FORMER billionaire mining magnate Nathan Tinkler was left hanging on the telephone yesterday as his prime racing property Patinack Farm at Canungra failed to sell at auction.

But, according to LJ Hooker Surfers Paradise director Rick Graham, the sprawling 447ha racing and breeding complex could be wrapped up by buyers in separate deals within a week.

The on-site auction drew about 80 spectators and 19 registered bidders as they vied for a piece of the fallen tycoon’s racing empire on Thursday.

The auction proceeded despite a conditional offer being received for Patinack Farm as one lot from one keen buyer.

With a single sale failing to hit the mark, Patinack Farm was placed on the market in four parcels – only to achieve a combine bid of $11.6 million.

Market sources say Tinkler’s well-publicised financial woes had attracted bargain hunters as the big offshore players didn’t take part in the auction process.

Tinkler wasn’t present at the auction and communicated through a representative by phone.

The bidding stopped at $4.5 million for Wadham Park, $1.8 million for Elysian Fields, $3.5 million for Benobble and $1.8 million for Saravale.

It is understood that Tinkler had received higher offers for each of the parcels prior to auction, but with conditions attached.

Graham remains confident of securing contracts for all four lots by the end of next week.

“There have been discussions with several different groups following the auction, including people who bid at the auction,” says the LJ Hooker Surfers Paradise director.

“We’re expecting contracts tomorrow (Friday), but we’re also in a position to deal and negotiate with some of our offshore buyers who were not prepared to bid at the auction.

“We’re very confident that within the next seven to 10 days we’ll have contracts on all four lots.”

America’s largest thoroughbred group, Spendthrift Farms, is among the potential buyers keen to snare the property and establish a foothold in Australia. Parties from the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and New Zealand have also expressed interest, along with interstate buyers.

Gold Coast racing identities Hoss and Gillian Heinrich were also among the bidders at auction.

Graham says the property attracted more than 55 inquiries and had 30 inspections.

“In retrospect we probably expected a little more activity on the day, but that activity is certainly being created now,” he says.

Tinkler has emptied all livestock from the property, selling most of them through the Magic Millions sales earlier this month. 

The former billionaire’s Hunter Valley Patinack Farm is set for auction next week.

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