Fastnet Rock Trio Rules Magic Millions Opener

Top-priced yearlings bought by trainer Gai Waterhouse buying partner James Harron.

A trio of offspring by Australian leading sire Fastnet Rock commanded the top prices at the opening session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale Jan. 9, all acquired by trainer Gai Waterhouse buying partner James Harron.

The pair teamed to buy eight horses, including the co-session toppers, a colt and filly by Fastnet Rock, each for $500,000 (approximately US$525,598). Overall, the pair purchased eight horses for $2.53 million ($2,659,525 US) to rank as the leading buyer on day one.

Trading was solid for the first session as total receipts, average price, and median figure were all up from last year's opening session.

Magic Millions reported 135 horses as sold for an aggregate $17,372,500 (US$18,262,806), an increase of 17.8% from last year, when 124 horses sold. Average price was $128,685 ($135,280), up 8.1%, and medium was $105,000 ($110,381), a 5% uptick. The clearance rate was 77.1%, an improvement from 74.4% at the corresponding session in 2012.

Coolmore stands Fastnet Rock at its New South Wales facility in the Hunter Valley. The 11-year-old son of Danehill ranked as Australia's leading sire for the 2011-12 season, and currently ranks atop the 2012-13 general sires' list in terms of progeny earnings with $5,251,339 ($5,522,282).

Coolmore as agent consigned the session-topping colt and filly, both of which will be shipped to Waterhouse's Randwick stables.

The filly was the first of the co-top prices through the ring and is a half sister to Australian group II winner Jolie Bay, who was group I-placed. She was produced by group III winner Legally Bay, a daughter of Snippets who was twice placed at the group I level.

"She is the best bred filly out of a top class mare," Waterhouse said. "How can you go wrong? She has a gorgeous demeanor."

Initially leaving the ring unsold, the colt ultimately sold to Waterhouse and Harron for the co-highest price. He is out of stakes-winning Royal Academy mare Liberty Rose, who is the dam of stakes winner Grand Jardin and group stakes-placed Pontiana.

Denise Martin, of racehorse syndication operation Star Thoroughbreds, paid the co-second-highest price of $460,000 ($483,530) to secure a Fastnet Rock colt out of Australian group I-placed stakes winner My Lady's Chamber, by Arena. The bay colt was offered by Lomar Park Stud, New South Wales.

Martin, a good friend and partner of Waterhouse, was the session's second-leading buyer, acquiring nine horses for $970,000 ($1,019,773).

A colt from the first crop of Wanted, a group I-winning son of Fastnet Rock who stands at Eliza Park in Victoria, also brought $460,000 when bought late in the session by Hong Kong-based George Moore Bloodstock.

Consigned by Newgate Farm, agent, the  bay colt is out of the Arena mare Regal Arena, who is a half sister to Australian group I winner Regal Cheer. Newgate Farm in Scone paid the sale-topping price of $255,000 at last year's Magic Millions National weanling sale and enjoyed a handsome return on him as a yearling as Moore prevailed in a spirited bidding duel to acquire the bay colt.

Vin Cox, Magic Millions managing director, was pleased with the opening session and said he is looking forward to the rest of the sale.

"The gross, average, median, and clearance are all up a bit on last year's opening session, but last year's sale's figures did rise and we're hoping this can happen again this year," Cox said.

"We had a great spread of buyers and importantly we have some outstanding youngsters to go under the hammer over the coming few days."

The sale continues Jan. 10 with the second session, which begins at 11 a.m. local time.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.