The Magic Millions National Sale, which featured the largest catalogue in Australian Thoroughbred auction history with 1,266 horses, concluded with huge gains in every major statistical category.The gross aggregate of AUD$28,699,050 (U.S.$19,555,680) represented a gain of a staggering 93% over the corresponding sale held at the same venue on the Gold Coast last year. Last year's inaugural National Sale grossed $14,978,120 (U.S.$10,204,822) smashing previous results for this mid-June bloodstock sale originally known as the Winter Carnival Sale.This yearês final session was responsible for a 52% increase in average and the aggregate rose a healthy 37%. This sessionês clearance was over 90%.The final three days of the sale involved just broodmares and some major studs exchanged major mares amid the tumbling records. Of great interest was the presence of Tim Stakemire, a former world ranked polo player who is now Sheikh Mohammed in Khalifa al Maktoumês breeding stock and racing manager.During the final session, Stakemire spent $675,000 (U.S.$460,000) to buy the mare Marigot Bay (Fairy King-Prawn Cocktail, by Artichoke) who was carrying a positive service to former champion racehorse, now Coolmore shuttler, Rock Of Gibraltar. The mare hit the headlines in January at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale when bloodstock agent Mark Pilkington paid AUD$1.05 million (U.S.$715,300) for her Danehill colt. The Sheikh also owns Assafa (the mare's Danehill 2-year-old colt trained by Gai Waterhouse).–And despite the fact he hasnêt done anything on the track of note yet, we believe Assafa is a star in the making and this mare has shown can produce stock that appeals to buyers,” said Stakemire, who spent AUD$6.1-million (U.S.$4,155,245) buying yearlings earlier this year to set up Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifaês foray into Australian Thoroughbreds. Marigot Bay is a dual winner and stakes-performed half-sister to Melbourne group II winners Langoustine and One World. Her unraced dam Prawn Cocktail is a half-sister to stakes winners including Royal Academy, Pancho Villa and Terlingua (dam of leading sire Storm Cat).
"The National Sale is now truly regarded as the number one breeding stock sale in Australasia," Magic Millions managing director David Chester said. "We endeavor to make it bigger and better every year. "The international buying bench for this sale has been outstanding and greatly attributed to our high clearance rate and solid prices throughout.”