(Edited Magic Millions press release)
The team from Darley Australia purchased the most expensive horse sold June 5 during the second session of the Magic Millions national broodmare auction on Australia’s Gold Coast. John Sunderland signed the $500,000 (approximately $400,905 in U.S. funds) sale ticket for Belcentra, a stakes-winning Bel Esprit mare that is in foal to Exceed and Excel.
Segenhoe Stud consigned Belcentra.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Australia also purchased Only She Can (in foal to Exceed and Excel) for Aust$390,000 ($312,706) and Heat of the Fire (in foal to Flying Spur) for Aust$260,000 ($208,471).
"We bought three mares today that all filled the same bracket," said Darley Australia’s managing director Henry Plumptre. "They are young stakes-performed mares with good conformation and in foal to good, proven stallions. All of the mares had good, solid families under them."
According to Plumptre, competition was strong on the quality lots presented. He expected Belcentra to be easier to buy prior to the auction.
"Early in the sale the market showed that the quality mares were popular,” Plumptre said. “We didn't think we would have to pay so much for her earlier on, but we had to raise our sights. There is a bit more confidence at this sale than there was at Easter time. Our ultimate aim is to produce nice racehorses for the boss to race, and you'd have to be unlucky not to get a nice one from these three mares purchased today."
During the auction’s first two sessions, 346 horses were sold for a gross of Aust$19,442,000 ($15,588,790) and an average price of Aust$56,191 ($45,055). The clearance rate was 77.4%.