Kavanagh Again Spends Big at Adelaide Sale

This time last year, South Australian trainer Mark Kavanagh was allowed to spend $380,000 of someone else's money. He ended up buying the top lot at the Adelaide Magic Millions yearling sale.

On day one this year, he was again entrusted with a wad full of cash and this time he spent $250,000 on a big, leggy filly by Australian sire sensation General Nediym.

It was day one's most expensive purchase.

Consigned and bred by South Australia's Mill Park Stud in partnership with Bob Dinham, the filly was the subject of keen attention from buyers with at least three influential parties competing to take her home.

After an opening bid of $100,000, the bidding jumped immediately to $200,000 and then rose in $10,000 increments to a quarter of a million dollars.

Kavanagh was surrounded by stable clients, to whom the filly was syndicated virtually on the spot. And the confidence in Kavanagh is somewhat justified as that sale topper from last year, a big colt by Fusaichi Pegasus, was stakes placed at his very first outing. Anyway, this year's filly topper on day one really caught his eye.

"She was a nicely balanced filly," Kavanagh said. "A nice walker and the best filly here."
Kavanagh knows the filly's family well. He trains her half-sister Divine
Madonna, who ran fourth in Wednesday's group I Robert Sangster Stakes.

"I'm hoping this filly will turn out very cheap as I have a huge opinion of Divine Madonna," Kavanagh said. Kavanagh will be hoping the filly can follow in the footsteps of another Mill Park graduate purchased by the Morphettville horseman in recent years, the group I Blue Diamond Stakes winner Undoubtedly.

Mill Park has an outstanding record of producing quality yearlings at the Adelaide Sale that have graduated to be stars on the racetrack. Fifteen percente of all foals born under the Mill Park banner have graduated to be stakes winners.

Last year another leading Morphettville trainer, Leon Macdonald, paid $230,000 for the previous yearling from My Madonna by Gilded Time. Both that and this filly are half-sisters to Group winner Blessum.

The opening day of Adelaide's biggest sale reaped almost $6 million for Magic Millions as 166 yearlings were sold at an average price of more than $36,000. There were 240 catalogued on the opening day, a pass-in rate that is of some concern.

Magic Millions managing director David Chester said he was pleased with how the quality yearlings were the subject of plenty of interest.

"As has been the case with all yearling sales in Australia this year and around the world, the top offerings of the day were well received by a top class buying bench," Chester said.