Danehill Yearlings, Rogerson's Purchases Highlight Magic Millions Sale

By Ric Chapman
Day two of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in Australia yielded a AUS$700,000 yearling, but all isn't exactly as it should be down here.

Graeme Rogerson, a perennial and prolific MM buyer over the years went to the day's -- and in fact the sale's -- top mark this year for the good sized Danehill-Marigot Bay (Fairy King) colt.

"When I'm on something I rarely get beaten," he boasted before heading off to syndicate him – which he did in about 40 minutes. "I think because he has a stunning stallion pedigree and more because there is not going to be many more opportunities to buy a Danehill son anymore, he was worth every cent.

Among those buying into Rogerson's syndicate were Gerry Harvey, Dean Wilten, John Singleton and Sir Patrick Hogan. "Colts like this are easy to fill," added the trainer.

"I have been helping him syndicate this horse," said Harvey, a part-owner of Magic Millions, "and we are selling him off at cost price of $70,000 a share."

Rogerson will train him and is keeping a 10% share as well.

But while all that was good news, the chief executive of Magic Millions, David Chester, was critical of the fact the best yearlings in Australia weren't at the sale.

"From Magic Million's point of view, we've got all the best buyers here including a strong buying bench from Hong Kong and Japan, but I will say that we have been a little disappointed with the lack of top horses."

The sale has been down on vibe this year, there is no mistaking that, but the fact there are no more home grown foals sired by deceased Danehill (the ones for sale here this year were conceived in Europe) combined with the fact there are no Sunday Silence youngsters, would surely add to that.

Chester, however, the senior auctioneer, said, "we have been let down by some of the bigger farms who haven't supported us the way we think they should have."

In an effort to attract horses to the sale Magic Millions has added to the amount of purses for which Magic Million only purchases can run. For the first time Saturday, there are three races on the programm at the Gold Coast meet where runners are MM graduates only. Two of the races are worth AUS$1 million each while the other one is worth AUS$400,000. Magic Millions has declared that every race on the corresponding nine race card next year will be for MM graduates only. That is a strong carrot to offer vendors. The catalogue for this year's MM Sale is the biggest ever, but pedigree experts know it is down a little on quality.

Tim Stakemire, who bought the first day's topper at AUS$500,000, wasn't interested in the Danehill--Marigot Bay colt, nor was he in the other Danehill filly which also went to the effervescent Rogerson for AUS$400,000. "We have enough Danehills now and I think the pair I purchased yesterday were better," Stakemire said, comparing his first day acquisitions with the second-day toppers.

Stakemire, instead, turned his attention to a down market U.S.-bred Australian based stallion named Beautiful Crown (Chief's Crown-Beautiful Glass). He purchased, again on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, the glorious looking colt from the already vastly proven mare Holbrook Lass (Rory's Jester), who has had two to race, both winners, one the group 1 winner In Top Swing – a full-brother to this colt. Stakemire grabbed him for a Beautiful Crown record of AUS$190,000, a great vendor result considering that the stallion stood the year this colt was conceived for just AUS$9,000.