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Coolmore digs deep for son of Kingman as colt funds dominate at Magic Millions 

Buyers’ appetites show no signs of relenting during another session of dynamic trade at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale 

A colt born in the UK to southern hemisphere time by super European sire Kingman (Invincible Spirit) provided the benchmark on another extraordinary day of trade when selling for $1.8 million at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale yesterday.

Even the most bullish industry pundits and stakeholders did not predict, at least publicly, the insatiable appetite shown by buyers during the first two sessions of the seven-day auction, which resulted in four million-dollar lots being sold on Wednesday as the key metrics kept pace with the corresponding figures from the past two years.

While a colt by Not A Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice) broke the seven-figure barrier before midday, it was the son of Kingman who stole the show, his sale coming less than 24 hours after it was announced that the stallion’s owner-breeder, Juddmonte Farms founder Prince Khalid Abdullah, had died aged 83. 

Segenhoe Stud’s Peter O’Brien, who offered the colt on behalf of his breeder Fairway Thoroughbreds’ John Camilleri, knew the son of Kingman would be a sales-ring star in Australia. 

We knew he was going to sell well. We knew every one of the big buyers liked him, but you never expect them to sell that well,” O’Brien said. 

“He was a beautiful colt by one of the best sires in the world from a very good racemare. I’m delighted he is going to Coolmore, because he’ll get every chance.

“The best colt I thought I’d ever taken to the sales was King’s Legacy. James Harron was underbidder on the Kingman and Coolmore was underbidder on King’s Legacy as a yearling. The same two people duked it out and I firmly believe this is a Group 1 horse.”

The colt is out of Australian Group 3-winning mare Florentina (Redoute’s Choice), making him a half-brother to the stakes-placed duo Villa Carlotta (Street Cry) and Fasano (Lonhro). He was offered as Lot 322.

“All credit to John Camilleri – it’s a big swing to send a mare up there (to the northern hemisphere). She went to Dubawi first and that filly sold for 475,000gns at Tatts, then she went to Kingman, and came back pregnant to Kingman, and he was at foot,” O’Brien said. 

“He was born in England and came here to Australia about 12 months ago. John is a global thinker and he’s got paid for it. Coolmore looked at him plenty of times and they complimented him this morning about his temperament. He is absolutely bombproof. He has a great mind and I can’t wait to see him at the racetrack.”

Coolmore’s Tom Magnier, who also took home the $1.9 million Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) colt on day one, has faith in Kingman working in Australia.

“Segenhoe always has incredible horses at this sale, and we know what John Camilleri can breed,” Magnier said. 

“You know when you see that Fairway Thoroughbreds brand on the horse, you have to take it pretty seriously. 

“We know everything about how well Kingman is going at the moment. We have got Calyx at the farm by Kingman, who is going well. All the boxes were ticked for us.”

O’Brien is equally confident that Kingman can make his mark on Australian racing and breeding.

“The last time I looked he’d had three runners for three winners here in Australia. What I really liked about him was that he had two very good two-year-old winners in Japan two weeks ago and the Kingman’s love fast ground.

“As I said, the bloodlines work and they should adore Australian conditions and there’s no reason why he can’t hit the heights he has worldwide in Australia.”

Trainer Chris Waller will be the lucky recipient of the colt.

Meanwhile, Magnier also paid tribute to Abdullah.

“Obviously, it’s a big loss to racing. Prince Khalid Abdullah was not only a gentleman, he helped shape our industry,” he said. 

“If you look back on some of the greatest breeders of all time, he’s definitely one of them. The silks are famous worldwide and he has been one of the best. 

“We have had Danehill and Frankel and Arrogate win in them. It’s a huge loss for racing, but he’s left a remarkable stamp on the industry.”

 

Farnan partnership strike again

Earlier, Tony Fung and Phoenix Thoroughbreds, the partnership behind last year’s Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m) winner and soon-to-be Kia Ora Stud stallion Farnan (Not A Single Doubt), reinvested in another son of Not A Single Doubt in the hope of repeating the on-track success.

“We are obviously unabashed fans of the sire. We were fortunate enough to secure Farnan from the same sales ring, and he was able to win the Golden Slipper. At the end of the day, that’s the dream, to get him back for these big races,” Aquis Farm managing director Shane McGrath said. 

“He’s a straightforward colt. We liked everything about him and every time we looked at him he never turned a hair. He looks like he’ll be early and hopefully lightning can strike twice for us.”

The Torryburn Stud-consigned youngster, who was catalogued as Lot 221, is the first foal out of the Group 1-placed mare Denmagic (Denman). He will be trained by rising Sydney star Annabel Neasham.

“Most of these world-class sires, they tend to throw a type, and he was very much in that mould,” McGrath continued. “He’s come off a great farm and he was extremely well presented. There is plenty of competition there, which you’d expect from a quality colt. 

“Hopefully he goes on to make the mare for the breeder.”

Spendthrift Australia, the southern hemisphere arm of last year’s Kentucky Derby (Gr 1, 10f)-winning owner B. Wayne Hughes, was underbidder.

“I always thought, from the moment he was born, that he could make a million dollars but everything has to work out. He has come here and it has worked out and I am absolutely stoked,” said Torryburn Stud manager Mel Copelin. 

“Once I saw all the vetting come through, he’d certainly had enough inspections to be a million-dollar horse. He definitely has the best temperament and everyone can see that. He hasn’t turned a hair.”

Denmagic, who was purchased in 2018 from the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale for $350,000 by agent Ric Wylie, has a filly by The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice) and was covered by Exceed And Excel (Danehill) this season.

 

Colts partnerships make mark on day two

Two other colt syndicates registered their first blows of the sale yesterday, with agent James Harron Bloodstock landing a Shalaa (Invincible Spirit) yearling for $1.15 million and a son of Capitalist (Written Tycoon) for $975,000.

The newly formed Victorian Alliance, led by Rosemont Stud’s Nigel Austin, also went to seven figures for a Zoustar (Northern Meteor) colt after both outfits had missed out despite repeated attempts until a heated mid-to-late afternoon period of trade. 

Harron’s biggest play of the second session was on the Shalaa colt, who is the second foal from the former Rick Worthington-trained ATC Widden Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) winner Honesty Prevails (Redoute’s Choice). He was catalogued as Lot 382 and Ciaron Maher was the underbidder.

“Shalaa having a Breeders’ Plate winner early in his career is very impressive,” Harron said. 

“He’s a very special colt with lots of quality and he comes off a great farm in Arrowfield. He was one of our must-have colts and we are delighted to get him.

It’s a fantastic family and Honesty Prevails was a real star mare. Redoute’s needs no introduction as a sire or a broodmare sire. It was a super result.”

Continuing his support of young sire Capitalist, who sported his dark green and gold epaulette colours to win the 2016 Golden Slipper, Harron bought the second crop yearling, who is a brother to this season’s Lloyd Kennewell-trained Maribyrnong Plate (Gr 3, 1000m) placegetter Marine One.

He was offered by Newgate Farm, the home of Capitalist, as Lot 349, and is the third foal out of Listed winner and Group 1-placed Golconda (Snitzel).

“He was very much like his father: very sharp, very precocious and I loved the way he handled the sale,” Harron said. 

“He had a very good attitude towards everything, His brother, Marine One, has got some ability and has proven to be a handy horse. 

“We’ve also got a nice Capitalist already on the team in Forbes, so that made us comfortable to have a shot in this guy.

“He’s well-balanced, medium-sized, with a lovely depth of girth and just a really good, sharp, alert head. He’s a very nice colt, and hopefully he can go nice and early.”

Both of Harron’s acquisitions will be broken in at Kolora Lodge in Queensland before joining the Anthony and Sam Freedman stable.

The Victorian Alliance, who has enlisted the assistance of agents Suman Hedge and the UK’s David Redvers and Hannah Wall, helped provide Widden Stud with its second million-dollar yearling of the sale when the partnership went to seven figures for Lot 332.

The colt, who was bred by Widden Stud and Longwood Thoroughbred Farm’s Michael Christian, is the fifth foal out of Western Australian Group 3 winner Fuddle Dee Duddle (Red Ransom)

Rosemont Stud general manager of bloodstock Ryan McEvoy, who raced Zoustar Group winners Zousain and Sun City, revealed the colt became a prime target some weeks ago.

“It feels like it’s been a long wait and we are rapt to be able to secure this colt. He was our number one after being in the Hunter Valley in mid-December and he is as nice a colt as we have been able to inspect this week,” McEvoy said. 

“He is a sharper style of Zoustar and bred on a similar cross to Sunlight. He looks like a horse who will cope with the work and we noted what a great attitude he had all week. We saw him every day and he didn’t turn a hair, and I think that is important for a Zoustar.

“We had to stretch as is clearly evident in this sale. It is obviously a strong market, but we are over the moon to have this boy join our partnership.” 

A trainer has yet to be decided for the youngster, with the Victorian Alliance directors to make that call at a later date. 

 

I Am Invincible filly joins Godolphin

Godolphin’s selective buying strategy for 2021 also got underway on the second day, with the purchase of an I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) filly for $900,000.

Vin Cox, managing director of the Australian arm of the global racing and breeding empire, declared they were on their last legs when the price surged towards the million-dollar mark.

“We’re delighted to be getting an I Am Invincible filly out of a very, very good racemare, off an outstanding farm,” he said. 

“We think we have bought a good horse, now we have to knock it into shape. She’s just very athletic, a precocious type and she’s got the pedigree. She’s one of those fillies which is a rare commodity, let’s hope she ends up being a very good racehorse.

“She has a pedigree that we can add to our bloodstock portfolio. They are the ones that we want to chase that improve our bloodstock profile.”

Brisbane trainer Kelly Schweida, who has bought four yearlings so far, was underbidder.

The filly is out of Eloping (Choisir), a dual Group 3 winner who is also a sister to the stakes-placed Jesse’s Girl and a three-quarter sister to Group 3-winning juvenile Of The Brave (Starspangledbanner). She is owned by Longwood Thoroughbred Farm’s Michael Christian in partnership with Segenhoe.

The soon-to-be James Cummings-trained yearling filly is Eloping’s second foal and she was catalogued as Lot 257. 

“It is a huge result. She has been very popular during the week, but (the price) exceeded our expectations. She has gone to a great team in Godolphin and James Cummings, so we’re delighted that she’s gone to a really good home,” Segenhoe Stud manager Brian Clarke said.

“She is out of Group 3 winner Eloping, who was a very fast mare, so she has a big residual value. I Am Invincible has got so many Group-winning fillies, so you’re a great chance of getting a stakes winner when you buy one of those.”

Eloping has a filly foal by Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) and she visited the Widden Stud stallion’s own sire Snitzel in 2020.

The two days of strong trade at the Gold Coast was due to a strong domestic market, according to Cox.

“In any market over any period of time, it’s the domestic market which is the guts of the market. There is just a huge appetite domestically to buy horses, whether it be syndicators, colt buyers, local buyers, or us as a global organisation looking to buy nice horses to add to our system,” he said. 

“As we know, there is a lack of international buyers, but it is great that our industry can stand up on our own two feet and really be as buoyant and strong as it has been.”

 

Market shows no signs of slowing down

At the close of trade on the second day of the season-opening Gold Coast sale, the clearance rate for 330 horses sold was at 88 per cent, at an average of $258,202 and a median of $180,000, which is comparative or above compared to the 2020 and 2019 sales.

The circumstances this year are, of course, dramatically different but they appear, at least to this point, to have not affected the Australian bloodstock market.

“If it was solid yesterday. It was extremely solid today. The clearance rate is edging towards 88 per cent. The average hit $260,000 and is holding just underneath that. There is buoyancy at all ends, there are buyers that are walking away thrilled with their purchases,” Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch said last night.

“Vendors are putting them on the market and once you get to the better end of the market, the colt funds, and even those here to buy fillies, are pinning their ears back and having a proper go.”

There are some buyers who have lamented their inability to enter the market up to this point, but with five days of selling remaining, Bowditch believes there are plenty of opportunities for those wanting to invest.

“Everyone will get a turn here. It’s a huge catalogue and that’s the beauty of this sale, and the beauty of Magic Millions,” he said. 

“We have a catalogue full of quality horses that the vendors decide to send here. If you keep your lists long, and you do your work, then you are going to be rewarded in the long run. Book 1 having a catalogue of 960-odd horses will do that and then following into Book 2.”