THE Adelaide Cup last Monday was not the climax to the long weekend for thoroughbred enthusiasts, but just the prelude of the real business to come - the annual Magic Millions Yearling sale, which began on the evening of Cup day and continued in two more selling sessions last Tuesday and Wednesday.
A total of 431 yearlings were catalogued for buyers who came from all across Australia and parts of Asia, and taking in the weekend's racing before moving on to the sales complex at the eastern end of Morphettville racecourse.
Local vendors were particularly pleased with the quality of stock offered this year.
"It is the strongest sale we've seen in years," said Peter Toole, Ducatoon Park, Kadina.
"Adrian Hancock from Magic Millions has done his utmost to get the best possible quality horses for this sale. For a while South Australia was seen as a bit of a 'dumping ground' for second-class animals, but that's over now, and this year's offering has an excellent class of horse - well-bred and well-presented," he said.
"Although we don't have the big studs here any more, SA-bred horses continue to perform at the highest level on racecourses around the country."
The top price paid was $145,000 for a bay or brown filly by Snitzel out of Eureka Jewel, offered by Barumul Stud, Widden Valley, New South Wales and bought by Victorian trainer Robbie Laing.
Barumul also sold lot 14, a chestnut Testa Rossa colt out of Rose Of Pania to David Jolly, Morphettville, for $100,000.
The highest priced SA yearling was lot 247, another chestnut colt by Testa Rossa out of Pushing Daisies, a dam of two winners to date including one at Group 1. The colt was sold by Mill Park, Meningie, to former SA trainer Mark Kavanagh, now based in Victoria.
*Full report in Stock Journal, March 14 issue, 2013.