The 2021 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale was, by any definition, a truly remarkable event.
While the 2020 chapter managed to precede the COVID outbreak, Magic Millions was taking a huge punt by adding extra horses and an additional session for January. This, combined with concerns over travel restrictions, was almost certain to drive down the overall average and median, yet the end result totally defied expectations.
At the close of Book 1 on the Saturday night nearly $200 million in trade had taken place over five days with the average increasing by over $3,000 to $253,888, while the median remained solid at $180,000.
Proudly, NSW breeders have again underpinned the second of Australia’s two biggest sales: in terms of aggregate, average and highest prices. Indeed, the top 26 lots were all consigned by NSW vendors and 24 of those 25 ‘toppers’ are by NSW based stallions.
And just to cap it all off, the three major races at the $10 million Magic Millions race day on the Gold Coast, were captured by progeny of stallions standing in NSW.
Ultimately, yearlings via NSW farms would amass $160 million, or 80% of the overall gross.
Accounting for $14,665,000 of that aggregate was perennial leader, Arrowfield Stud, which also sold a Shalaa colt to James Harron Bloodstock for $1,150,000 and had the pleasure of cheering on Shaquero - a first crop son of resident stallion, Shalaa - as he won the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
Significantly, eight of the 11 million dollar plus yearlings sold on the Gold Coast were by Snitzel (x 2), Not A Single Doubt (x 4), Written Tycoon and Shalaa, which either stand or stood at Arrowfield.
Australia’s most historic nursery, Widden Stud had the honour of selling the highest priced lot - a Snitzel colt - which was knocked down to Tom Magnier for $1.9 million in the first session. Magnier, who heads up the all-powerful Coolmore Stud, eventually signed on the dotted line for for six youngsters at an average of $1,067,500.
Widden Stud would also sell a million dollar colt by its own stallion, Zoustar, along with two I Am Invincibles for big money, and finish with $12.5 million in sales.
The most successful vendor by average though was Emirates Park which sold six at an average of $596,667, highlighted by a $1.8 million Not A Single Doubt and $1.2 million Written Tycoon.
Other farms to join the ‘million dollar club’ were Segenhoe ($1.8 million for Kingman colt), Kia Ora Stud (a colt and a filly by I Am Invincible), Sledmere Stud, Torryburn Stud, Baramul Stud and Newhaven Park.
Coolmore’s highest priced lot was $950,000, but again had a top three finish by aggregate ($11.7 million).
In the final wash-up, the top 11 positions - by aggregate - were filled by NSW farms, but special mention too for Silverdale Farm (2nd) and Strawberry Hill (3rd) which joined Emirates and Kia Ora as the top four sellers by average.
Similarly, it would be a memorable week for Newgate Farm, which celebrated on the Saturday when Aim - which is part-owned by the Hunter Valley operation - won the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas, but also had plenty to be buoyed about with resident stallions Capitalist (selling up to $975,000) and Deep Field (8th highest grossing sire). What’s more, colts and fillies by Newgate’s first season sire, Russian Revolution, were keenly sought.
Ultimately there was plenty of joy to spread around the NSW farms, but arguably the happiest was Yarraman Park Stud … on two counts.
I Am Invincible was again No. 1 by gross ($23,960,000) and second ($544,545) to Not A Single Doubt by average for three or more sold, while Yarraman Park also ‘launched’ the Group 1 winning son of I Am Invincible in Hellbent, who was leading first season sire by gross with 30 lots sold for $5,560,000.
So now it’s onwards - with much confidence and excitement - to the Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale on 7-9 February where naturally NSW vendors will again make their presence felt.