By The Numbers

Buying two-year-olds through Magic Millions

By The Numbers looks back through the stats that matter from the past decade of the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YO In Training Sale.


The breeze-up market in Australia is going through its most challenging period in over a decade, with demand slumping off the back of difficult times in Asian racing, as well as local investors tightening their belts.

After the recent Inglis’ Ready 2 Race Sale saw a 34.5 per cent drop in aggregate and a 36.6 per cent fall in total horses sold, the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YO In Training Sale headed in a similar direction, with a 27.1 per cent fall in total investment and a 22.8 per cent drop in the average.

Investment between Singapore and Hong Kong buyers slumped $3.6 million year-on-year at the Inglis sale and then $2.6 million through Magic Millions on Tuesday, while Australian investment also fell $2.8 million across both sales.

The wash-up is a gross of $15.9 million, the lowest combined for the two Australian breeze-up sales since 2015. The total number of horses sold across both sales, 184, is the smallest since Inglis joined Magic Millions in operating in the breeze-up format in 2013.

As recently pointed out in this column, this drop does need to be seen in the context that 2022 represented a record investment – $23.5 million – across those two sales, while the average price of a breeze-up horse increased 296 per cent between 2012 and 2022.

Australian breeze-up sales in 2023

Sale Sold Aggregate Average YOY (Sold) YOY (Aggregate) YOY (Average)
MM 2YO In Training Sale* 82 $4,991,500 $60,872 -5.75% -27.19% -22.75%
Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale 102 $10,923,500 $107,093 -37.04% -37.93% 3.76%
Total 184 $15,915,000 $86,495 -26.10% -32.49% -8.65%

* Magic Millions data correct as of 6pm AEDT 23/10/23

The market has now flipped very much in the buyers’ favour and history does indicate that when it comes to sourcing winners for a better price, the Gold Coast sale has proven worth investing in.

The average price of a two-year-old at the Magic Millions 2YO In Training Sale from 2013-2022 was $56,429. As a means of comparison, that is 68.1 per cent lower than the average price ($176,923) at the main Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January over the same time period.

The January sale is much bigger in terms of both catalogue size and the quality of stock, and this reflects in its much better percentages when it comes to subsequent stakes winners and Group 1 winners.

The stakes-winners-to-runners ratio of the yearling sale from 2013-2022 has been 5.6 per cent, while for the two-year-old sale, it is 1.4 per cent. Put simply, you are four times more likely to source a stakes winner from the yearling sale than you are from the breeze-up sale.

There have been 63 Group 1-winning yearling sales graduates from the January sale since 2013 and only three from the two-year-old sale. Their respective percentages of Group 1 winners are 0.75 per cent and 0.18 per cent. Again, the difference is around four-fold in the yearling sale’s favour.

That is to be expected given the average price at the yearling sale is a multiple of 3.13 of the two-year-old sale.

But when it comes to sourcing winners, the difference is nowhere near as great. The winners-to-runners ratio for the yearling sale between 2013 and 2022 is 72.1 per cent, while the same statistic for the same crops sold through the two-year-old sale is 64.5 per cent.

Graduate statistics from selected Magic Millions sales from 2013 to 2022

Sale Runners Winners SW G1w W/R SW/R G1W/R
2YOs in Training Sale 1648 1063 23 3 64.50% 1.40% 0.18%
GC Yearling Sale 8393 6048 465 63 72.06% 5.54% 0.75%

The two advantages of selecting through the two-year-old sale are that you get to see the horses breeze-up, and that the horses have more time to develop. This should, in theory, give buyers an advantage over yearling selection.

The average price of a future winner through the two-year-old sale since 2013 has been $60,366, a 7.3 per cent premium on the overall sale average. The average price of a subsequent stakes winner has been $91,079, or 61.9 per cent higher than the overall average.

In comparison, the average price of a future winner through the January yearling sale is $188,307, a 6.4 per cent premium when compared to the overall average. For subsequent stakes winners the average has been $266,006, or 50.4 per cent higher.

We are dealing with different sample sizes in that there have been 5.8 times the amount of yearlings sold on the Gold Coast in January in the past decade as there have been two-year-olds in the following October, but those stats do indicate that the breeze-up market is slightly better at identifying future winners than the yearling market.

It’s worth noting that there is a considerable overlap between the two sample sizes, that is horses who appeared at both sales. Across the 1,063-winning graduates at the breeze-up sale from 2013 to 2022, exactly 200, or 18.8 per cent, had also been offered as yearlings at the same sales ring the previous January.   

Running the numbers on the previous 10 editions of the Magic Millions 2YOs In Training Sale allowed us to unearth some other interesting statistics.

The most successful sire in terms of future winners offered since 2013 is Vinery’s Casino Prince (Flying Spur) on 27. That’s one more than Golden Archer (Rock Of Gibraltar), who, in turn, is one ahead of Star Witness (Starcraft).

Supporters of Casino Prince have shopped particularly well in the breeze-up market, with the average price of those winning horses only $38,958.

He is also the most successful stakes-producing sire from the two-year-old sale with four in total, purchased at an average price of $63,750. Lope De Vega (Shamardal) is second on that list with two stakes winners.

Overall, there are 19 stallions who have had future stakes-winning progeny pass through the sale since 2013.  

Sires with most winning graduates from Magic Millions 2YO In Training Sale since 2013

Sire Winners SWs
Casino Prince 27 4
Golden Archer 26 0
Star Witness 25 0
Congrats 20 0
Husson 20 0
All Too Hard 19 0
Captain Sonador 19 0
Sebring 15 1
Rothesay 14 0
Onemorenomore 14 0

Incidentally, Casino Prince was the broodmare sire of the top lot on Tuesday, a $400,000 colt by American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile) purchased by Pierre Ng.

Looking back at broodmare sires of graduates over the past decade, Encosta De Lago (Fairy King) leads the way with the most winners out of his daughters with 30, while Casino Prince’s sire, Flying Spur (Danehill), is second on 26. Hussonet (Mr Prospector) is the only broodmare sire with multiple stakes winners (two).  

The most successful vendor when it comes to offering future stakes winners through the sale since 2013 has been Nolen Racing with three, while Baramul Stud has two.

Baramul is by far the leading vendor when it comes to offering future winners, with 126 graduates, well clear of Symphony Lodge on 83 and Raheen Stud on 75.

The most successful buyer since 2014 when it comes to sourcing winners has been the Macau Jockey Club with 26, while, of the locals, Stuart Kendrick has done well out of the sale with 14 subsequent winners purchased.

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