Prominent U.S.-based owners Jon and Sarah Kelly secured a Redoute's Choice colt in the first seven-figure transaction of this year's Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale Jan. 10 in Queensland.
Coincidentally, in making their first purchase at the sale, the newcomers from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. bought the colt for $1 million ($894,814 in U.S. dollars) from John and Sarah Kelly of Australian consignor Newhaven Park.
Seated next to Jon Kelly, trainer Gai Waterhouse and bloodstock agent John Harron outbid Damion Flower and Gerald Ryan to secure the handsome bay colt out of the winning Encosta de Lago mare Hades. He is the second foal out of his dam, who is a daughter of 2003 Australian champion 2-year-old filly Hasna.
Current plans call for the session-topping colt to remain in Australia to race with Waterhouse.
"He is probably the nicest young colt in the sale," said Jon Kelly, a retired television and radio executive who, with his wife, has campaigned a number of stakes winners including grade I winners Borrego
, whom they bred and campaigned as majority owners in a partnership, and Vacare
"He has a great shoulder and hip on him. He might go as far as a mile. He needs to grow a little bit, but he has all the goods," Kelly said. "He is from a beautiful mare, so he is very well bred and he meets the criteria that I set up for acquisitions, so I am very pleased to buy him."
Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox and the Kelly family have been friends for many years.
"It gave me great personal satisfaction with the sale of the colt to Jon and Sarah," Cox said. "You could say I was even a little emotional."
Also on the sale's third day, Coolmore's Tom Magnier went to the session's second-highest price of $700,000 ($628,648) for a Fastnet Rock colt out of Headway, Australia's champion 2-year-old filly of 2008-2009.
The colt was consigned by Milburn Creek, agent for Tony and Deslee Santic's Makybe.
Redoute's Choice and Fastnet Rock dominated the five highest prices on the day, with Arrowfield Stud's Redoute's Choice filly out of Luna Bella selling for the third-highest price of $500,000 ($448,921) to Harron.
Trainer Chris Waller went to $460,000 ($413,023) to land Newgate Farm's Fastnet Rock filly out of group I-placed Fleur De'Here.
Waterhouse and Harron teamed again to buy Newgate Farm's Fastnet Rock filly out of I Promise
for the co-fifth highest price of $400,000 ($359,263).
Baramul Stud's Street Cry
colt out of Kakakakatie
sold for the same price to Medallion Thoroughbreds as did Coolmore's Encosta de Lago
colt out of Melito
, who sold to Katsumi Yoshida of Japan.
"It's been a remarkable few days and the spirited bidding continues," Cox said at the conclusion of the third day of trading.
"It's great to see the clearance rate still over 88%; that is a phenomenal result and a credit to our team for selecting a catalog of horses that so appealed to buyers."
There have been 455 horses to sell thus far for a cumulative aggregate of $63,447,500 ($56,969,082), a gain of 13.7% compared with the first three days at last year's sale.
The cumulative average price of $139,445 ($125,239) is up 4.2% and the cumulative median $120,000 ($107,770) is 14.3% higher.
The Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale continues Jan. 11, starting at 6 p.m. local time.