Brother to Stratum
stars at Magic Millions
DESPITE an apparent lack of activity from either Coolmore or Darley, there was cause for encouragement during the opening session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in Australia on Wednesday, with the day's average rising marginally from last year's corresponding session to A$127,172 (£80,718/€96,972).
Peter Moody: leading trainer snapped up A$850,000 coltPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
All told, 131 yearlings sold for a total of A$16,659,500 (£10,572,757/€12,703,461), up six per cent from last year. The clearance rate showed a slight improvement from 2010, rising from 73 per cent to 75 per cent, although the median dropped by five per cent to A$95,000 (£60,288/€72,440).
A brother to Golden Slipper Stakes winner Stratum was regarded pre-sale as a likely star and he duly lived up to his billing when selling for A$850,000 (£538,091/€647,025) to leading Melbourne trainer Peter Moody during the early hours of selling.
Auctioneer Steve Davis opened the bidding at A$300,000 on the son of Redoute's Choice, which rapidly rose to surpass the A$500,000 mark. Moody, acting on behalf a group of stable clients, entered the fray late on and said afterwards he would have gone further to secure the youngster.
"We would have been prepared to go a little bit more, but we didn't have to thankfully," he said.
Of his ownership, he added: "We have not finalised anything yet. He is a nice colt - so happy to have him in the yard.
"I thought he was the colt of the sale. He has an exceptional pedigree being a brother to a Slipper winner and just an all round athletic colt."
Stratum was purchased for A$320,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale in 2004 and went on to win A$2,244,5000 in prize-money before retiring to Widden Stud. The son of Redoute's Choice enjoyed a brilliant start with his first two-year-olds last season as the sire of Group 1 winner Crystal Lily, who emulated her sire with victory in the Golden Slipper Stakes.
The 11th foal out of the unraced Luskin Star mare Bourgeois, the colt is also a brother to the Listed-placed Dystopia. He was consigned by the New South Wales-based Reavill Farm.
Demand for top-end colts outstripped that for fillies with five selling for A$400,000 or more. By comparison, the dearest filly, a daughter of Encosta De Lago, was knocked down for A$350,000.
The day's leading buyer, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, went to A$440,000 for a son of Flying Spur from Willow Park Stud. The colt is out of Fumble, a Group 3-winning half-sister to South Australian Derby winner Hard To Get.
De Burgh Equine was the only European agency to make a purchase, with its Sydney-based agent James Harron paying A$100,000 for a daughter of Danzero.
Magic Millions managing director Stephen Silk was satisfied with the opening session. He said: "It's been a satisfying day for both buyers and vendors. It did seem to be a buyer's market - I think there was some great value buying.
"We were pleased with some strong international bidding - particularly from the Hong Kong Jockey Club which has been a strong supporter of the Magic Millions Yearling Sale over recent years."