Asian Investment Marks Millions Opener

The Magic Millions Gold Coast 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale got off to a strong start on Tuesday, with Asian investment dominating the top end of the market. In all, 82 juveniles were sold for A$5,384,500, compared to 116 sold for A$5,757,000 last year when 58 more were offered. The clearance rate did drop to 68% from 71%, but the average and median both showed significant improvements, the former up 32.3% to A$65,665 and the latter up 42.9% to A$50,000.

“It’s been a pretty good start for us,” Magic Millions Managing Director Vin Cox said. “We’re looking at some numbers that are significantly higher [than 2016], in particular the average and median, which we are very happy about. Our clearance rate is 68%, by Magic Millions standards that is low and it’s something we are going to work on overnight. But it’s been a good start and one thing that I am most pleased about is the people are here and wanting to do business.”

“There are a lot of people on the grounds and they’re starting to get active in the market and our vendors are starting to sell well, setting us up nicely for tomorrow,” Cox added. “The leading buyer by jurisdiction is Hong Kong, which is fantastic from our point of view, obviously Singapore has been very good, as well as Macau, the Philippines, Korea and we’ve even had a buyer from the United States.”

That buyer from the U.S. was George Bolton, who secured a colt by his sire The Factor (lot 115) for A$70,000.

The buyer of the session’s top-priced lot was Thailand’s Vichit Pongsri-am, who paid A$320,000 for lot 58, Kenmore Lodge’s son of Smart Missile. The bay heavily rewarded the decision to retain him when he failed to find a home at A$40,000 at the Gold Coast yearling sale in January, and the half-brother to three winners is headed to the Singapore stable of trainer Cliff Brown.

“The owners from Thailand really liked him from the word go,” Brown said. “They loved his breeze up and he’s a lovely individual, he moved really well and has a lovely attitude.”

Vichit Pongsri-am bought four total on the day, also including a More Than Ready colt for A$160,000 and an Uncle Mo filly for A$130,000.

Toby Koenig missed out on the top lot, but was back just two lots later to secure a Written Tycoon (Aus) colt for A$300,000. Lot 60 provided a good pinhook result for connections, having cost A$100,000 at the Magic Millions March yearling sale.

“That’s the advantage of coming to a breeze up style auction– you get to see a horse’s action and take a really close look at them,” Koenig said. “We don’t focus too much on time; we really mark them on their action and we loved the way this guy moved.”

Lot 52, another son of Smart Missile, is headed to Hong Kong after being bought by Sweetbriar Equine for A$280,000. The colt from Rosemont Stud is the fourth foal out of the listed-winning Class Apart (Aus) (French Deputy), and he was a A$60,000 buy from the Magic Millions March yearling sale.

Also headed for Hong Kong is lot 33, who was bought by Jason Tam and trainer Gary Moore for A$240,000 from Woodpark Stud. The son of Stratum (Aus) is the second foal out of the winning Brightlands Star (Aus) (Starcraft {NZ}), herself a half-sister to Group 1 winner Zip Zip Aray (Aus) (Bellotto {Aus}). The bay is also a graduate of the March sale, having cost connections A$75,000 there.

Lee Freedman made an addition to his recently opened Singapore stable when signing for lot 91, a colt from the first crop of Zoustar (Aus), for A$175,000. The Widden Stud offering is out of Faster Pussycat (Aus) (Flying Spur {Aus}), who has produced three stakes winners.

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