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Redoute's Choice colt makes A$1.2 million

2009 585 533 420 79 56,578,500 134,711
2008 640 591 490 83 74,825,000 152,704

SPIRITED bidding for the progeny of some of Australia's best racemares breathed new life into the Magic Millions yearling sale in Queensland on Friday.¶

Taking the sale back into seven-figure territory on day three was a (yet another) well-bred colt by the country's most expensive stallion, Redoute's Choice. Out of the six-time winning, Group 1 mare Kapchat, the Widden Stud offering is a three-quarters brother to the high-class, 10-time winning Group 3 sprinter Kaphero and the Listed winner Princessa.

Local buyers Devitt and Gordon Investments paid A$1.2 million (€620,000 / £554,265) and although the same names were on the buyer's list for the same colt when knocked down for $630,000 at last year's Magic Million National Weanling Sale, it is likely new partners will now come into the ownership.

Encosta de Lago daughter sells privately

The colt stood alone in the millionaire class with the next best being a A$750,000 (€387,000 / £346,000) filly by champion Australian sire Encosta De Lago and a daughter of the Oaks winner Larrocha, herself a sister to Victoria Derby winner Blackfriars as well as the high-class winners Manton, Waterford Road and Lions Gate.¶

The filly was not sold in the ring at A$850,000, but changed hands privately soon after with Kieren Moore Bloodstock securing her on behalf of a south-east Asian client.¶

Mark Player takes home choice lot
A highly anticipated lot in the thirdsession was a colt by Coolmore's star resident stallion Encosta De Lago out of the Golden Slipper Stakes winner Merlene. Offered by Coolmore, he is a brother to the South African stakes winner Merlene De Lago.¶

After bidding opened at a promising A$200,000, it ran out of steam at the A$510,000 (€263,000 /£235,000)  offered by Mark Player on behalf of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.¶

Average respectable but 12 per cent down
There has been solid support for horses above the A$200,000 mark which has helped to maintain the average for the first three sessions at a respectable level of A$134,711 (€69,000 /£61,000) for the 420 lots sold. However, although the average is still 12 per cent below last year's figure of A$152,704 for the equivalent sessions. The clearance rate is 79 per cent compared with 83 per cent achieved in 2008.

Waterhouse spend tops A$6 million
Sydney's champion trainer Gai Waterhouse is clearly the biggest spender both numerically and by total outlay as she has bought 21 yearlings for A$6.015 million (€3.1million / £2.7 milli0n), including the sale-topping A$2 million Encosta De Lago colt purchased on day one.¶

She has spent nearly three-time more than the next biggest buyer the Hong Kong Jockey Club which has bought17 colts for a tick over A$3 million (€1.5 million /£1.3 million) . Anthony Cummings has also bought 17 lots but for A$750,000 less than the HKJC.

Badgers, Blandford and BBA Ireland active for Europe
Among the other international buyers, BBA Ireland bought two further lots and has now parted with A$470,000 (€242,000 / £217,000)  for three yearlings, the Newmarket-based Blandford Bloodstock has spentA$540,000 (€279,000 / £249,000) on two colts and Grant Pritchard-Gordon's Badgers Bloodstock has picked up two fillies for A$320,000 (€165,000 / £148,000).

No doubts about the leading sire
In the battle to be the sale's leading stallion, and Redoute's Choice and Coolmore Stud's Encosta De Lago have the race to themselves, though the Arrowfield Stud stallion's average, who has been responsible for three million dollar-plus yearlings, is some A$150,000 (€77,000 / £69,000)  more than the Coolmore-based sire.

Progress is good
Magic Millions managing director David Chester reported that he is happy with the progress of the sale.

"The whole sale has been a lot better than expected," Chester said."It has shown the way for the rest of the sale to follow and things haven't been as bad as everyonethought. The top 100 horses in the sale wouldn't have made anymore last year.

"Let's not kid ourselves - the sale is still down, but the pleasing thing is that the clearance rate is getting close to 80 per cent and hopefully tomorrow night we might crack that mark.

"There will be an electric atmosphere here, but the average will drop further. However, the buying bench has been very good and a lot of them - the Japanese in particular - can't believe how strong the sale has been."





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