The prolific and huge spending newcomers to Australian Thoroughbreds, Patinack Farm, paid top price of Aus$1.3 million (about US$1.1million)  for broodmare prospect To Be Surprised (a half-sister to boom Darley stallion and leading Australian first season sire Exceed And Excel) during the Magic Millions August Thoroughbred Sale on the Queensland Gold Coast.

The beautifully bred To Be Surprised, by Arrowfield Stud's most expensive stallion Redoute's Choice and from the great producer Patrona, was offered i -foal to New Zealand's multiple champion sire Zabeel. On the track herself, To Be Surprised (consigned by Racetree as agent) won three times in Sydney during her brief career.

Commenting on the purchase, Patinack's racing manager Rick Connelly said: "She is a really wonderful prospect. We're getting together a great lineup of mares and To Be Surprised will fit in nicely. We will get her home and then decide which of our stallions she will visit."

Overall at the Magic Millions August Sale, 129 horses sold for a record Aus$3,709,800 (up 605% on last year's 121 sold for $525,575). The $28,758 average was up 664% (last year $4,344) and the clearance rate was 87% (last year 80%).

Magic Millions managing director David Chester added: "Breeders and vendors are now realizing that sales such as this are a fantastic place to offer their quality stock and their entries are competed over strongly by astute buyers. To have a broodmare sell for $1.3 million was a real highlight: a mare with her page and covering is rarely offered in this part of the world."

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