Magic Millions National Sale Opens Impressively

On Sunday in Queensland, Australia, day one of the biggest Thoroughbred sale in southern hemisphere history began.

There are 2,560 horses catalogued in three long sessions over 14 days. The categories also include weanlings and broodmares. Firstly, it's the yearlings, and on Sunday a Galileo colt topped the bidding.

The 2006 Magic Millions National Sale's first day realized 140 yearlings going through the ring and selling.

Collectively they reached a gross of Aust$3,123,600 - the average price of Aust$22,311 was strong.

The top price for the session of Aust$140,000 was bid by leading local trainer John Wallace for a colt by the most impressive freshman shuttle sire Galileo.

Magic Millions managing director David Chester said the quality yearlings during today's session made their right price - but all in all it was a "buyers market."

"I would have liked to have seen the clearance rate a little higher," Chester said, (65 lots passed in). "We expanded the catalogue to three days due to incredible demand from breeders and buyers in turn have been able to be more particular with their choices."

"I have no doubt that all of the buyers today will be back again next year," Chester added. "They were the big winners and they will look back and realize what great value shopping it was."

"The average price of over Aust$22,300 is pretty good when you consider we had a yearling sell for Aust$400,000 on the same day last year - and today no yearling sold for more than Aust$140,000."

Buyers during day one's frantic session included prominent Australian trainers John Wallace, Bryan Guy, Ron Maund, Bruce McLachlan, Leon Macdonald, Clarry Conners, Dale Sutton, Gillian Heinrich, Chris Wood, Lee Hope and David Payne.

International buyers included New Zealand's David Ellis, Singapore's Joseph Loong, John Sargent, Frank Maynard, Paul Willetts, South Africa's Andy Williams and Irealand's Dermot Farrington.

The second session of the National Yearling Sale will be staged from 11am (local time) on Monday.