THE highest grossing yearling sale in southern hemisphere history is how Magic Millions has described its 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale which closed on Saturday night, January 11 after four sessions of frenetic selling.
Records tumbled with the Book One section surpassing last year's auction returning a record gross and sale average.
Across the four days of the Book One sale $177,407,000 was traded on 709 lots sold at an average price of $250,221 - up 4.34 per cent on last year. The median price jumped from $170,000 to $180,000 while the clearance rate sat just above 87pc.
With all vendors contributing $500 towards the Bushfire Appeal for each horse sold, this high clearance resulted in $354,500 being donated. Another generous donation from Victorian breeder Sean Duke contributing $100,000 of the $160,000 sale price of his Rubik/Tiergarten colt pushed the total funds generated by Magic Millions' vendors, friends and the general Thoroughbred community to an impressive $1.1 million.
International buyers from 12 countries were active. Hong Kong was the 'busiest' with 24 yearlings, followed by New Zealand (21), China (11), the United Kingdom (7) and Japan (4), but that doesn't necessarily reflect those purchases by local trainers on behalf of international clients.
"It's been an amazing sale really," Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch said after the closure of Book One.
"I've mentioned depth a lot this week, but the depth, diversity and strength at all levels of the market - the middle market especially - and to retain an almost 88pc clearance is just a fantastic result. For the first time ever to have a quarter of a million average at this sale - given the sale has 888 lots in it - it's an awesome result.
"Obviously there's a lot of faith in the horses we have here in the complex. Vendors have supported us with as strong a catalogue as we have ever had and they have been very well rewarded for doing so.
"Leading into the sale, a lot of buyers were also very positive about the catalogue. Around the complex, heading in, everything was positive from the buyers' perspective. Vendors, since the sale has been going on, have been very positive, they have been able to find buyers for their horses."
Depth prevailed throughout the catalogue with 75 yearlings selling for $500,000 or more - up from 66 last year - with 10 reaching the 'magic million' mark. Five almost got there, selling for $900,000 and above, while a further seven sold for $800,000 and above.
Queensland vendor Glenlogan Park, Innisplain, sold a Written Tycoon/Hijack Hussy filly for $800,000 to Aquis Farm, Canungra while among the 11 lots which sold for $700,000 and above were an I Am Invincible/Lusitania filly sold for $750,000 to Central Queensland graziers Alan and Jennifer Acton and a filly by Snitzel from former Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Regimental Gal sold for $700,000 to former Mt Isa earthmoving contractors Graham and Linda Huddy who now own the boutique Thoroughbred property Peachester Lodge in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Four of the 'top 10' yearlings were by I Am Invincible, three by Exceed And Excel while the remaining three were by Queensland-bred Written Tycoon, Japanese-based sire Deep Impact and multiple Australian champion sire Redoute's Choice - the latter two sires both dying last year.
Leading vendor by gross was Arrowfield Stud with their 54 lots selling for just shy of $16 million. Arrowfield also rounded out Book One with the sale top seller - a colt by now deceased Japanese-based sire Deep Impact colt from Honesty Prevails finishing top of the table at $1.9 million.
The first foal of former Gold Coast Yearling Sale purchase, group winning juvenile Honesty Prevails, the colt will join the stables of Group 1 winning Sydney trainer Richard Litt with the trainer outlaying $1.9 million on behalf of major owner Ottavio Galletta who owns Litt's Group 1 winner and Cox Plate runner-up Catselvecchio.
The all-time record price for a yearling by star sire Exceed and Excel was set on Day Three when Team Hawkes paid the second top sale price of $1.8 million for a colt from multiple Group 1 winner Platelet after a fierce bidding battle with Coolmore's Tom Magnier. The Cressfield bred and consigned youngster is the second foal of his dam who won the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic and Group 1 the Goodwood in Adelaide among 10 wins.
Melbourne-based bloodstock agent Sheamus Mills fought hard to buy the top priced filly of the sale - the Written Tycoon-Karuta Queen youngster - for $1.5 million. A flashy chestnut, just like her Magic Millions 2YO Classic winning mother, the youngster was offered by John Singleton's Strawberry Hill Stud.
Redoute's Choice rounded out second on the leading sires table (for three or more lots sold) by average at $451,429 - only shy of I Am Invincible who averaged $482,024. Coolmore's record breaker American Pharoah was the leading first season sire averaging $350,000 for 20 lots sold.
Hawkes Racing - who bought the Day Three top seller for $1.8 million - was leading buyer on spend outlaying $7.465 million on 17 lots.
(2019 in brackets)
Lots Catalogued: 888 (888)
Lots Sold: 709 (707)
Lots Passed In: 102 (99)
Lots Withdrawn: 77 (82)
Top Price: $1,900,000 ($1,700,000)
Sale Gross: $177,407,000 ($169,545,000)
Average Price: $250,221 ($239,809)
Median Price: $180,000 ($170,000)
Sold %: 87.4 (87.7)