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Single-minded approach secures two million-dollar colts

12 min read
A desire to secure the best colts from the final crops of Not A Single Doubt has seen Tony Fung Investments and Phoenix Thoroughbreds go to seven figures for two of his sons on the third day of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Cover image courtesy of Magic Millions

At A Glance

The Fung/Phoenix partnership went to $1.8 million for Lot 612 and $1 million for Lot 529, both sons of Not A Single Doubt.

The sister to Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible) is going to Ciaron Maher, who negotiated a $1.2 million deal with Kia Ora Stud for the sought-after filly.

The Victorian Alliance struck to secure three colts, two by I Am Invincible, which included Lot 636 for $950,000.

James Harron Bloodstock paid $800,000 each for a colt by Zoustar and a filly by Snitzel.

The average of the Sale is still tracking ahead of where it was last year, up to $257,471, from $252,113.

The clearance rate was at a very healthy 88 per cent, up from 87 per cent at the Sale time in 2021.

The median remained steady, both day-on-day and year-on-year, at $180,000.

The Sale remains on a path to become the first ever to break the $200 million mark for aggregate.

No Doubt there's a plan

The G1 Golden Slipper-winning partnership of Tony Fung Investments and Phoenix Thoroughbreds have doubled down on their faith in Slipper winner Farnan's sire, Not A Single Doubt, going to $1.8 million to secure one colt, Lot 612, and $1 million for Lot 529.

The partnership is clearly the Sale's leading buyer, spending $9.385 million on 13 lots across the first three days, with $5.19 million of that going on six sons of Not A Single Doubt.

It was Phoenix Thoroughbreds' founder Amer Abdulaziz who did the bidding online to secure the day's top lot, who is out of Group 2 winner One More Honey (Onemorenomore), and was offered by Emirates Park.

Lot 612 - Not A Single Doubt x One More Honey (colt)

Shane McGrath, who is co-ordinating the Fung/Phoenix bidding in the Sale, said it was no surprise that both partners were a fan of the now pensioned Arrowfield Stud stallion.

"They are a limited edition, the Not A Single Doubt colts. He's come off a great nursery, out of a very good racemare. Our partner, Amer in Dubai, he was up and watching and said he'd like to bid on the horse. That's why we ended up bidding online," McGrath said.

"Unfortunately he can't be here at the Sale. Everyone in the industry likes to be part of the atmosphere and likes being part of the process. We’ve been fortunate that he's allowed the team to collect the list of horses. We just thought on a horse like this, it was nice for him to do the bidding.

"It’s great for the industry that the Fung family and Phoenix are getting in and supporting people with such good colts. He's a particular line of stallion that we have got a huge passion for."

Shane McGrath

McGrath stated that they were right at their spending limit on the bay colt, who sports a spectacular white blaze. The dam, One More Honey, won a G2 Sweet Embrace S. as a 2-year-old and is a half-sister to R. Listed Magic Millions Cup winner Vega One (Lope De Vega {Ire}). She's got a Zoustar colt on the ground, and is in foal to Snitzel.

The result meant a great deal to Emirates Park, who returned to the sales ring as a vendor for the first time in three years.

"As you know, they are not making them anymore," Emirates Park General Manager, Bryan Carlson, said. "He was a lovely colt. Even back at the farm, he's been very popular. I didn't think he was going to make that much ($1.8 million), but I knew he was going to make over a million. He's been very popular and has been out of his box the whole time. It’s a fantastic result.

"You never have expectations coming to a sale, you only end up hurting yourself. We came to the Sale thinking he was going to be a very nice horse."

Million-dollar result for Baramul

Earlier, it was Lot 529 which became another $1 million lot for Not A Single Doubt, with the colt from Baramul Stud, out of Medaglia Valore (Medaglia D'Oro {USA}), the daughter of multiple stakes winner Military Rose (General Nediym), who won a R. Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

McGrath said he very much fitted the mould of good horses that the Fung family and Phoenix have sourced from this Sale before.

"The formula has worked for us so far. He was a lovely colt. All the team liked him. All the cliches are there for him, A lovely fast, sharp 2-year-old and we hope he is back here next year," he said.

"The formula has worked for us so far. He was a lovely colt. All the team liked him." - Shane McGrath

"He's a phenomenal sire. There's only a handful of colts there, and we are keen to secure them. The market has shown there is a huge appetite for the stallion, and he's a huge loss.

"We have had a lot of success in recent times from purchases out of the Magic Millions sale ring. It’s nice to give a bit of money back to Gerry (Harvey). God knows he needs it!"

Watch: Lot 529 parade

Both colts are headed to the stables of Annabel Neasham.

Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch praised the Fung/Phoenix partnership's continued desire to remain active in the market.

“They have had a huge fill-up out of this Sale. When you think about it, they bought Dubious, here years ago, and two years ago they’ve taken home Farnan and Anders, plus Prague. It works, doesn’t it?" he said.

“They have bought some huge horses out of this Sale which have been great on the racetrack, but they have also sold them well to stud. Why wouldn’t you come back here? The recipe obviously works. They obviously have a little bit of an obsession with Not A Single Doubt, which obviously works when we’ve got these great colts here by the sire."

“They (Fung/Phoenix) have bought some huge horses out of this Sale which have been great on the racetrack, but they have also sold them well to stud." - Barry Bowditch

The Fung/Phoenix partnership's $9.385 million spend leads Ciaron Maher Bloodstock ($5.75 million), which has purchased the most horses at the Sale to date with 20.

The Sale continues to sustain a near-record pace, with the average of $257,113, up around $5000 from last year to this point, while the clearance rate is at 88 per cent, again an improvement on 2020. The median remains at $180,000, re-enforcing the perception of the depth in the market.

“The market’s truly set now. It’s buoyant, it’s confident and it’s real. The vendors are putting them on the market and buyers are having a proper go at all levels," Bowditch said.

“When you’re selling a horse well at $80,000; selling a horse well at $500,000, through to the big numbers, it just gives buyers confidence to buy at all levels and that’s what Magic Millions is all about: getting people involved at all levels and giving every part of the market a chance to play their part."

Gaby's sister follows in her steps

The destination of Group 1 winner Loving Gaby's (I Am Invincible) sister, Lot 500, was no surprise, with Ciaron Maher Bloodstock winning the day, but not before she was initially passed in at her eventual price of $1.2 million.

It took only minutes for Kia Ora Stud and Maher, who trained Loving Gaby in her two Group 1 triumphs, to come to terms on a deal to purchase the daughter of stakes-placed Maastricht (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}), who fetched $2.25 million at the 2019 Inglis Chairman's Sale, in foal with this filly.

Lot 500 - I Am Invincible x Maastricht (NZ) (filly)

“It wasn't straightforward - it was a bit awkward at the end there, but we’re rapt to be able to get her. She’s very much like her (Loving Gaby) and maybe a little bit stronger," Maher said.

“I didn’t have much more left in me. Maybe another five ($50,000). Hopefully she can be as good as her sister."

Maher is in the perfect position to compare Loving Gaby and her younger sister.

“Gaby was a very big, raw filly and this horse has maybe got a little bit more quality, a little bit more strength and the same sort of physical. She is quite tall," he said.

"This horse (Lot 500) has maybe got a little bit more quality, a little bit more strength and the same sort of physical." - Ciaron Maher

“Gaby came to hand pretty early for a big filly and this horse is well structured. If they have plenty of ability they can normally get there earlier than what you think."

Kia Ora Bloodstock and Breeding Director Shane Wright were pleased to get the deal done.

"The deal took a bit of doing. She's been so popular all week. I was very happy that Ciaron bought her. Obviously, he trained Loving Gaby, so she has gone to the best home she could do. He does such a great job with his 2-year-olds and this girl looks like she's a proper one for the race next year.

"By this time next year, hopefully she would have built her own reputation and hopefully she won't be living off Loving Gaby's reputation any more. I reckon that will be the case."

Ciaron Maher

Maastricht had a Justify (USA) colt in November.

The filly is the first seven-figure lot for Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible at the Sale this year and he leads the overall aggregate of all sires, with $16.295 million spent across 29 lots. Not A Single Doubt leads averages with those having had three or more lots sold, on $611,818, clear of I Am Invincible on $561,897.

Almanzor (Fr) is third on averages and leads the first-season sires on $506,667, having had a marquee result with Lot 470, the colt out of Lazumba (Sebring), offered by Bhima Thoroughbreds and purchased by Ultra Thoroughbreds and Baystone Farm for $800,000.

Alliance picks up three

The third highest lot of the day was purchased by the Victoria Alliance, which involved Rosemont and several other Victorian breeders. They worked with Suman Hedge Bloodstock and David Redvers Bloodstock to purchase Lot 636 late in the day, an I Am Invincible colt offered by Coolmore, for $950,000.

He is the first foal out of stakes-placed Petition (Foxwedge), who is the daughter of Group 1 winner The Party Stand (NZ) (Thorn Park), from the family of recent Group 1 winner Callsign Mav (NZ) (Atlante).

Lot 636 - I Am Invincible x Petition (colt)

Hedge said the colt very much fit their criteria for their fund.

“He was a horse we identified very early at the top of our list of colts to try and secure for our Victorian Alliance. He’s by a champion stallion, out of a stakes-placed mare, a daughter of a Group 1 winner," he said.

"He’s a lovely physical. He looks like an early running horse and that’s the profile that us and a lot of the other colt buyers here are looking for. So, he ticked every box and he was an easy purchase.”

"He (Lot 636) ticked every box and he was an easy purchase.” - Suman Hedge

Having picked up one colt on the first two days, paying $1 million for Lot 332 by Zoustar from the Widden Stud draft, the Victorian Alliance were able to pick up three more on Thursday. They paid $300,000 for Lot 420 by Written Tycoon from Edinburgh Park, and $400,000 for Lot 620, another I Am Invincible colt from the draft of Yarraman Park.

“It is a very crowded market for colts. I think there’s six or seven different syndicates trying to secure them and they’re all looking for similar qualities in those horses. Everybody’s landing on them, everyone’s got money," Hedge said.

"It’s a pretty buoyant sale here - Magic Millions has done a wonderful job - so you have to be very aggressive on the ones that you want and put yourself out there if you want to get them.

“Fortunately we have been able to pick up a couple of other horses which were probably under our projected budget and that probably smoothed over a couple of our other aggressive purchases out of the total that we’ve been able to get."

Harron doubles up

James Harron struck twice on the day to secure two horses for $800,000, Lot 483, a Zoustar colt from the Widden Stud draft, and Lot 503, a filly half-sister to Anders (Not A Single Doubt), offered by Arrowfield.

The Zoustar colt from Widden is out of Lone (Sepoy), the unraced half-sister to stakes winners Atmospherical (Northern Meteor), Gai's Choice (General Nediym) and Peron (Husson {Arg}).

"He's a lovely horse. I'm a big fan of Zoustar. I love the way he was bred. There's a lot of speed through the dam's side. He was a beautifully-balanced horse, with a great attitude and quite mature. He's really, probably, one of the best Zoustars I've seen," he said.

James Harron

Fillies in that price range weren't supposed to be on Harron's list, but the daughter of Snitzel and Madame Andree (War Emblem {USA}), who has produced both Group 3-winning speedster Anders and stakes-placed Battleground (Snitzel), proved impossible to resist.

"I absolutely fell in love with her. I was fortunate enough to be able to call a couple of my good owners and tell them that I love this filly and they were happy to jump on board. I'm really excited to get her. She looks very precocious and very fast, and I can't wait to see what she does," he said.

Both horses will go to Anthony and Sam Freedman in Victoria. Harron has spent $2.375 million on four lots to date and is taking a targetted approach to the week.

Lot 503 - Snitzel x Madame Andree (filly)

"We've got a very short list and we are pretty concentrated on what we want. You can't have everything you want in this market. We are happy with where we are at the moment," he said.

His spending has helped push Arrowfield into the position of leading vendors at the Sale through three days, with $10.225 million in sales across 31 horses, clear of Widden Stud on $9.88 million and Coolmore on $8.83 million.

Day 4 of the Sale commences at 10am AEST on Friday.

Top lots

115Snitzel Bonny O'Reilly CWidden Stud, Widden Valley, NSW (As Agent)Tom MagnierNSW$1,900,000
322Kingman Florentina CSegenhoe Stud, Scone, NSW (As Agent for Fairway Thoroughbreds)Tom MagnierNSW$1,800,000
612Not A Single Doubt One More Honey CEmirates Park Pty Ltd, Murrurundi, NSWTony Fung Investments/Phoenix ThoroughbredsQLD$1,800,000
500I Am Invincible Maastricht FKia Ora Stud, Scone, NSWCiaron Maher Bloodstock/Nxt Level SyndicationVIC$1,200,000
382Shalaa Honesty Prevails CArrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW (As Agent)James Harron BloodstockNSW$1,150,000
221Not A Single Doubt Denmagic CTorryburn Stud, Torryburn, NSWTony Fung Investments/Phoenix ThoroughbredsQLD$1,100,000
332Zoustar Fuddle Dee Duddle CWidden Stud, Widden Valley, NSW (As Agent)Victorian Alliance/Suman Hedge B'Stock (FBAA)/David Redvers BloodstockVIC$1,000,000
529Not A Single Doubt Medaglia Valore CBaramul Stud, Widden Valley, NSWTony Fung Investments/Phoenix ThoroughbredsQLD$1,000,000
113I Am Invincible Bonaria FWidden Stud, Widden Valley, NSW (As Agent)Busuttin RacingVIC$975,000
349CapitalistGolconda CNewgate Farm, Aberdeen, NSW (As Agent)James Harron BloodstockNSW$975,000

Top buyers

Tony Fung Investments/Phoenix Thoroughbreds13$9,385,000$721,923$1,800,000
Ciaron Maher Bloodstock20$5,750,000$287,500$800,000
Tom Magnier5$4,905,000$981,000$1,900,000
Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott/Kestrel Thoroughbreds16$4,320,000$270,000$450,000
James Harron Bloodstock4$3,725,000$931,250$1,150,000
Waller Racing/Mulcaster Bloodstock8$3,035,000$379,375$800,000
China Horse Club/Newgate Bloodstock6$2,700,000$450,000$780,000
Victorian Alliance/Suman Hedge B'Stock (FBAA)/David Redvers Bloodstock4$2,650,000$662,500$1,000,000
David Ellis/Andrew Williams Bloodstock5$2,595,000$519,000$825,000
Mick Price Racing9$2,290,000$254,444$550,000

Top vendors by aggregate

Arrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW31$10,225,000$329,839$1,150,000
Widden Stud, Widden Valley, NSW28$9,800,000$350,000$1,900,000
Coolmore Stud, Jerry's Plains, NSW29$8,830,000$304,483$950,000
Segenhoe Stud, Scone, NSW16$7,140,000$446,250$1,800,000
Baramul Stud, Widden Valley, NSW20$6,685,000$334,250$1,000,000
Newgate Farm, Aberdeen, NSW25$6,455,000$258,200$975,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone, NSW19$5,890,000$310,000$800,000
Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW15$5,190,000$346,000$800,000
Yulong Investments, Nagambie, Vic14$3,665,000$261,786$600,000
Vinery Stud, Scone, NSW12$3,505,000$292,083$700,000

Top vendors by average (3 or more sold)

Emirates Park Pty Ltd, Murrurundi, NSW4$557,500$2,230,000$1,800,000
Silverdale Farm, Avoca, NSW4$481,250$1,925,000$700,000
Segenhoe Stud, Scone, NSW16$446,250$7,140,000$1,800,000
Strawberry Hill Stud, Mt White, NSW8$434,375$3,475,000$800,000
Torryburn Stud, Torryburn, NSW5$416,000$2,080,000$1,100,000
Tyreel Stud, Agnes Banks, NSW8$388,750$3,110,000$650,000
Kia Ora Stud, Scone, NSW9$380,000$3,420,000$1,200,000
Widden Stud, Widden Valley, NSW28$350,000$9,800,000$1,900,000
Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW15$346,000$5,190,000$800,000
Baramul Stud, Widden Valley, NSW20$334,250$6,685,000$1,000,000

Top sires by aggregate

I Am Invincible 29$16,295,000$561,897$1,200,000
Snitzel 30$13,655,000$455,167$1,900,000
Zoustar 37$10,545,000$285,000$1,000,000
Written Tycoon 20$6,835,000$341,750$650,000
Not A Single Doubt 11$6,730,000$611,818$1,800,000
Fastnet Rock 13$5,485,000$421,923$825,000
Capitalist 23$5,325,000$231,522$975,000
Pierro 19$4,535,000$238,684$550,000
Deep Field 21$4,390,000$209,048$700,000
Sebring 17$4,105,000$241,471$500,000

Top sires by average (3 or more sold)

Not A Single Doubt 11$611,818$6,730,000$1,800,000
I Am Invincible 29$561,897$16,295,000$1,200,000
Redoute's Choice 7$455,714$3,190,000$750,000
Snitzel 30$455,167$13,655,000$1,900,000
Fastnet Rock 13$421,923$5,485,000$825,000
Written Tycoon 20$341,750$6,835,000$650,000
Zoustar 37$285,000$10,545,000$1,000,000
Exceed And Excel 8$257,500$2,060,000$600,000
Sebring 17$241,471$4,105,000$500,000