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Magic Millions releases 'bigger and better' Gold Coast catalogue

6 min read
Magic Millions is confident its bigger catalogue for the 2021 Gold Coast Yearling Sale has come with the benefit of additional quality, after confirming the make-up for the much-anticipated first sale for the 2021 yearling sales season.

There are 962 yearlings catalogued as part of Book 1 of the Sale, an increase of 74 from the numbers of the past two years, while a further 311 horses will be sold as part of Book 2, up from 176 in 2019.

The extra horses on offer has meant the selling schedule now runs for seven consecutive days from Tuesday, January 12 until Monday, January 18.

Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch said the additional demand for entry into the iconic Sale and the quality of those horses looking to gain entry had led to the decision to expand the catalogue, but he is confident that the bigger sale will also be viewed as a better one.

Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch

"Entries were well up on last year and recent years, and with that, the quality was up, which is particularly pertinent," he told TDN AusNZ.

"Vendors have been particularly well rewarded at the Sale over the past few years, and obviously we have gone around Australia, looked at these yearlings, marked them, and we believe that we have the same quality of horse but more of them. We thought it was the right move to extend the catalogue."

"Entries were well up on last year and recent years, and with that the quality was up, which is particularly pertinent." - Barry Bowditch

Bowditch pointed out that the rise in Book 1 numbers was only in the realm of 10 per cent and the vast majority of vendors were supportive of the change.

Competition for entry into a Sale which has witnessed significant year-on-year growth in average, median and aggregate in the past five editions, and a clearance rate of close 90 per cent, has driven much of the growth, with New Zealand's Waikato Stud among those vendors to return to the Sale in 2021, with a draft of 10 horses.

"Waikato, in most of the last few years, have sold under other drafts, so to have their name, one of the flagship vendors of New Zealand, is a fantastic addition to the Sale.

Magic Millions are very excited for the return of vendor Waikato Stud to the 2021 edition

Strength and diversity

The highlight numbers all back-up Bowditch's argument for the quality of the catalogue. Across both books, there are siblings/half-siblings to 46 Group 1 winners and 210 stakes winners, and 24 yearlings out of Group 1-winning mares and 216 from stakes-winning mares.

Australia's leading stallions are all well-represented, with 58 lots by Snitzel, 55 by I Am Invincible, 45 by Written Tycoon, 60 by Zoustar, 43 by Pierro and 17 from the penultimate crop of Not A Single Doubt as well as 38 from the final crop of Sebring and 10 from the final crop of Redoute's Choice.

Widden Stud's Zoustar has the most offerings with 60 of his progeny catalogued

International stallions such as Frankel (GB), Kingman (GB), Into Mischief (USA), Medaglia D'Oro (USA), Siyouni (Fr) and Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) are also represented, as are 24 first-season sires, headlined by Coolmore's Merchant Navy (24) and Newgate's Russian Revolution (35).

Newgate Farm's Russian Revolution has 35 lots set to go under the hammer

"It's got a lot of depth to it. It’s a catalogue that fits the bill for any buyer whether you are a filly buyer, a colt buyer, a high-end buyer or a middle or low-end buyer," Bowditch said when asked to characterise the catalogue.

"It's got a lot of depth to it. It’s a catalogue that fits the bill for any buyer." - Barry Bowditch

"All the bonus schemes are very well represented. You think from a domestic perspective, this is a Sale that is a must-attend, and I'd like to think we have a catalogue that has very little tail on it.

"It’s got a full range of quality physicals and when you have these proven stallions with big numbers in the catalogue, be that I Am Invincible, Snitzel, Written Tycoon or Zoustar and the like, and then these young sires, including these appealing second-season sires, it feels to me that it is the perfect representation of quality with depth and diversity."

The diversity not only shines through in the number of stallions, representing 117 in all across both books, six more than in 2020, but also in the types of horses on offer.

The Gold Coast Sale has built its brand on fast and precocious yearlings and while Bowditch expects those horses to drive significant interest at the top end again in 2021, he feels there is considerable variety to match that.

Inspections at Magic Millions

"Vendors earmark those type of horses for the Sale every year and they pick themselves a lot of the time. On top of that, we think we have picked a quality line-up of horses that suit all buyers. Whether it be those who are looking for a jump-and-run horse or those looking for one that might need more time, there will be plenty of each of those in there," he said.

Graduate success to drive further investment

Magic Millions Gold Coast graduates have continued to build the reputation of the Sale in 2020 with the first six horses home in Australia's premier 2-year-old race, the G1 Golden Slipper S., won by Farnan (Not A Single Doubt) sold at the 2019 edition. The remaining Group 1 2-year-old races in Australia in 2020 were taken out by sale graduates Tagaloa (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) and King's Legacy (Redoute's Choice) (twice).

Bowditch said that success can only help engender confidence heading into the 2021 edition.

"Our graduate success has been fantastic and the blue chip investors who have supported the Sale have been incredibly well rewarded for participating," he said. "I'd like to think they will be showing their hand come January and doing their best to facilitate their portfolios."

The 2020 Magic Millions Sale was held in a very different time, with the record numbers set ahead of the impact of COVID-19. The dramatic upheaval of the pandemic has changed so much, both globally and locally, in the 10 months since.

The circumstances under which the Sale will be held in 2021 will depend on a range of evolving factors in the next couple of months, but Bowditch believes the quality of the catalogue, added to the overall resilience the thoroughbred industry has demonstrated this year will give the 2021 edition of the Magic Millions every chance to reset the mindset in a much more positive way to start the new year.

"2021 is an unknown. We don’t know where things will sit. But it’s been great to see racing in Australia has kept up its momentum. Prizemoney levels have been fantastic and we have had a great season under the circumstances and continued to race," he said.

"2021 is an unknown. We don’t know where things will sit. But it’s been great to see racing in Australia has kept up its momentum." - Barry Bowditch

"It’s hard to foresee exactly where the market is going to sit in 2021, but we have given ourselves every opportunity by the quality of horse we are breeding, and what is going on, on the racetrack to continue having successful sales."