Record MM weanling catalogue backed up by quality

5 min read
The boom in interest in the weanling market has seen the Magic Millions 2019 National Weanling Sale on the Gold Coast expand to three days with 725 lots catalogued.

A record 725 horses will be on offer at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale on the Gold Coast in May, with managing director Barry Bowditch confident the quality is there to match the unprecedented quantity.

The weanling sales market has continued to grow in Australia in recent years and last year saw record results for this sale, with the average price and aggregate up well over 20 per cent.

Bowditch told TDN AusNZ the catalogue, released on Sunday, features not only strong numbers but also great depth, with siblings to 55 stakes winners including 10 Group 1 winners and 70 weanlings from stakes-winning mares.

Magic Millions managing director, Barry Bowditch

"We’re thrilled that the vendors have not only supported with huge numbers, but from all reports a huge amount of quality. There are 725 horses with all the leading sires represented, there's some great pedigrees in the catalogue," he said.

"This sale gives the traders and the end users more opportunities than any other in the weanling sale market in Australia which is fantastic for the Magic Millions."

Quality aplenty

Among those on offer is the three-quarter brother to G1 Randwick Guineas winner D'Argento (So You Think {NZ}), the half-brother, by Maurice (Jpn), to G1 Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed (Southern Image {USA}), and the half-brother, by Frosted {USA}), to recent G1 NZ Derby winner Crown Prosecutor (Medaglia D'Oro {USA}).

There are also colts out of Group 1 winning mares Carry On Cutie (More Than Ready {USA}), Leading The Way (Arg) (Brancusi {USA}), Russeting (Commands) and Precious Gem (Econsul {NZ}).

A three-quarter brother to G1 Randwick Guineas D'Argento will be offered for sale

The sale now stretches for three days from May 22 to 24, ahead of the National Broodmare Sale from May 28 to 31, the National Yearling Sale on June 5 to 7 and the National Racehorse Sale on June 7.

Record interest from vendors ahead of the weanling sale made the task of selecting the catalogue quite difficult, according to Bowditch, with a focus on diversity resulting in 119 individual sires represented.

"They could go on to be traded, if they match up on type, into any catalogue next year." - Barry Bowditch

"We looked to select it, and the boys had a hard task of working out where the catalogue fell," he said.

"If you look at the horses in the catalogue, they are of a select sale quality. They could go on to be traded, if they match up on type, into any catalogue next year."

"It's a diverse catalogue and it will give these traders a huge amount of opportunity to buy horses that can go on and be very successful in the yearling sale market next year."

Plenty of interest in freshman sires

Of particular interest will be the first crops of 22 first-season stallions. There are 13 catalogued by Coolmore's Triple Crown winning stallion American Pharoah (USA), 19 by Darley's Astern, 32 by Capitalist, 34 by Flying Artie and 18 from Winning Rupert, all of whom stand at Newgate, 14 by Arrowfield's Shalaa (Ire) and 18 by Vinery's Star Turn.

13 lots from the first crop of Coolmore's American Pharoah will be offered for sale

"It’s a huge year for first-season horses," Bowditch said. "It’s a big, deep first-season year. We are looking forward to selling them as yearlings, but to have a taste-tester as weanlings, as we’ve got big numbers by some of these sires, it’s going to really find out where the market sees them."

"It’s going to really find out where the market sees them." - Barry Bowditch

International buyers have driven much of the growth in the yearling sales market in 2019 and Magic Millions will take a global approach again as it looks to build the depth of the buying bench for this weanling sale.

"We will be scouring around Australia and many other parts of the world to get as many weanling buyers as we can," he said.

"It’s a sophisticated market but there are buyers coming in from all over the world. There's pinhook syndicates coming in from the UK, Ireland and America and obviously the Kiwis have always been a force at this sale."

"As much as we are very reliant on the domestic market, we believe travelling the world and finding these people is important for this sale. They see opportunity is our market and to come down and participate in Australia."

Magic Millions have been scouring Australia and many other parts of the world to source buyers

All the pieces are falling into place for a big three days in May, with Bowditch saying it was now largely down to the market to determine whether the benchmark for the weanling sale is raised again.

"Last year's sale was unprecedented. Whether the average and the clearance rate will be at those levels, who knows but we've got the catalogue to support that and now it's our job to give our vendors, who support us, the best market they can have to sell them in," he said.