Horse Racing

Magic Millions Online Sells First Seven-Figure Horse

Group 2-winning mare Kiku has been sold to leading Japanese breeder Katsumi Yoshida for AUS$1.46 million (US$945890), becoming Magic Millions Online’s first seven-figure horse, but not before a major technical glitch saw the sale halted for two hours and a back-up auction conducted.

Magic Millions was forced into resorting to its online bidding platform used to conduct its live auctions, a system which was integral to the on-farm Strawberry Hill Stud Dispersal Sale, to complete the drama-filled sale of Star Thoroughbreds’ 6-year-old Zoustar  mare after its online site crashed soon after 4 pm local time Aug. 31 with the highest bid at AUS$980,000.

Northern Farm’s Yoshida, who bought privately the Chris Munce-trained subsequent Tattersall’s Tiara winner Palaisipan earlier this year, was one of several parties to bid on the sister to group 1 winner Zoutori at the hastily convened continuation of the auction at Magic Millions’ Gold Coast headquarters.

David Chester was charged with the duties of selling Kiku from his makeshift office rostrum at 6pm, where he counted the bids in rising AUS$20,000 increments, the potential buyers playing either online or over the phone through Magic Millions bloodstock staff.

The sale was live-streamed and recorded to maintain the transparency of the auction process.

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Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch was at a loss to explain how the technical problems occurred and said a thorough investigation would be immediately undertaken.

“We became aware we had an issue as we were counting down (in the final minutes) as we started receiving calls from interested parties who weren’t able to bid,” Bowditch told ANZ Bloodstock News.

While acknowledging the unfortunate circumstances during the bespoke sale of the Chris Waller-trained Kiku, Bowditch was nevertheless thrilled with the end result, an important milestone for Magic Millions in its push for a bigger share of the Australasian digital thoroughbred sale market.

“Katsumi Yoshida has bought some fantastic mares here in Australia over the years and he recently bought Palaisipan, who went on to the group 1 after he purchased her, and now he’s bought another quality mare in Kiku,” he said.

“I’m delighted for Denise Martin and her syndicate, Brett Howard (Glenesk Thoroughbreds/Randwick Bloodstock) and their team who had the mare in mint condition and she sold accordingly.”

Kiku was bought by Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds for AUS$300,000 from the Amarina Farm draft at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

The mare would go on to land six wins from her 30 starts, headed by her victory in last year’s Theo Marks Stakes, having landed the Carbine Club Stakes the year before. The mare won last year’s Magic Millions National Classic at Eagle Farm and was also placed on a further 11 occasions, including three times at black-type level. She banked AUS$1,244,988 in career prize money.

Despite the technical difficulties, Martin told ANZ Bloodstock News she was delighted with the result, which represented another brilliant return for her Star Thoroughbreds clients.

She said: “It’s a great result that Mr Katsumi Yoshida has purchased her and I was just on the phone to Jon Freyer from Arrowfield to thank him enormously for the support. We are highly delighted to say the least.”


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