Godolphin trainer James Cummings has taken the opportunity this week to drink in the captivating atmosphere of Queensland’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
But now, he must wait 12 months before learning whether the impressive collection of purchases that marked Godolphin’s return to this famous sales ring deliver the desired results on the big day.
The Magic Millions concept is well known and hugely successful. Horses bought at the sale can return, year on year, to compete for the huge prizemoney up for grabs. Most races are worth nearly A$1m.
The fact that there are again nine races on the card, each featuring a capacity 16-runner field, is a huge endorsement for what is on offer in the sales/racing package.
In a perfect world, Cummings can look forward next year to having a multiple entry in the MM 2YO Classic, which is run over 1,200m (6 furlongs).
It is widely believed that there is more depth to this year’s Classic field than ever before, and that can only be good for the meeting.
Three horses are currently vying for favouritism, all of whom have won their last two starts.
Sunlight, a Zoustar filly out of a Charge Forward mare, finished third in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial at Flemington in October, but then recently put together two impressive wins on the Gold Coast. She has excellent credentials.
Jonker, who is by Spirit of Boom out of a Kempinsky mare, has won his only two starts, and is another to register wide-margin victories early in his career.
While Ef Troop, another by Spirit Of Boom, won twice at Doomben, hard on the heels of two barrier trial successes. He could be a true star.
Nomothaj, who carries the blue and white silks of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, won the Maribyrnong Trial at Flemington in October, and has since attracted attention in a Sydney barrier trial.
The A$600,000 Snitzel Filly
A stunning filly by champion Australian stallion Snitzel was added to a classy group of yearlings from the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale who will join Godolphin’s local team.
The daughter of the Fraar mare Fiesole is one of two fillies purchased by Godolphin on day three of the sale, along with a Shooting To Win filly from the outstanding producer Dane Belltar.
“We succeeded in purchasing a very racy Snitzel filly from Kitchwin Hills who we thought was a particularly sharp individual with great residual value,” said Godolphin’s Australian racing and bloodstock manager, Jason Walsh.
“Not only do we look forward to training her, but also feel she will suit our Darley stallion roster when the time comes.”
The Snitzel filly, who was knocked down for A$600,000, is Fiesole’s third foal and is a member of a strong family that includes her half-sisters Gregers (Commands) and Girl Guide (Churchill Downs), both of whom were trained by David Hayes.
Jason Walsh went to A$340,000 for the Shooting To Win filly offered by Mill Park Stud who is a half-sister to Fawkner whose three G1 victories include the Caulfield Cup and Makybe Diva Stakes, and to Tanby, a dual G2 winner in Melbourne.
“We were most impressed with her wonderful attitude,” Walsh said.
“She looked to be a big tough filly with a very strong pedigree and from a durable weight-for-age family.
“She’ll be a valued addition to both the racing program and ultimately our broodmare band.”
Walsh commented on the strength of the sale which he said had led to fierce competition for six lots purchased on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed.
“We’ve been the underbidders on a number of horses by our stallions. It’s difficult to buy what you like which is always a great sign,” he said.
“The market is very dynamic and we couldn’t be more pleased with the six horses we’ve secured for Sheikh Mohammed and hopefully they can develop into horses of consequence for His Highness and Team Godolphin.”