James Harron returned to the source of his biggest Thoroughbred success at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in Australia Jan. 11 when he purchased a son of Written Tycoon, the same stallion who supplied the agent’s Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (G1) winner Capitalist.
The Written Tycoon colt was the subject of a furious bidding battle, with multiple parties keen to land the yearling. Harron and Shadwell’s Angus Gold were the two to stay the distance, with the hammer eventually falling in Harron’s favor at AU$900,000 (US$646,650).
“He’s a really nice colt with a laid-back attitude,” Harron said. “He coped with the sale well and he’s very well-bodied. There is a lot of quality and strength about the horse, who’s likely to go early, and he’s out of a very well-performed mare. Written Tycoon gets a few different sorts, but obviously he’s been best with his precocious type of 2-year-olds with Capitalist and Written By more recently. This guy looks precocious, too.”
On comparisons with the now Newgate Farm-based Capitalist, who also won the Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Harron said: “He’s a bit different, but I guess his muscle, maturity, his great mind, and those sort of characteristics certainly play a big part and are similar to Capitalist.
“These colts are very highly sought-after, and he’s by a proven stallion in Written Tycoon, who is starting to get sons at stud, so what you’re expecting you have to go to.”
Harron is confident Written Tycoon’s rise to prominence on a national level can continue to spiral after his current yearlings were conceived on a AU$49,500 ($35,545) fee.
“He’s a stallion who has done it the hard way. From a small fee, he has built his way up,” he said. “That is always a great sign, and the mare quality comes, the good breeders come, and they work out what they think they can breed to get that result.”
Written Tycoon’s service fee in 2017 was AU$88,000 ($63,190) and AU$110,000 ($78,980) last year.
Offered by Milburn Creek as Lot 624, the colt is the third foal out of the eight-time winning mare Golden Penny, who had two listed successes. She was purchased by Belmont Bloodstock Agency’s Damon Gabbedy for AU$270,000 ($205,146) carrying the colt at the 2017 Inglis Great Southern Sale.
“It was a very good price, but for a very nice horse,” Milburn Creek’s John Muir told ANZ Bloodstock News. “He’s been exceptionally well-admired and inspected by all the right people. He’s a realistic seller, though, and the horse was on the market from as soon as he walked into the ring and he made the price that he merits.
“The colt went to an exceptional judge in James Harron, and he’s got the writing on the wall. He’s had some great success, we wish him the best of luck, and I hope that he’s well-rewarded.”
The Woodside Park Stud-based Written Tycoon has had 34 lots sell for an aggregate of AU$9,960,000 ($7,136,190) at an average of AU$292,941 ($209,888).
The colt syndicates also locked horns earlier in the day with the partnership of Aquis Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds coming out on top to secure a colt by champion stallion Snitzel.
The combination, who also purchased the highest-priced horse of the sale so far when taking home a Redoute’s Choice colt for a cool AU$1.6 million ($1,142,40) on Day 1, added a colt by his son to their burgeoning portfolio when landing the knockout AU$800,000 ($574,800) blow two hours into the third session of the Gold Coast sale.
“There are five or six groups all trying to do the same thing,” Aquis Farm chief executive Shane McGrath said. “We’re all in the same job, and it is a stallion-making industry that we’re in. Obviously, the competitors on these colts are the ones with a similar profile. The same guys are all hitting up, and we are all trying to hit the jackpot.
“Our model, and Phoenix concurs, is to stick with the proven sires. You drill for oil where it has already been found, and, obviously, with the Snitzel and the Redoute’s we bought earlier, that is the process.”
Cataloged as Lot 597, the Edinburgh Park-consigned colt is out of the listed-placed winner Fortune Of War, whose two winners to date include the yearling’s group 3-placed sister Spoils.
“I thought he was a lovely colt and comes from a great breeder, by a champion sire, and the mare has already done the job,” McGrath said. “He suits the partnership between Aquis and Phoenix and is an absolutely beautiful colt.”
Ian Smith of Edinburgh Park was full of praise for Magic Millions and said the Gold Coast is a great place to sell yearlings.
“He’s a Snitzel colt that deserved his price,” he said. “He was well-received. His mannerisms and ability to take it in meant that he just went from strength to strength. As always, Magic Millions is a great place to sell, and we look forward to coming here each year.”
Later in the session, the Aquis Farm-Phoenix Thoroughbreds partnership teamed up again for an I Am Invincible colt who made AU$800,000 from the draft of Segenhoe Stud Australia.
Cataloged as Lot 665, the colt was one of 14 yearlings sold so far this week for more than AU$500,000 by the Yarraman Park Stud-based sire, who last year had the second-most expensive advertised service fee in Australia at AU$192,500 ($138,200) behind Snitzel at AU$220,000 ($157,900).
The colt is the fifth foal out of the Myer Classic (registered as Empire Rose Stakes) winning mare Hurtle Myrtle, whose two foals to race thus far are both winners.
The market remained strong Friday, particularly at the top end, even though the average fell slightly on the third day to AU$237,866 ($156,131), a figure that still exceeds last year’s record sale.
“Although the average came back a cog today, the first two days were unprecedented, and momentum flowed on with an average well up on last year, so we are really pleased with where that is,” Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch said. “Today, we saw that the clearance rate bumped up to 87%, which put us in good shape to close off at 88-89% at the end of the sale.”
Bowditch said buyers who had put in the legwork to inspect the large catalog of horses on offer had been rewarded by being able to find value below the median price of AU$170,000 ($118,553).
“I felt today, again, that the guys who had gone out, done their work, shopped around, and were willing to keep their lists long could find some value. I have had half a dozen people come up to me say, ‘We bought a horse well today,'” he said. “With this big catalog, they will continue to find value as they will on Sunday.”