Millions sale set to offer Maktoum spending clue
THE first major bloodstock auction of 2010 kicks off tomorrow with 200 lots due to go under the hammer in the first session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in Queensland, Australia. Selling begins at 11am local time (1am GMT).
The sale will give the first clue as to the level of Sheikh Mohammed's participation at bloodstock sales in the new year after the recent, well-documented troubles with Dubai's economy - though Darley was registered as having purchased just one yearling, a A$600,000 son of Redoute's Choice, in Book 1 of last year's sale. In 2008 Darley spent A$1.3 million on two yearlings.
Australia's reigning champion sire Encosta De Lago has the largest representation of any stallion, with 32 lots catalogued.
Sheikh Mohammed: his Darley operation bought one yearling at last year's Magic Million salePICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Stallions who will cover mares in Europethis spring with progeny on offer at the sale include Ad Valorem, Aussie Rules, Choisir, Danehill Dancer, Dansili, Dubai Destination, Exceed And Excel, Galileo, Holy Roman Emperor, Oratorio, Rock Of Gibraltar, Tiger Hill and Tobougg.
Bushwear manufacturer RM Williams replaces casino and hotel complex Conrad Jupiters as the Magic Millions sale and racing festival's main sponsor, and Australian media have reported a more austere launch party for the sale than in recent years.
In 2007 American film star Tara Reid attended a glitzy party to get the sale underway, but this year the Brisbane Times, under the headline "Have the Millions lost their Magic?" reported a "barnyard-themed, invitation-only hoedown for 400 mostly corporate, racing and political VIPs."