Case of deja vu after second session of weanling auction
Colt's brother topped the sale on the same day last year
It was a case of deja vu on the Gold Coast on Friday as a colt by Exceed And Excel topped the second session of the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.
Offered by Rothwell Park, the colt out of the Artie Schiller mare Doctrine was knocked down to Julian Blaxland of Blue Sky Bloodstock for A$320,000 (£185,600/€212,800).
On the corresponding day last year, the colt's brother was also the sale-topper of the day when selling for A$350,000.
Those colts were the first two products of the unraced Doctrine - a half-sister to five winners including the high-class sprinter Rain Affair.
"I thought he was a lovely horse," Blaxland said. "He's by one of the world's great sires in Exceed And Excel - he's done the job obviously here in Australia but also up in the northern hemisphere.
"He's out of an Artie Schiller half to Rain Affair - I thought he was one of the better colts of the sale.
"Rothwell Park sell their best stock as weanlings as a rule. He's a really nice horse - a horse we could bring back in January to resell or just to race," Blaxland added.
The demand for quality stock by first-season sires continued with the Brazen Beau colt out of Flute Of Bubbly from Cornerstone Stud Farm selling for A$300,000.
A half-brother to stakes-winning juvenile Shigeru Sendan, the colt was purchased by Hilldene in association with Victorian-based bloodstock agent Peter Ford.
"We love the stallion," Hilldene's Nicholas Wakim said. "We love the look of them and we bought the other one yesterday for A$270,000.
"We thought he was a very nice type and we'll probably send him back here to Magic Millions for the yearling sale.
"He met our metrics - everything from pedigree to conformation. We're very happy with him and I think he’ll make a lovely colt," Wakim added.
Blue Sky Bloodstock rounded out the two-day sale as leading buyer with 11 purchases at a spend of A$1.594 million (£923,900/€1,060,000). As well as today's overall top buyer, Blaxland also purchased the day's top filly for Blue Sky for A$250,000. The filly was by So You Think out of Miss Shamardal.
Other millionaire spenders included James Bester Bloodstock (12 lots at A$1.252 million), the partnership of Hilldene and Peter Ford Thoroughbreds (seven lots for A$1.18 million) and David Lucas, as agent for Phoenix Investments (three lots for A$1.01 million).
Brazen top of the class of '17
While Exceed and Excel’s only lot catalogued sold for A$320,000 - the leading sire on average for multiple lots sold was Coolmore Stud's Fastnet Rock with his three sold averaging $303,750.
Snitzel averaged A$293,330 for three sold, while Brazen Beau took the honour of leading first-season sire at the auction with his four sold averaging an impressive A$201,250.
"Day two continued much in the same vein as yesterday," Vin Cox, managing director of Magic Millions, reported. "The six-figure horses - there were a number of them - they were prolific and that was fantastic from that point of view."
The sale rounded out with a gross of over A$19.69 million – which was A$2.3 million up on the corresponding sale last year. The average price was over A$52,000 and the clearance rate just over 81 per cent.
"Overall it's been quite a good sale. We had a much bigger catalogue than we've had in previous years and when you get bigger numbers it's hard to keep the market engaged as long or as high.
"There was very strong competition on those very good horses and one of the other pleasing aspects was that a lot of the higher-end money and the bigger spenders were largely domiciled overseas.
"It's great to see that we're getting investors into the Australian industry and the fact they are investing in weanlings suggests they have a lot of confidence in the Australian domestic market."
The Magic Millions focus will now switch to the National Broodmare Sale which commences at 10am local time on Tuesday.