Only champion racehorses can accelerate when challenged. When they are going flat out, straining everything, only the genuine superstars can find that something extra. Well, this pretty much summed up Patinack Farm's effort on day four of the Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions yearling sale on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Patinack was challenged March 27. You'd think the farm would have been feeling the pinch as it had already spent a large fortune on more than 50 yearlings. And yet, despite that, Patinack stretched out to claim not once, but twice, the Magic Millions record for a yearling. The operation bought two colts each at the ecord price of Aust $2.2million (approximately $2,025,000 in U.S. funds).
The first was a long-barreled stallion hope by Redoute's Choice from the top producing Dance Floor mare Gypsy Dancer, who herself sold last year in a broodmare sale for Aust$1.5 million. The colt is a half-brother to the perennial superstar sprinter and former champion Australian 2-year-old Dance Hero (by Danzero), who has won countless group Is and more than Aust$4 million in purse money. The Aust$2.2 million paid by Patinack Farm for this Coolmore Stud offering eclipsed the previous Magic Millions record of Aust$2 million paid for a colt by Sadler's Wells last year.
About two hours later. Patinack was at it again, going to the same price to claim the half-brother to its own group I-winning stallion hope Casino Prince. Offered by Baramul Stud, the colt is by Redoute's Choice and out of the top-producing mare Lady Capel (by Last Tycoon). Many anticipated it would be the sale topper and when bidding opened at Aust$1,050,000 the room fell silent. Everyone knew something special was about to happen. As it was, he struggled once he reached Aust$2 million , but like the other equal sale topper, this deeply colored bay colt looked like a star in both presence and size.
Patinack Farm, which is making its first foray into Thoroughbreds, is now up to 100 yearlings purchased since it initially launched at Karaka in New Zealand in January.
The first of the Aust$2.2-million colts on day four, was pinhooked at last June's Magic Millions national weanling sale for an Australasian record of Aust$1.15 million by Coolmore Stud, which also that same day bought his dam.
Patinack's managing director, Roger Langley, said he was delighted to buy what he described as one of the top colts of the sale.
"He's from a mare who produced one of the best juveniles of modern time," Langley said.
Dance Hero won the Golden Slipper (Aust-I) of his year and did the unimaginable by also winning the juvenile Triple Crown - three group I races within a 14-day period.
"This colt is a cracking individual and has a real stallion's pedigree, Langley added. “I personally think he's one of the best colts of the sale."
Langley said the colt would "most likely" be trained by leading Sydney horseman Anthony Cummings, although the farm is also using Gai Waterhouse and she was the trainer of Dance Hero.
Patinack Farm has spent Aust$18,255,000 (U.S.$17,850,000) on 55 outstanding young prospects at this sale thus far.
Coolmore Stud's Tom Magnier was delighted with the sale of the star of their draft.
"It's a great result for everyone," the young Irishman said. "Deep down, I was hoping for Aust$2 million, but at a sale you never know. This is the first colt we've pinhooked and it's been a great success."
The day started under inclement weather but it didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm. Selling was brisk. Kris Lees, a top trainer who was buying on behalf of Magic Millions' part-owner John Singleton, went to $250,000 for a Zabeel filly which seemed to capture more attention than any horse at the complex. It was mainly because she was the first official white yearling ever sold at public auction in Australia.
Newspapers, television and radio media were there to capture her every move in and out of the ring and her sale made mainstream media coverage all over Australia.
"There are a bunch of footy players and Singo (John Singleton) in the syndicate," said Lees, who will train her. "I didn't have any more in the budget and we are happy to get her. She is particularly well bred if you look past her color. Zabeel is one of the greatest stallions ever down here, and I am happy the boys wanted me to buy her."
March 29 is a rest day, as is March 30, as the lower class yearlings make their way to the complex. The fifth day, set for Mareh 31 is the last of the premier section of the sale and U.S. pinhooker John Brocklebank, who has purchased two high priced colts thus far, is going to buy up big then, so he claims.
"This place is a gold mine waiting to be exploited. The quality of yearlings here is out of this world and my wife and I just love the Gold Coast," he said.
The sale's cumulative figures through the first four days are 686 yearlings sold, a gross of Aust$107,922,500, and an average of Aust$157,321. The clearance rate was 82.5%.