By Andrew Adermann
Three million-dollar purchases were the highlight from yesterday’s opening day of the signature Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
A colt by Exceed and Excel out of Dream in Colour topped the charts late on day one, fetching $1.1 million thanks to Tom Magnier, Coolmore Australia’s Principal.
“He’s just a very, very nice horse,” Magnier said.
“He has a lot of quality, he’s a great mover and he’s got a pedigree.
“All of the team got behind the horse and said they really liked him and when that happens, we like to try and get them.”
Earlier in the day, a colt by I Am Invincible out of Adrift was the first to tip the seven-figure mark, selling for $1.05 million to Waller Racing and Mulcaster Bloodstock.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott team rounded out the million-dollar club with a Rosemont Stud I Am Invincible colt out of former stable star Amanpour who was purchased for a $1 million.
In total, just over 200 lots were sold on the opening day, grossing a tick under $49 million at an average price of $239,236.
Despite the astronomical figures, everyone in the business knows there’s no exact science in unearthing the next superstar of the turf.
For every Winx (a $230,000 purchase in 2013), there are countless other exuberant price tags who never see a race track for one reason or another.
It can’t be easy finding a point of difference in the 1000-plus yearlings that will go through the ring this week, but one person who knows better than most is leading Sydney trainer, Gai Waterhouse.
“You’re looking for an athlete - if they’re not an athlete then they can’t be competitive,” Waterhouse said.
“You’re looking for something that will come to hand quickly, and the horses that come to hand the quickest are the ones that are early foals and that are born in a hot, warm climate.
“Finally, you look for the horse that when it walks out of the box it says ‘hey man, I’m here, I want to be a part of it’ – that’s what I look for.
“I’ve seen it already today and I think I’ve found the Magic Millions winner for next year.”
Whilst Waterhouse didn’t disclose which yearling she was referring to at the time, there’s a fair chance it’s her aforementioned million-dollar purchase.
“Physically he’s just such an athletic horse,” co-trainer Adrian Bott said.
“He’s from a family we know well and have had a lot of success with.
“He’s by one of the top sires and from a farm that produces top horses - he ticked all the boxes.”
The Sale continues today with Lots 263-524 going under the hammer, and concludes Tuesday, January 14 at Lot 1086.