Thunder Gulch Colt Tops Opening Session of Premier Sale; Business Down

A Thunder Gulch colt topped Sunday's slow opening session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast premier yearling sale in Australia, bringing an $86,000 bid ($64,233 in U.S. funds). The buyer was Magic Millions, acting on the behalf of a Singapore-based client.

Consigned by Oaklands Stud, the colt is out of the Danehill mare Alessandra Demarco, who finished third in the 1995 Premio Minerva in Italy.

In all, 177 horses were sold for a gross of $2,824,250 ($2,109,432) and an average of $15,956 ($11,918). All the numbers were down from a year ago when the 220 horses sold grossed $3,520,000 and averaged $16,000.

"We were disappointed with today's results, especially after having had record results at all our other sales so far this year," said David Chester, the managing director of Magic Millions. "We thought the quality was betterthan last year, but the overall result is disappointing in comparison.

"Today's sale was very much a buyer's sale as there certainly are quality yearlings being sold well under estimated value."

The auction's second and final session is scheduled for Monday.