him of that former luminary, Newnham went higher than he ever had for a yearling to secure her for a group of undisclosed owners.

“That’s the one we were waiting for the last three days, so it was nice we were able to get her,” Newnham said. “We thought she was going to be pretty dear, we thought she was the best one here, and you have to pay for them. It’s the first time I’ve gone past a half-million, but that’s how much we liked her and hopefully she can re-pay us.”

The bay is the first foal out of the New Zealand Group 3 winner Intimate Moment (NZ) (Dubawi {Ire}).

“She looks a natural, has a really strong pedigree behind her,” the trainer said. “You’d nearly give up if she couldn’t run. She looks an early type, a good strong-bodied filly. She’s bred to run early and she reminds me a bit of Sweet Idea. She was able to do it at two, three and four so hopefully this filly can do the same.”

Another daughter of Snitzel caused a stir late in the session when bought by Damon Gabbedy of Belmont Bloodstock for A$575,000. Consigned by Arrowfield Stud, lot 852 is out of the Group 2-winning and Group 1-placed Just Dancing (Aus) (Fusaichi Pegasus), and a half-sister to the stakes-placed Ideal Guide (Aus) (Red Ransom).

Sales Ring Luck For Gollan…

Trainer Tony Gollan’s Ef Troop (Aus) (Spirit of Boom {Aus}) ran a good race in defeat but ended up luckless when fourth in Saturday’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic, but the trainer had better fortune across the street a few hours later when prevailing for a filly by I Am Invincible (Aus) (lot 792) at A$625,000. Offered by Yarraman Park, which stands the sire, the bay is out of the five-time winner Harlem Heat (Aus) (Xaar {GB}), already the dam of a stakes-winning 2-year-old in Harlem River (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}). Gollan said he thought the filly had the goods to take him back to the A$2-million 2YO Classic next year.

“I thought she was a really nice filly,” he said. “I wasn’t sure coming here on Saturday night I’d be able to afford her, she looks like such a 2-year-old type and we were lucky enough to secure her. She’s out of a real fast-running family, the mare’s already got a stakes-winning 2-year-old and she looks ready made for the race next year.”

Gollan said Ef Troop had exited the Classic in good order. The prior stakes winner was involved in some early bumping before setting the pace, but ultimately folded late on behind Sunlight (Aus) (Zoustar {Aus}).

“He had a really hard run but he pulled up quite well,” Gollan said. “We’ll take it day to day but he has recovered beautifully; he has great powers of recovery, that horse. Here’s hoping he looks good tomorrow and we’ll decide what to do with him in the next few weeks.”

Aquis Farm, the part owners of Sunlight, were also back on Saturday evening to reinvest some of the winnings, and they also spent A$625,000, for them on lot 803, a colt by Written Tycoon (Aus) who is a full to the stakes-placed Written Consent (Aus). The colt was consigned by Woodside Park Stud.

I Am Invincible has been extremely popular at Magic Millions this week, and another daughter of the sire from Yarraman Park (lot 821) was sold on Saturday night to Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock for A$525,000. Rounsefell a short time later spent the same amount on Sun Stud’s athletic daughter of Tapit (lot 831). That filly is out of Inventive (Dixie Union), who was bought by Sun Stud, under its former moniker Eliza Park International, at Keeneland November in 2014 in foal to Bernardini for $80,000. That price looked like a bargain two years later when Inventive’s Klimt (Quality Road) won the GI Del Mar Futurity. Sun Stud had in the meantime exported the mare to Australia carrying this filly, and they sent her back, put her in foal to Medaglia d’Oro and sold her for $800,000 at the most recent renewal of Keeneland November.

McEvoy Lights Up The Ring…

Sunlight’s trainer Tony McEvoy was also looking to restock his stable for next year’s Magic Millions Raceday on Saturday evening, and he went to A$475,000 for lot 799, a daughter of Not A Single Doubt (Aus) from Newhaven Park. The filly is the first foal out of the American listed winner Hello (Smoke Glacken).

“She wasn’t overly big, but she walked like a 16.2-hand horse,” McEvoy said. “She had a beautiful big stride about her, balance and strength. Newhaven Park know how to breed a proper horse and every time you buy a horse off that farm you know it has every chance. I loved her, she has a family to back her up. She could get here next year.”

McEvoy revealed he decided this week to stock up early in the yearling sale season.

“I came here not expecting to buy as much as I have, but when I looked at the horses, they’re high quality; you’ll be lucky to see this quality of horse anywhere else in the sales in the rest of the year, so I decided to take advantage of that,” he said. “Over the years the sales get dearer, not cheaper.”

Of Sunlight, now favoured for the G1 Golden Slipper, McEvoy said, “Wasn’t she a star today? There was carnage [interference], which is sad for the big races, and she was involved in it a little bit, but she handled it well. She had composure and she showed her class. She went home and straight into her feed. She’s just like her trainer–a good eater.”

Strong Results For First-Season Sires…

A handful of first-season sires enjoyed strong results on Saturday evening. Newgate’s Wandjina (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}) was the sire of a A$350,000 colt bought by trainer Ciaron Maher, and his barnmate Deep Field (Aus) (Northern Meteor {Aus}) had a A$300,000 filly bought by David Redvers and Tony McEvoy–connections of Sunlight, who is herself sired by another young son of the late Northern Meteor (Aus) in Zoustar. Horse of the Year Dissident (Aus) (Sebring {Aus}), who also stands at Newgate, had a colt sell to New Zealand interests for A$260,000, while Darley’s Brazen Beau (Aus)–a son of the red hot I Am Invincible (Aus)–had a filly sell to Chris Waller and Guy Mulcaster (the duo that bought Winx) for A$250,000. Coolmore’s Rubick (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}) also had a A$250,000 sale on Saturday evening.

The single session Book 2 of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale takes place on Sunday.


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