Magic Millions proves that the sales market is still strong

Syndicators have reported continued insatiable demand for racehorse shares following a prosperous annual sale of Magic Millions to the Gold Coast, lending confidence to the strength of the middle market underlying racehorse ownership in Australia.

Some prominent industry players had predicted an element of fear in the market leading to the opening season auction, amid suggestions of a declining economy and rising interest rates, factors likely to weigh on Australian households’ disposable income – in contrast with the relentless demand for racehorse ownership during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the record-breaking Magic Millions sales defied any pessimism within the blood supply industry as unprecedented aggregate and average numbers were set across the Gold Coast.

While the strength at the top of the market was on display for all to see, resulting in four lots over $2 million (AU) at Magic Millions for the first time, the mid-market also played a part as syndicators splashed in excess of AU$24 million during the seven-day sale.

And their confidence in the market seems warranted, with one syndicator reporting that shares in all 10 of their horses purchased last week have already “sold 70 percent” less than 48 hours after the closing of the Magic Millions sale on Jan. 16. .

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Victoria-based syndicators Bennett Racing spent AU$2,465,000 (US$1,722,936) on the Magic Millions sale, breaking their record price for a yearling no less than four times as the operation netted AU$400,000 Snitzel (US$279,584) filly, alongside an AU$370,000 (US$258,615) filly by Zoustar in collaboration with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, an AU$330,000 (US$230,657) Extreme choice colt with Ciaron Maher, and an AU$310,000 (US$216,678) colt by the same Newgate stallion.

“The market has been very solid. I think it’s the strongest market we’ve ever had,” said Nathan Bennett, director of Bennett Racing.

“All the nice horses made good money, and everything in Australia goes up (in price). The old $150,000 horse is now $250,000, so if you don’t pull yourself out, you can’t buy those horses.

Photo: Courtesy of Magic Millions/Bronwen Healy & Darren Tindale Photography

Sales were brisk during the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale

“The take-up of shares has been fantastic. Out of the 10 horses we bought, we are about 70 percent sold over the horses. Some are just about ready, others have a little way to go, but 70 percent overall line all 10 is a good position to be in.”

Syndicators spending on record purchases was not an uncommon feature of the Gold Coast yearling sale. In addition to Bennett Racing’s new benchmark, Jamie Walter of Proven Thoroughbreds went for AU$470,000 (US$328,511) for a filly of Deep fieldmore than the AU$450,000 Walter paid in 2021 for Proven’s listed filly Stroll.

Joe O’Neill’s Prime Thoroughbreds and Triple Crown Syndications last week both achieved their second-highest price ever paid for a yearling; Darby Racing paid AU$1,705,000 (US$1,191,727) for eight yearlings; while Star Thoroughbreds, the largest overall purchaser among syndicators with 11 purchases of AU$2.9 million (US$2,026,984), paid a top price of AU$410,000 (US$286,574) for a filly of I am invincible .

Dynamic Syndications was also active in the Magic Millions auction and bought 13 horses for a total amount of AU$2,040,000 (US$1,425,878).

Among those lots was a three-quarter brother of Capitalist, a Piero colt out of a half-sister of Fastnet Rock, and a To justify colt out of a half-sister of group 1 winner Takedown.

Dynamic director Adam Watt shared how he believed the mid-market was an opportunity for the Gold Coast, with that part of the market “not as strong” as he expected.

“We exceeded the quality of the horses we wanted, so we were thrilled to be able to walk away with what we did,” said Adam Watt of Dynamic Syndications. “I think the market is a two-speed market right now, and I think that’s probably supported by the median and sales averages.

“The big stallion funds are going to unprecedented heights, but I thought there was incredible value for money in the middle market. We walked away with three Snitzels, two of which are out of true black-type mares.

“We thought some of those horses would cost a lot more than we could get them for. I thought they would really exceed our values ​​for what we could do with our budget.”

Watt said Dynamic, which sold all of the stock from horses purchased last November, was “ahead” of where they were 12 months ago in terms of taking stock from their customers.

“The takeover of stocks was incredible,” he said. “People are still looking for quality. No matter what environment you are in, economically people will still want quality.

“They still want to buy BMWs and look at nice houses, and the blood bank market is exactly the same. If you give people the opportunity to race three-quarter brothers to capitalists and horses from half-kin of Fastnet Rock … we went there and got very shopped hard and our customers have responded in kind.”