Anne M. Eberhardt/Blood-Horse Publications

Australian Sale Grosses $2.1 Million

Australian trainer Leon Macdonald pays top price of $160,000 for Galileo filly.

Despite Australia being right in the middle of the fall, the temperature on day one of the Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale was staggering. And the sale was conducted in the evening!

Everyone was sweating as the mercury soared past 104 degrees - and it's hard to say if uncomfortable weather affects buyers. As it was, the top price paid on the day was a surprise because it was paid for a daughter of Galileo--and even though he is a star in Europe as a stallion--he has been a spectacular failure as a sire in Australia.

Local South Australian trainer Leon Macdonald, an astute judge of horse flesh, paid top price of Aus$160,000 for a filly by Coolmore shuttler Galileo (it's the first foal out of the dual-winning 9-year-old Flying Spur mare Sizzie ’em) during Monday night’s opening session at the three-day sale at Morphettville. The filly was consigned by Mill Park Stud as agent.

And as if to keep masculine pride going, Flying Spur himself was responsible for the next highest. Peter Katelanis paid Aus$145,000 for a filly by the current champion sire of Australia and former group I Golden Slipper-winning Arrowfield Stud stallion Flying Spur (it's the ninth foal out of the stakes-winning 17-year-old Zeditave mare Super Snooper) consigned by Caithness Breeding as agent for Walnaring Stud.

The filly’s dam, Super Snooper, is a half-sister to group III winner Watch (dam of group III winner Overclock), stakes winner and group I-placed Agent Provocative, and stakes-placed Adcaris. Her six foals to race are all winners (including stakes winner Forest Spy).

Overall during the opening night's session, 66 yearlings sold for Aus$2.166 million at an average $32,818. Managing director David Chester commented: "While disappointed with the clearance rate of only 65.4%, I thought the session was pleasing. Considering the yearlings we've got to sell, I think the session had some positives. Each year, new stakes stars graduate from the Adelaide ring: three of the stakes-winners at Morphettville's races today were local buys, including Adelaide Cup winner Lacey Underall. This sale is the value sale of the country: where else can you buy such bright prospects so cheaply?"

As Chester pointed out, preceding the sale was a race day at Morphettville--run in extremely conditions -- where the running of the group II Adelaide Cup over two miles took place.

Eliza Park Stud shuttler Desert Sun (Green Desert--Solar, by Hotfoot), the sire of former Australasian superstar Sunline, added a major group staying success when his 5-year-old daughter Lacey Underall (out of Flirted, by Bluebird) made up for her desperately unlucky runner-up effort last year (and then being denied her objection claim against the winner) with a 1 3/4-length victory over 18 rivals this year.

Lacey Underall (ridden by Dwayne Dunn for trainer Dan O’Sullivan) finished powerfully from third-last to defeat front-running imported 6-year-old gelding Cefalu (Dushyantor---Cristal, by Semenenko) and the fast-finishing fellow 6-year-old gelding Tails Of Triomphe (Archway--Spinning Heads, by Bestebreuje). Lacey Underall (a $30,000 yearling at the 2004 Magic Millions Adelaide Sale) now has five wins and nine placings from 43 starts for earnings of Aus$477,160.