By Ric Chapman
Coolmore consigned the colt that roared to the lead as day three of Magic Million's yearling sale on the Gold Coast in Australia concluded.Again it was a Danehill colt, but this time it was bought by a foreigner. New Zealand's big spending bloodstock agent, Rob McAnulty, loved the nicely framed Danehill--Riveryev colt. The best Danehills have all been bays and this colt was built very much in his dad's image. And his dam was placed in France before producing a group III winning, two-time victorious juvenile winner there too."This colt is a lovely yearling," McAnulty said. "He has what I really
like in a Danehill -- he has lots of style, walked well enough, and I have had a lot of luck with the Danehills I have bought in the past."The prominent kiwi buyer still holds the all time record for a Magic Millions top price with the purchase of triple stakes winner Danbird (also by Danehill) in 2002. He went to $1.1 million to buy the brother to Golden Slipper winner Catbird, who incidentally has turned into a sought after stallion at this sale too. The Catbirds are averging just over $100,000 off a $12,000 stud fee.But Danehill has been the star thus far. He is averaging just on $400,000 at this his last Magic Millions sale, and he is responsible for the top three lots thus far too -- all consigned by Coolmore who surprisingly, have not kept an interest in any of them.Michael Kirwin, general manager of Coolmore in Australia, said simply, "they have brought good money for themselves and we have enough Danehill blood to keep us going."The fourth session is expected to bring its own fair share of fireworks and Kirwin hinted the $1.1m record may be given a nudge when lot 583 is paraded...and yes he's a Danehill but he is not being offered by Coolmore. He's from the Kris mare Sorb Apple who has a lovely pedigree and who herself was an Irish winner.But day three's top lot set tongues wagging when he walked in and before the auctioneer had time to fully introduce him, McAnulty scared all rivals by opening with a half-million dollar bid. The buzz that had been missing in the first two days, suddenly revealed itself. The casual walking colt's price rose rapidly henceforth with $50,000 bids up to $800,000 before two final $25,000 offerings pushed the colt's final price to $850,000.The Wadham Park team headed by trainer Dale Sutton were the underbidders.It is the second high profile lot in which they have been the underbidders. They were outbid by Graeme Rogerson for the Danehill colt from Marigot Bay.McAnulty said no decision would be made "just yet" on a trainer for the youngster. But he did say "he will kick off his racing career in Australia".The final sale price of $850,000 was McAnulty's limit. "I was out of bullets."Danehill was responsible for second highest price on day three too when Rogerson bought the filly by Danehill from Numero Privee (by Private Account). Numero Privee is a half-sister to the dam of prominent U.S. sprinter Confide, who won three grade III races in the US including the Swale Stakes.Encosta de Lago, sitting in the wings until the Danehill phenomenon recedes before assuming the mantle as Australia's top stallion, was third highest on the night when his bay colt from Nothings Secret fetched $450,000 to the bid of Victorian trainer Rick Hore-Lacey.Nothings Secret was bred and born in the U.S. and is a half-sister to the French group I winner Northjet.Fusaichi Pegasus , surprisngly is not having a great sale, averaging just $160,000 but Giant's Causeway is doing a tad better averaging $165,000. Both have big horses coming on day four with Fu Peg's lot 695 from the mare Will Fly, consigned by Coolmore, expected to reach close to $500,000.