NATHAN Tinkler's racing empire has started to be dismantled with 189 of his broodmares and race mares going under the hammer at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast yesterday.
It was day one of a four-day dispersal sale that will go towards settling a reported $40 million debt owed to retail billionaire - and fellow racehorse breeder - Gerry Harvey.
With the horses yesterday brining in $20.9 million, Mr Tinkler is already about half way there.
A total of 500 lots are expected to be sold in what is understood to be the largest private thoroughbred dispersal in Australian racing history.
Despite building a reputation as a man who could pull off the most unlikely of business deals, the former coal magnate's horse racing dreams went unrealised.
Patinack had limited success on the track and gained a reputation for a revolving door of employees where at its peak, 200 people were employed.
Mr Tinkler invested more than $300 million and six years building Patinack Farm in his quest to become the most powerful man in racing, before losing control of the operation in August after Mr Harvey called in his debt.
However, the trouble at Patinack began long before, with reports in 2012 that horses on the stud had gone without feed because suppliers had not been paid.
Mr Tinkler's former horse trainer, John Thompson, also claimed the animals had not been seen by vets or farriers for weeks at a time.
Mr Tinkler's two prized Hunter Valley Patinack farm properties will be auctioned on October 13.
Any money left over from the sale of Patinack is expected to go into the pocket of Mr Tinkler.
Mr Tinkler, once worth $1.3 billion, lost control of the Newcastle Knights in June and is selling the Newcastle Jets.
Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox said the first day of the Patinack sale had exceeded expectations.
He said over the course of the dispersal sale, they expected to earn about $30 million.
"There are very few people who hold this number of horses anywhere in the world," he said.
"It was huge, the place was heaving; there were a lot of people everywhere.
"It's an out of season sale, which is an indication of what people thought of the catalogue to travel to the Gold Coast.
"We had people buying from Asia, South Africa, America and domestically."
Mr Tinkler himself made an appearance, catching up with Mr Harvey as the sale progressed.