A colt by red-hot Coolmore Stud sire Fastnet Rock stole the show Jan. 12 during the second session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. After a few tense minutes of competition, prominent bloodstock agents James Bester and Demi O'Byrne, who were representing Coolmore, were the winners when auctioneer Steve Davis dropped his gavel at Aust$960,000 ($988,291 in U.S. funds).
Interest in the colt was strong with no fewer than three parties bidding Aust$900,000 ($926,523) or more.
Coolmore's Tom Magnier said he was delighted to be able to acquire the stunning colt consigned by Ian Smith's Edinburgh Park.
"He is on fire at the moment," Magnier said of Fastnet Rock. "James (Bester) and Demi (O'Byrne) absolutely loved the horse and they were raving about him all week. We are really trying to get the good Fastnet Rock colts. He has plenty of quality and we really wanted to buy him.
"We knew there were plenty of people interested in him and we would have to do a bit of fighting to get him," Magnier added.
The colt is out of the Bite the Bullet mare Rose of Cimmaron.
Another highlight of the session was the sale of Strawberry Hill Stud's More Than Ready filly out of Sugar Babe for $600,000 ($617,682). Gai Waterhouse and James Harron outlasted the Segenhoe Stud team to secure the star filly.
The second session results helped boost the sale gross to Aust$35,530,000 ($36,577,100) for the 262 horses that were sold. The average price was Aust$127,977 ($131,748) and the median price was Aust$100,000 ($102,947). Last year, the figures at the same point included a gross of Aust$34,980,500, an average of Aust$127,202, and a median of Aust$90,000.
The clearance rate was 81% compared to 77% in 2011.
"We couldn't be much happier with today's proceedings," said Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox. "Competition was strong throughout the day and it was great to see some outstanding results for vendors from around the country. To see the clearance rate at 81% for the sale is terrific considering at the same stage of the sale last year we were hovering around 77%."