Momentum Slows at Magic Millions Sale

The momentum slowed, only just enough for everyone to catch their collective breaths, but still earnest bidding highlighted day 4 on a balmy Sunday at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale in Australia.

The session was impacted after of the real sale showcases -- a colt by Fusaichi Pegasus  from the Seattle Slew mare Storminwinter was withdrawn. He was taken out mainly because the breeders simply wanted to hang onto him. He has a half-brother by Danehill named California Dane who is on track to become a top racehorse and therefore a stallion prospect.

Anyway, for those that did turn up for sale, all went well and it was South African trainer Charles Laird who yet again cornered the market. He bid $825,000 for the regally bred Coolmore presented Rock Of Gibraltar-Uberfrau (by Sadler's Wells) filly. Many good bidders were on it but Laird, who bids like the Sheikhs do when he wants something, just kept going.

It was Uberfrau's first foal and the family boasts many North American stars such as Frizette Stakes winner Proud Lou, who is this filly's great grandmother. Lairdnabbed the top lot but quite a few others stood out for mention too.

Former Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Success Express (Hold Your Peace-Au Printemps) who is now domiciled in Australia and is 18 years old, has had a sales resurgence with his four yearlings averaging $130,000 off his $10,000 service fee. His best of day 4 was a really racy filly from the Best Western mare Western Show who has already produced a stakes winner. This filly fell to the bid of champion trainer Gai Waterhouse for $185,000.

Galileo (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea) had a big bay colt fetch $310,000 and the page had stallion prospect written all over it. The dam is Academic, who was stakes placed and who has thrown a stakes placed runner already. Another daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar from the Hennessy stakes winner Allez France, stood out too. She fetched $420,000.

Trevor Lobb, the racing manager of the powerful Ingham Bloodstock machine had been quiet at the sale but his presence was carefully watched. He was the man who paid $2.5 million last Easter at the rival Inglis Easter Sale for the three-quarter brother to champion Makybe Diva which to this day is still an Australian yearling record.

Well, he liked one by Encosta de Lago here at the Magic Millions and he went after it. The filly was a cracker, a real standout and she was from a stakes winning Anabaa mare named Anacarde. Lobb beat out a team of rivals to secure her for $600,000. "Looks a standout runner to me," he said.

The other star lot was purchased by leading trainer Tim Martin on behalf of a syndicate. It was by More Than Ready  from the stakes winning Lake Conistan mare Aragonce. Bidding opened at $300,000 and stopped at $425,000. Vinery presented this filly, marking a day of powerful filly buys.

The average for the sale remains at record levels hovering around the $140,000 mark.