Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale Opens Thursday

Hot on the heels of the much heralded arrival of publicity icon Paris Hilton to Australia this week comes the news California-based actress Tara Reid will join her and then head to the Gold Coast for the Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions yearling sale, which starts Thursday.

And on Thursday, it was also revealed that a colt in the sale has already attracted an Aust$2million offer (approximately $1,576,740 in U.S. funds), which has been turned down. The colt is a son of Redoute's Choice and is being offered by Coolmore.

Gerry Harvey, the chairman of Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions, said this year's event will set a new benchmark for Magic Millions and is testament to the fact that Australian horse-racing has come of age.

"Once, Australia's only claim to racing fame was the Melbourne Cup (Aust-I), now we have the AJC Autumn Carnival in Sydney and the Queensland's Magic Millions, in summer, attracting the hottest horses, trainers and now women in the world," he said. "We've established ourselves as one of the cornerstone events on the bloodstock sale calendar anywhere in the world, and this year it will also be one of the top international glamour racing events."

The Magic Millions staff is expecting crowds of over 6,000 each of the first five days of the sale and worked hard to lure Reid to the sales and the marquee Magic Millions race day on January 13.

Final preparations are underway for the massive sale where over 1,600 yearlings will be sold over seven days. Already, hundreds of yearlings have arrived at the Bundall complex, with hundreds more expected in the coming days. By this weekend, many leading agents and trainers from around the world -  including Demi O'Byrne, John Ferguson, and Teruya Yoshida - will be inspecting a number of the region's finest yearlings.

"The complex is really coming to life," said Magic Millions managing director David Chester. "It's a really exciting time, and the excitement is really building. "The buyers who come out are so impressed they keep coming back. They know there's plenty of horses in the catalogue to suit their needs. With horses selling at prices for as little as a few thousand dollars up past a couple of million, there really is something for everyone."

At last year's sale, records were set for the top price, average price, and gross revenue. A colt by Red Ransom sent the complex into a spin when he sold to leading trans-Tasman trainer Graeme Rogerson for Aust$1.55 million.

Chester said he was hopeful more records would be set next week.

"The catalog is truly outstanding, and there are a number of yearlings in the sale that would be highlight horses in any sale in the world," he said.

Obvious standouts are yearlings by Arrowfield Stud's champion Redoute's Choice, and  the super sire has dozens of yearlings cataloged including Lot 1.

The first yearling to step into the ring next week is the full-sister to group-performed mare One in a Million. The filly is from the stakes winning Zeditave mare Happen.

Also in the catalog by Redoute's Choice are a full-sister to group I winner Snitzel, a three-quarter brother to major winner Undoubtedly, and youngsters from stakes winning mares including Isolda and Liberty Rose.

It's the Liberty Rose that Coolmore expects will fetch over Aust$2million.

Coolmore Stud's star resident sire sensation Encosta de Lago has an impressive draft of yearlings too. A number are amongst the finest individuals in the catalog.