It seems the reputation of the mammoth National Sale on the Queensland Gold Coast in Australia has spread abroad. Hundreds of buyers from all over the globe came to inspect day one of the Magic Millions broodmare section.
And it was one of these tourists that stole the show Tuesday. Tom Magnier, heir apparent to the Coolmore empire created and nurtured by his father, John, shook his fiscal fist at the sale ring. He won a protracted battle to land the 9-year-old mare Surrealist.
She's by Kenny's Best Pal and is the dam of the recent group I Doncaster Handicap winner Racing to Win.
Magnier went to Aust$1.6 million to secure her.
When the gray mare entered the ring, bids came thick and fast from around the complex as the mare's price shot to $1 million before Coolmore's Magnier and renowned Hunter Valley bloodstock agent Tony Bott went head to head in a fierce bidding battle that brought the complex to a standstill.
Michael Kirwan, general manager of Coolmore in Australia, said the mare would be the perfect addition to their stud farm at Jerry's Plains.
"What more can I say," Kirwan said. "Just look at her. She's a magnificent mare. She's only 9, and she fits our criteria."
Surrealist, a strapping individual was presented in foal to exciting young Danehill stallion Fastnet Rock.
"She's in foal to a champion," Kirwan said of the Coolmore based Fastnet Rock. "At this stage she will be foaled down and be served by Encosta de Lago."
A future mating to Encosta de Lago would produce a full sibling to Racing to Win.
The mare was offered at the auction by Neville Stewart's Oaklands Stud as agent and Stewart was delighted with the result for the mare's owner.
"It was a great result," Stewart said. "She was a great mare and she deserved a big price. Mares don't come much better than her."
Racing to Win has won six races including the group I double of the George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Handicap. His other stakes win has come in the group II Hobartville Stakes. As well as being the dam of Racing to Win, Surrealist is also responsible for the Melbourne winner and stakes-placed Distilled.
Another millionaire made her way to the ring before the day ended, this time a 3-year-old group I winning daughter of Vinery shuttler More Than Ready
. Named Carry On Cutie she was purchased by a group named Accamac Holdings who went to Aust$1 million to secure her. They also spent a further Aust$350,000 on another mare.
All up, day one was a phenomenal success with 135 lots sold (195 last year). The session aggregate was Aust$15,136,500 (U.S.$11,225,000). Last year the gross was Aust$13,984,850. The average rose to Aust$112,122 (U.S.$71,717).