The clearance rate is up and the money is here for the top-of-the-line yearlings at the Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions yearling sale on Australia’s Gold Coast. The second session ended Tuesday with a colt reaching Aust$1million (approximately $945,000 in U.S. funds). Sadly though, confidence in the middle to low market isn't all that strong and auctioneers have to work hard to extract bids.
Fortunately for Magic Millions, Patinack Farm seems to have an endless supply of currency and they bought up big. But Dynamic Syndications, the brainchild of ace syndicater Dean Watt, secured the top lot, a big, faultless colt by Redoute's Choice from Savannah Success (by Success Express). The colt is a half-brother to Cox Plate (Aust-I) winner Savabeel, who is now at stud.
Watt bought him and would have gone further as he was in love with the horse.
"I came here to buy him," Watt said, "And I still had ammo left. I actually thought he would fetch more as to me he ticked all the boxes on every level."
And renowned veterinarian Tim Roberts agreed.
"Just superb,” he said. “I could not fault him. He is a great buy at that price."
Watt four years ago sat in this very complex about six tables away from where he was on Tuesday afternoon, and watched as his then boss, trainer Graeme Rogerson, paid Aust$400,000 for a Zabeel colt later named Savabeel.
"I loved him from the moment we got him ,and it was my job to syndicate him," Watt remembered. "And he was a brilliant racehorse. He won the Cox Plate as a 3-year-old and came back after a spell to run a cracking second in the Orr Stakes (Aust-I) first up. Then we inoculated him for a trip to Hong Kong, and he got sick. He got very sick, but ‘Rogey’ still raced him and he went awful. Two starts he ran him while ill and it took its toll on him. He was never the same horse again and the world never got too see just how talented he was. He was a champion and on that basis, when this colt came up, I was so hoping he'd be a cracking type. And he is. Then when Tim liked everything about him, well that just clinched the deal for me. Plus, I am a huge fan of the Jack Werk matings and I actually pay them to do pedigrees. He told me this colt was the best in the catalogue so I just had to buy him."
Watt, who had the colt syndicated within an hour of purchase, said John Hawkes would be the horse's trainer.
Patinack Farm was very busy again through the deeds of its buyers, but owner Nathan Tinkler was in Sydney working. Operations manager Roger Langley revealed there would be a press conference in April for the world's media to talk to Tinkler, who to date has remained aloof from the media and shy.
But his orders must have been succinct as his buyers purchased a further 29 yearlings to add to the burgeoning number they already have.
Tinkler also recently bought the racing stables of Gillian Heinrich on the Gold Coast where many of these babies will start. Anthony Cummings in Sydney at Randwick will be the team's leading trainer while former jockey and now emerging trainer Patrick Payne will have access to some who will race in Victoria.
Patinack Farm also was the buyer of a colt by Redoute's Choice from the Timber Country mare Redwood. She was unraced but is a half-sister to group 1 winner Lotteria. Baramul Stud consigned the colt, and he fetched Aust$800,000.
Patinack Farm, unlike others who have entered the Thoroughbred fray with such gusto in recent years, is buying all types of horses at varying prices. They went as low as Aust$75,000 to purchase one hip, a filly by the extraordinary Australian stallion Show A Heart, who sired the Aust $1-million race winner last Monday.
Patinack Farm also went to Aust$800,000 a second time to buy a colt by Coolmore's Encosta de Lago from the Barathea mare St. Katherine, who is a daughter of the wonder broodmare St. Klaire. St. Katherine is a half-sister to four stakes horses, two of them having been to the barn to produce stakes winners also.
Buyers from England, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Scotland, Japan, South Africa, and Hong Kong all spent up on day two, with Charles Laird from South Africa opening up the most. He told the gathered media at this sale three days ago that all of the ones he buys this year will stay in Australia as he has applied to come and train down here permanently.
On Tuesday. one of his highest was a colt by boom freshman sire Exceed And Excel from the Two Punch mare Punchess for which he paid Aust$580,000. Punchess won four races in the United States and her only foal to race in Australia is by Fasliyev and is a 3-year-old named Fantene. She has won in the city and is going places as she has amazing early gate speed.
The sale, which goes for another week, had an 82.2% clearance rate following Tuesday’s session and an average of Aust$150,420 for the 286 horses sold. The gross was Aust$43,020,000.
The whisper is that a colt from the Sunday Silence stakes-placed mare Touched By God will reach Aust$2 million during Wednesday's session.