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Local buyers power boom at March Yearling Sale

10 min read
Queensland buyers have set a record pace on the opening day of the Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale, which was headlined by a Spirit Of Boom colt which sold to Morrisey Racing for $370,000.

Cover image courtesy of Magic Millions

At A Glance

The Day 1 average soared to $47,156, some $19,000 higher than last year's COVID-19 impacted Sale and higher than the record average set in 2018 of $44,842.

The Sale median sits at a very healthy $35,000, up on $20,000 in 2020.

The clearance rate is at 84 per cent, well up on the 75 per cent across the entire Sale last year.

The aggregate of the Sale is already $7.545 million, less than $400,000 short of the gross for the entire Sale in 2020.

21 yearlings have sold for over $100,000 on Day 1, compared to eight for the entire Sale in 2020.

The progeny of Eureka Stud's Spirit Of Boom proved particularly popular, and he had three of the top five lots including Lot 69, a colt from River Junction which Morrisey Racing paid $370,000 for, the third highest price in the Sale's history.

Edmonds Racing and Kestrel Thoroughbreds paid the top price for a filly on the day, $240,000 for Lot 153, who was by Sebring and from the draft of Daandine Stud.

Queensland buyers made up 69 per cent of the aggregate spend and 71 per cent of the total purchases.

Spirit hits the spot for River Junction

It was under very different circumstances that River Junction topped the Gold Coast March Yearling Sale 12 months ago with a Pride Of Dubai filly which fetched $170,000, and this year it capitalised on a booming market to sell a colt by Eureka Stud's Spirit Of Boom for $370,000.

Last year's Sale was conducted in the looming likelihood of a national COVID-19 lockdown, but with the worst of the impacts of the pandemic seemingly in the rearview mirror, it was a bullish market which reflected the results elsewhere in 2021.

Lot 69, the colt out of the unraced Lonhro mare Chroma, the half-sister to Group 2 winner Knight's Tour (Reset) from the extended family of Pierro, was always highly rated by River Junction's Joe Heather and was carried to the biggest price at this Sale for three years amid a bidding duel between Tony Gollan and John Morrisey.

Lot 69 - Spirit Of Boom x Chroma (colt) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

It was local Gold Coast legend Morrisey who landed the final blow, delivering a huge return for her breeder and vendor.

"We always had a good opinion of him and we thought that March was the right sale in the calendar for him to physically develop into. We thought he'd stand out quite well here," Heather told TDN AusNZ.

"We had a good Sale here last year with the Pride Of Dubai filly we got $170,000 for and he (Lot 69) was along the same lines. He fitted the criteria well and I am over the moon to have one homebred off the farm to make that much."

"He (Lot 69) fitted the criteria well and I am over the moon to have one homebred off the farm to make that much." - Joe Heather

Chroma was purchased by River Junction for $110,000 in 2017, and she has now had two colts go through the yearling sales, one by All Too Hard which sold for $150,000 last year and now the Spirit Of Boom colt for $370,000.

"She's a Lonhro mare we bought off Godolphin as a race filly at a sale in Melbourne. That's her second foal and she's got a really nice Capitalist colt at foot, and she's back in foal to Written By," Heather said,

Heather was also happy to see Morrisey Racing, who he knows very well, secure the colt.

"It’s really good to have a local buyer. Morrisey is an institution here on the Gold Coast. I grew up on the Gold Coast track so it’s really nice to be able to sell him a nice horse," he said.

Lot 69 leaving the sale ring | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Morrisey holds firm

Morrisey admitted he may have got caught up a bit in going up against Gollan, who has proven hard to hold out for any of the progeny of Spirit Of Boom this sales season.

"He was just a really good type, I probably had to pay too much for him, but you have to beat Gollan sooner or later," he joked.

"We wanted to buy this one. Tony is on all the nice ones and is hard to beat, but we got him this time."

"We wanted to buy this one (Lot 69). Tony (Gollan) is on all the nice ones and is hard to beat, but we got him this time." - John Morrisey

Morrisey expected the colt would develop quickly into a 2-year-old type.

"He's built like he could go early, but we will let the dust settle and go from there," he said.

Shortly before that, Morrisey had spent $170,000 on Lot 67, a filly by Spirit Of Boom out of Chit Chat (Anabaa {USA}), from the draft of Kenmore Lodge.

Chit Chat is a metropolitan-winning daughter of G1 Auckland Cup winner Upsetthym (NZ) (Rhythm {USA}), which is also the family of G2 Adelaide Cup winner Capecover (NZ) (Cape Cross {Ire}). As that pedigree would suggest, Morrisey expects this filly might take a bit more time than the Spirit Of Boom colt.

"She might be more of a 3-year-old type you’d think than the other bloke," he said.

Lot 67 - Spirit Of Boom x Chit Chat (filly)

Morrisey spent $540,000 in five minutes on two yearlings to be the day's leading buyer, but the strength of the market is no surprise to him.

"It’s a Queensland sale and so you are naturally buying those Queensland horses," he said. "It’s very busy, the parades have been very busy and it was always going to be a strong Sale. The right horses are going to bring plenty of money."

Heather, whose River Junction sold six yearlings on the day for a total of $487,000 to lead the vendor averages on $81,167, agreed the right product was purchased at a premium, with a very strong buying bench.

"Horses that have a bit of quality about them are definitely being found and there is some good competition there. There is a good interstate buying bench at this Sale now, so that really helps us get the next level," he said.

Record pace reflects record confidence

Magic Millions' Managing Director, Barry Bowditch, was understandably pleased with the brisk trade, and said it was a great reward for those vendors and breeders who had put their faith in the Sale.

"It's been a super strong day, we've had 21 horses above $100,000. We expected it to be a strong market off the back of what has happened over the past two to three months, but for it to hit the heights it did today was very pleasing, and in saying that, it's justified given the prizemoney these horses can run for in Queensland," he said.

"We expected it to be a strong market off the back of what has happened over the past two to three months, but for it to hit the heights it did today was very pleasing." - Barry Bowditch

Having purchased 113 out of 160 horses sold, and spent nearly $5.32 million, it was the locals which drove the growth.

"It was great to see the Queensland buyers get in behind the Sale. They bought a lot of horses. They were clearly the leading buyers and there was a great spread of them and nobody really dominated the market here today," Bowditch said.

"This is a great confidence booster for the Queensland breeders. It puts a spring in their step. We hope going forward they continue to re-invest and upgrade their product."

Sebring filly headed to Edmonds

The highest-priced filly, and the second top lot of the opening day, was Lot 153, a Sebring filly offered by Daandine Stud which was sold for $240,000 to Edmonds Thoroughbreds and Kestrel Thoroughbreds.

The filly was initially set to sell through the January Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, but was withdrawn, and buyers didn't miss her this time around, as she secured the best price for a filly at this Sale since 2018.

Lot 153 - Sebring x Go Again (filly) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

"We’ve done our homework, we've seen every horse in the catalogue and we have seen our shortlist four or five times and Toby (Edmonds) was bullish on this filly and we weren't going to get beat," Kestrel Thoroughbreds' Bruce Slade said.

"She's just got that lovely mixture of athleticism and strength and a great brain.

"She looks a post-Christmas 2-year-old who has lovely scope and length to really train on at three. That's what we have been buying all year, horses that have natural athleticism to get up and do things at two and have the scope to be high-class 3-year-olds for us."

"That's what we have been buying all year, horses that have natural athleticism to get up and do things at two and have the scope to be high-class 3-year-olds for us." - Bruce Slade

Her dam, Go Again (Husson {Arg}), has already produced two winners in Zoulou Dancer (Zoustar) and Single Again (Not A Single Doubt) is out of the Listed winner Danehill Smile (Danehill Dancer {Ire}).

Go Again, purchased for $220,000 by Daandine in partnership with Boomer Bloodstock in 2015, has produced a couple of strong results for the Goomburra-based farm in recent years, securing $240,000 for Single Again as a yearling in 2018 and $420,000 for a filly by I Am Invincible named Repeats in 2019.

The second crop of Newgate stallion Capitalist have proven popular at sales all over Australia this year and so it proved the case again with Lot 29, a colt offered by Alexia Fraser Bloodstock, also purchased by Edmonds Racing and Kestrel Thoroughbreds, this time in partnership with Archer Park.

They paid $160,000 for the colt, who is the first foal out of Athenry (Kaphero). The dam is the half-sister to juvenile stakes winner Barawin (Barathea {Ire}) from the family of Group winners De La Terre (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}), Osborne Bulls (Street Cry {Ire}) and Viridine (Poet's Voice {GB}).

Lot 29 - Capitalist x Athenry (colt) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Gollan gets in early

Early on in the day, Gollan set the tempo by combining with agent John Foote to the bid of $220,000 for Lot 18, a filly by Spirit Of Boom from Eureka Stud.

The filly is out of Ana's Mail (Anabaa {USA}), making her a half-sister to recent G2 Millie Fox S. and G3 Aspiration H. placegetter She's Ideel (Dundeel {NZ}) as well as Group 1-placegetter Elusive Treasure (Northern Meteor), as well as three other winners. Ana's Mail is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Shanzero (Danzero) and Listed winner What's The Mail (Flying Spur).

Gollan and Foote were the day's second biggest buyers, spending $430,000 across four yearlings, while Spirit Of Boom ended the day with the highest aggregate and average of any stallion, with $1.306 million in sales across 10 purchases.

Tony Gollan | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

The battle to become leading vendor on aggregate sits between Lyndhurst Stud Farm, who sold 16 yearlings on the opening day for $840,500, and Eureka Stud, which sold 18 yearlings for a total of $833,500.

The Sale resumes at 10am local time (11am AEDT) on Tuesday with Bowditch seeing no reason why the strong market won't continue.

"It’s a very even catalogue over the two days. Whether we average what we did today, or have as many over $100,000, who knows, but it is very even," he said.

"We picked this catalogue on type for those horses that will suit early racing, Whether it be the North Queensland buyers or those from Central Queensland buying in their budget, or local or intestate trainers or buyers, there's plenty of horses here that have that precocity and speed about them. They will get up and give them that early return for their money, especially if they are racing for QTIS."

Top lots

69Spirit Of BoomChroma CRiver Junction, Kybong, QldMorrisey RacingQLD$370,000
153Sebring Go Again FDaandine Stud, Goomburra, QldEdmonds Racing/Kestrel ThoroughbredsQLD$240,000
18Spirit Of BoomAna's Mail FEureka Stud, Cambooya, Qld (As Agent)Gollan Racing/John Foote BloodstockQLD$220,000
131Invader Fast Folk CLucas Bloodstock, Croftby, Qld (As Agent)Justin FungQLD$180,000
67Spirit Of BoomChit Chat FKenmore Lodge, Wyreema, QldMorrisey RacingQLD$170,000
185Extreme Choice Jardine CGrandview, Peak Crossing, Qld (As Agent)Kennewell Racing/Group 1 Bloodstock P/L (FBAA)VIC$170,000
29Capitalist Athenry CAlexia Fraser Bloodstock, Warwick, Qld (As Agent for Freedom Farm)Edmonds Racing/Archer Park/Kestrel ThoroughbredsQLD$160,000
34Spirit Of BoomBaroque Pearl CEureka Stud, Cambooya, Qld (As Agent)George Moore BloodstockHONG KONG$140,000
177Extreme Choice I Believe You FWaylon J Stud, Wamuran, QldMishani EnterprisesQLD$140,000
102Winning Rupert Don't Tell Mama FKenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Qld (As Agent)Proven Thoroughbreds/O'Dea Hoysted RacingNSW$130,000

Top buyers

Morrisey Racing2$540,000$270,000$370,000
Gollan Racing/John Foote Bloodstock4$430,000$107,500$220,000
Edmonds Racing/Kestrel Thoroughbreds4$350,000$87,500$240,000
George Moore Bloodstock2$250,000$125,000$140,000
Chris Anderson Racing/Steve Morley Bloodstock2$245,000$122,500$125,000
Mishani Enterprises4$230,500$57,625$140,000
Proven Thoroughbreds/O'Dea Hoysted Racing2$210,000$105,000$130,000
Michael Kirby/John Symons3$205,000$68,333$120,000
Kennewell Racing/Group 1 Bloodstock P/L (FBAA)2$203,000$101,500$170,000
Kendrick Racing4$201,500$50,375$90,000

Top vendors by aggregate

Lyndhurst Stud Farm, Warwick, Qld16$840,500$52,531$125,000
Eureka Stud, Cambooya, Qld18$833,000$46,278$220,000
Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Qld12$666,500$55,542$170,000
Oaklands Stud, Darling Downs, Qld13$515,500$39,654$110,000
River Junction, Kybong, Qld6$487,000$81,167$370,000
Raheen Stud, Darling Downs, Qld8$464,000$58,000$100,000
Alexia Fraser Bloodstock, Warwick, Qld11$457,000$41,545$160,000
Grandview, Peak Crossing, Qld6$370,000$61,667$170,000
Waylon J Stud, Wamuran, Qld9$362,500$40,278$140,000
Yarramalong Park, Kalbar, Qld4$287,500$71,875$120,000

Top vendors by average (three or more sold)

River Junction, Kybong, Qld6$81,167$487,000$370,000
Yarramalong Park, Kalbar, Qld4$71,875$287,500$120,000
Grandview, Peak Crossing, Qld6$61,667$370,000$170,000
Raheen Stud, Darling Downs, Qld8$58,000$464,000$100,000
Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Qld12$55,542$666,500$170,000
Lucas Bloodstock, Croftby, Qld5$52,800$264,000$180,000
Lyndhurst Stud Farm, Warwick, Qld16$52,531$840,500$125,000
Eureka Stud, Cambooya, Qld18$46,278$833,000$220,000
Telemon Thoroughbreds, Innisplain, Qld5$46,100$230,500$70,000
Tipuana Farms, Boonah, Qld5$46,000$230,000$72,500

Top sires by aggregate

Spirit Of Boom10$1,306,000$130,600$370,000
Better Than Ready 28$1,230,000$43,929$125,000
Heroic Valour 10$408,000$40,800$72,500
Sebring2$350,000$175,000$240,000
Extreme Choice2$310,000$155,000$170,000
Winning Rupert4$264,000$66,000$130,000
Under The Louvre7$251,000$35,857$62,500
Invader2$194,000$97,000$180,000
Hallowed Crown2$182,500$91,250$110,000
Headwater3$162,500$54,167$72,500

Top sires by average (three or more sold)

Spirit Of Boom10$130,600$1,306,000$370,000
Winning Rupert 4$66,000$264,000$130,000
Headwater 3$54,167$162,500$72,500
Better Than Ready 28$43,929$1,230,000$125,000
Sizzling3$42,000$126,000$65,000
Heroic Valour 10$40,800$408,000$72,500
The Mission4$40,250$161,000$120,000
Under The Louvre7$35,857$251,000$62,500
Power 4$32,375$129,500$70,000
Shooting To Win4$31,000$124,000$52,000
Magic Millions March Sale
Spirit Of Boom
Tony Gollan
Sebring
Daandine
John Morrisey
QTIS