The 2002 Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions yearling sale in Australia got off to a promising start on Thursday.
"I felt today's session was the weakest of the four in the select section of the sale," said Magic Millions general manager Don Hancock said. "So it's certainly a positive start and we are looking forward to the next three days of selling."
Hancock was encouraged by the dramatic increase in the average price of the yearlings in the first session, from $71,745 (Australian) last year to $86,735 this year. "An increase of nearly $15,000 for the average is a great result," he said. "Unfortunately the pass in rate was worse (11% last year compared to 25% this year)."
A total of 98 yearlings sold during the session for a gross of $8.5 million, which was $900,000 more than last year when eight more horses were sold.
The first session topper was the first foal (a Danehill filly) by the Melbourne and Auckland Cup winner Jezabeel. She was sold to Gerry Harvey's Baramul Stud for $475,000.
Two other yearlings, a Danehill filly (from Golden Slipper-placed Loving Cup) and an Octagonal colt (from Lucky Lucaya), sold for $400,000 later in the afternoon.
The fourth-highest-priced yearling of the day was a colt by American sire Red Ransom, from the top producing Kenmare mare Kew Gardens. He was purchased by John Foote acting as agent for prominent South Australian owner Tony Santic. Offered by Twin Palms Stud from Lochinvar he sold for $320,000.