CHAMPION trainer Gai Waterhouse started yesterday’s opening of the Magic Millions yearling sales by shelling out more than $1million for four yearlings by champion sire Fastnet Rock.
Coolmore Stud stallion Fastnet Rock’s colt, with a reserve of $600,000, was initially passed in and taken out of the Gold Coast sales ring at $475,000.
But Waterhouse, who teamed with bloodstock agent James Harron, made a bid later in the day and claimed the colt for $500,000, the top price of the day.
The pair also bought a Fastnet Rock filly for $500,000, another for $330,000 and one of the stallion’s colts for $460,000.
Organisers were pleased with the final figures from yesterday’s sales, which totalled $17,372,500, at an average of $128,685 per horse.
Magic Millions spokesman Greg Irvine said figures were slightly up on last year and 175 lots were sold at a clearance rate of 77per cent.
Hunter thoroughbred breeder John Messara, of Arrowfield Stud, said the bidding started ‘‘meekly’’ but improved later in the day.
Mr Messara said the sale prices should not be judged by one lot.
‘‘Nice horses are selling for good money. I have sold some and the prices are reasonable, they are fetching around or above their reserves,’’ Mr Messara said.
Arrowfield as agent sold a filly by Snitzel for $400,000 and a colt by Redoute’s Choice for $220,000.
Other prices from the first day of the sale included $220,000 paid
by Waterhouse and Harron Bloodstock for a Bylong Park colt by Snitzel.
Waterhouse and Harron also bought a Flying Spur filly for $250,000.
The top price paid at last year’s sale was $960,000.
The sale continues until Tuesday, January 15.