Gai Waterhouse: will train the session-topping Encosta De Lago fillyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Encosta filly tops Magic Millions day two
A FILLY by Australian champion sire Encosta De Lago out of the Gai Waterhouse-trained Golden Slipper heroine Ha Ha became the highest-priced yearling of the MagicMillions Gold Coast Yearling Sale so far when reaching A$700,000 (£404,000 / €448,000) in today's second session.
The winning bidder was Craig Thompson, owner of shipping company Seacorp and the founder five years ago of Mount Hallowell Stud in West Australia, who was standing with Waterhouse.
Thompson told racingandsports.com.au: "I came to the sale specifically to buy this filly - just look at her pedigree. Hopefully she can win a few races as well, with her residual value outstanding.
"What I wanted was to buy a headline mare for Mount Hallowell Stud. I have the full sister to Court Command as well, plus a few lovely two-year-oldsfrom the Inglis sales that I have bought with Gai with great pedigrees, and they will come to the breeding barn in due course as well."
Waterhouse will train the session-topping filly.
There have been fewer fireworks at the top of the market at the sale so far compared with last year's first two sessions, in which three yearlings sold for seven figures, but the average for the sale after today increased to A$131,179 (£75,600 / €83,900) from A$125,409 recorded in Wednesday's opening session.
The clearance rate also improved, going from 73 per cent on Wednesday to 78 per cent for the two days combined.
Magic Millions director David Chester was upbeat. "To go from 73 per cent to 78 per cent is terrific. A lot of buyers sat on their hands yesterday and today they bid up.
"It was very good trading today and tomorrow should be nearly as good. We have two horses that will go close to the million in sessions three and four.
As on the first day, international money underpinned the top prices, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club purchasing a A$540,000 Dehere colt and a A$530,000 Encosta De Lago colt, South African Laird Racing Stables splashing out A$480,000 for a son of Fastnet Rock and BBA Ireland securing a Stravinsky filly for A$520,000.
Two other active European buyers on the second day were De Burgh Equine, who struck for a A$200,000 daughterof Dane Shadow, and Blandford Bloodstock, who went to A$180,000 for a colt by Strada.
Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Australia, on the board for a A$470,000 daughter of Redoute's Choice on the first day's trading, was a notable absentee from the buyers' list in the second session.