The Magic Millions National broodmare sale was off to a rousing start May 29 on the Gold Coast, paced by a pair of seven-figure horses from the dispersal of embattled Australian coal magnate Norman Tinkler's Patinack Farm.
Led by the sale of group I winner Nechita, a Fastnet Rock filly, for Aust$1,550,000 ($1,492,354 in United States funds) to Coolmore's Tom Magnier, total receipts soared 110% and average price leapt 51%, compared with last year's corresponding session.
"You could describe today as an epic day's selling," Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox said. "It will be long remembered by those here and all in the industry. It was a great day and a great result."
The second highest price for the day was the Aust$1,050,000 ($1,010,637) paid by Sheikh Mohammed for the superbly bred Sadler's Wells mare Endless, who is a half sister to the dam of undefeated European champion Frankel.
Tinkler's dispersal, which includes more than 300 horses throughout the National sales, saw eight of the top 10 highest prices during the first day of trading for the three-day broodmare session, which saw a robust 85% clearance rate.
Tinkler's business interests have suffered from the slumping price of coal. He told Gold Coast News last month he is selling his racing and breeding empire, quickly amassed in the last several years, because he now spends a lot of time aboard and does not have the time to manage his Thoroughbred operation that includes 1,000 horses and breeding and training facilities in New South Wales and Queensland's Gold Coast.
"Obviously the Patinack Farm horses were a highlight and congratulations to Nathan Tinkler and his team for a great result," said Cox. "Patinack horses aside, the market was very strong at all levels."
Overall, 200 horses sold for an aggregate Aust$16,985,750 ($16,354,697) and an average price of Aust$84,929 ($81,768).
Session topper Nechita is out of the Peintre Celebre mare Artistique, a half sister to two stakes winners. The 3-year-old filly won the Coolmore Stud Ascot Vale Stakes (Aust-I) Nov. 3 at Flemington in what was to be her final career start. Her record of three wins from four career starts for trainer John Thompson also includes the Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (Aus-III) last August at Warwick Farm.
"She will be retired to stud and she will visit Pierro if she stays in Australia, or if she heads to Europe she will be served by Galileo," Magnier said. "We will make a decision when the dust settles and go from there. She's a lovely filly, by a champion stallion, and we're delighted to have her joining a quality Coolmore Stud band of broodmares."
Sheikh Mohammed secured the day's second most expensive horse, Endless, through his Melbourne based bloodstock agent Tim Stakemire.
Unraced, Endless is out of the group III-winning Rainbow Quest mare Rainbow Lake. Her half sister Kind produced Frankel as well as group III winners Bullet Train and Noble Mission. Rainbow Lake also is the dam of U.S. and European group I winner Powescourt and group III winner Last Train.
"I don't think mares with that pedigree come onto the market every day of the week and I'm not sure what we will do yet," Stakemire said. I will speak to Sheikh Mohammed and she might be sent to the Northern Hemisphere; she might stay here."
The National broodmare sale continues May 30, beginning at 10 a.m. Queensland time.