THE biggest buyer to bolt from last year’s Magic Millions yearling auctions has emerged as one of this year’s top sellers on the eve of tomorrow’s opening sales on the Gold Coast.
Nathan Tinkler was the surprise punter last year when he lavishly splashed more than $20 million on yearlings. But 2010 sees his commercial breeding and racing company Patinack Farm expected to make a name for itself with 11 lots to go under the hammer.
While those closest to Tinkler remain tight lipped regarding a buying purse for this year’s sales, stud manager Ben Lawrence confirmed Patinack will be looking at the ‘right horses with a particular interest in purchasing some ‘nice pedigree cults’. On the selling front, Lawrence expects strong interest.
“It’s always good to have the first and to see the market and we will do well out of them. We have a lovely draft of big, strong and athletic horses,” he says.
Magic Millions managing director David Chester (pictured), says the heightened anticipation that has come with this afternoon’s final inspection, has been bolstered by the 11 Patinack lots to sell for well above the average sale of $130,000 each.
“They have a really good draft of yearlings and I’d expect them to do very well. They obviously picked out yearlings that would suit the market well,” he says.
With a total of 1200 lots on sale, Magic Millions officials are hoping to gross a conservative estimate of $70 million – $4 million down on last year. That figure is expected to be increased with the appearance of top South African trainer Charles Laird who Chester says was ‘sadly missed’ in 2009.
“Charles Laird is likely to be the biggest international buyer this year,” says Chester.
“One of the great features of the Magic Millions is the record of graduates that is second to none. Seven out of the last nine Golden Slipper winners that were bought at auction were bought right here on the Gold Coast and the important thing is that everyone here has quality – as good as or better than years before.”
Other major international racing identities include England’s Lord William Huntingdon, Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges and Malaysian Golden Knight stable owner Richard Beh.
With all eyes trained on the parade tomorrow when the first international yearling auction of the Southern Hemisphere breeding season begins, no one knows what to expect - as Nathan Tinkler proved last year.
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