Almost every year the records for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling sales are broken. This year a colt sold for $2,000,000 making it the most expensive purchase in the events history. Money spent increased for the sixth consecutive year; up by approximately $21-million on 2017 and across the entire event overall sales have increased from $75.9-million in 2010 to $180-million this month.
Ok, that’s interesting but how did the big purchases in the past decade fare? I’ve charted the two most expensive horses each year from 2010, then included the next most expensive horse that has broken even in terms of prize money only… (Adding the true cost of horse ownership is just too hard but if you are interested I would recommend reading Cuffelinks: The economic reality of breeding and owning racehorses by Garry Mackrell).
2010: Cross Of Gold was the top purchase at $925,000 and although he is still racing in Western Australia as a 9-year old gelding his 71-starts for $225,626 is well short of what connections originally hoped for. The first break-even horse was Hoylonny, who cost $380,000 but won 7-races and earned $469,330 before retiring in 2015. The stand-out horse in the first 20 was Delago Deluxe who was shipped to South Africa, won approx. 1.5M Rand (approx. $160,000) including a Group 1. He has now retired to stud duties back in Australia.
2011: Connections would still not be smiling when they bought Laughing Lad for $1,150,000 with a miserly $8,720 return. Aptly named No Looking Back was the fourth most expensive horse at $500,000 and before a quick-fire career she returned $635,250 and retired in 2014 with a ROI of 27.1%.
2012: Another tough year for buyers of thoroughbreds. Bull Point was the top purchase at $960,000 and he amassed a decent $552,000 in earnings before retiring to stud in 2016. The first break-even horse then was the 16th most expensive horse Centre Pivot who has won eight races, earned connections $718,033 and might chalk up more in the next couple of years.
2013: This was the big year for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling sales when the 61st most expensive horse, Winx was picked up for $230,000. She has currently returned $15.63-million to date. The most expensive horse bought that year was Valentia who cost $1,350,000 and returned $218,800 before retiring to stud duties in 2016. The first break-even horse was another good-thing, 2016 Group 1 Emirates winner Awesome Rock who cost $575,000 (4th most expensive) but won just over $2,000,000 during his career.
2014: Red Knot was the only $1,000,000 horse in 2014 and has currently returned $125,710 without setting the world on fire. At 14th the export Campbell Junior has been winning big in Japan and has so far earned around ¥97,266,000 (approx. $1,100,000 AUD). No stand-outs currently sit between Red Knot & Campbell Junior although all twelve horses are racing.
2015: The top three only. Ready Fire Aim was bought for $1,200,000 and in 2017 won two country NSW races for total prize money of $45,090. The next two big purchases Alter Call (cost $1,050,000) and Pirapala ($850,000) have both won races but their prize money is still sub-$100,000 as they struggle through the grades. Let’s see how they race in 2018.
2016: The top purchase of 2016 was Chauffer at $1,600,000. This horse is looking the goods with $555,250 already in the kitty including a 2nd behind Houtzen at the 2017 Magic Millions 2Y Classic which earned connections $370,000. That said Chauffer still needs to win more than $1,000,000 to become the first top-3 purchase to break-even in a decade. Showtime (4th most expensive at $1,100,000) and Dracarys (5th at $1,000,000) are also showing some early signs of good form.
2017: The only two year old from last year who was purchased for more than a $1-million and is on the radar is Angel having won their maiden at Geelong.
No Looking Back and Awesome Rock, each the 4th most expensive horses in their respective years won more money than they initially cost and were good buys in the end. I find that terribly ironic given my ability to pick 4th places on a regular basis. If you bought into the three most expensive horses over the last decade then you fared poorly with none of the 22-horses returning more than they cost at this stage (with fingers crossed for Chauffer).
Best of luck!
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