MM Record-Setting Colt Gets Second Chance

Every new owner's nightmare occurred on Friday in Adelaide when the Magic Millions record-breaking Fusaichi Pegasus  colt failed his scope and voided the sale, it was officially announced Feb. 25.

At the Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale in Australia, all tongues were wagging on Wednesday when multi-millionaire businessman Rod Menzies spent (Aus)$330,000 on the colt, thus establishing a MM Adelaide Sale record. Just as many tongues were clicking on Thursday when it was rumored all was not well with the hulking colt.

Before that though, Menzies and his trainer Joe Hall, joined the man who bid on their behalf, Tony Cavanagh, to whoop it up. They knew on type that they had found a superstar. But their partying turned to despair when the big colt failed his mandatory post-sale scope and Menzies, under the rules of Thoroughbred auctioneering, was allowed to exercise his right to decline to the sale. Which is what he reluctantly did.

Magic Millions managing director David Chester was mystified. "The horse clearly passed his pre-sale scoping," said Chester shaking his head. "That was just 10 days before the sale so I'd imagine he has just picked up a respiratory virus in the last couple of days."

On that assumption, the under-bidder on the colt, local South Australian trainer Mark Kavanagh decided to take his vet over to the colt. After a long examination, Kavanagh said, "In the opinion of my vet, the problem is nothing more than a throat infection and I have told the vendor that I'd be happy to buy him at the under-bidder's price which was $320,000. He has agreed to sell at that price, so, following that, we have had the horse sent to the Morphetville Vet Clinic to undergo treatment and to monitor him."

Kavanagh did impose a 'get-out' clause that was also accepted by the vendor. "If after 60 days he still has an inflamed throat, the sale will fall through," added Kavanagh.

The decision by Menzies to walk away from an animal that he truly admired completed a frustrating sale for him. He was under-bidder on the sale's second-highest priced colt, a dashing looking fellow by Encosta de Lago on day one, but at the time reasoned he still had an ace up his sleeve.

And it was the Fu Peg baby. He bought it only to lose it and consequently ended up with nothing from the sale.

"We will live to fight another day," he said.

If the A$320,000 sale goes through, it will stand as a MM Adeliade Yearling sale record. The Fusaichi Pegasus colt's dam, So Gorgeous, was a multiple stakes winner of (Aus) $500,000 and was very fast.

If the infection is just a passing problem, Kavanagh may have won the jackpot.