Racing for the future: the Magic Millions 2018 yearling sale returns to Launceston

It’s the sale that stops Tasmania’s racing fraternity and brings them straight to Launceston.

The Magic Millions 2018 yearling sale arrived at the Launceston Showgrounds on Thursday, putting more than 130 future racehorses through the ring.

This year produced a record average sale price of $29,700, with a bay colt from Carrick’s Armidale Stud topping the sale prices.

The colt, by Epaulette out of With Decorum, went for $100,000 early in the day.

Last year the full sister of successful Tasmanian racehorse Kenjorwood sold for $165,000 to Kenjorwood’s owner.

Tasracing chief executive Vaughn Lynch said the sale was increasing Tasmania’s reputation, with a record crowd attending to watch proceedings, put in a bid, and potentially find the next big thing.

A record 52 stallions were also represented in the sale, including eight in their first season.

“It shows a good diversity and gives these buyers an opportunity to select from a wide variety of stock, to get what bests suits their needs,” Lynch said. 

Renown trainer Darren Weir was in town to buy, Lynch said, along with a number of trainers and owners from South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

“Local trainers John Blacker and Adam Trinder have been prolific in their purchases,” Lynch said.

“The good thing I think we’ve seen is that there’s lots of trainers and buyers from interstate that haven’t really participated before.”

He said the increased attention likely came from a recognition that Tasmania’s thoroughbred industry was “heading in the right direction”.

Having two prize money increases and the recent announcement of the breeder’s incentive scheme helped boost the industry, he said.

In December Racing Minister Jeremy Rockliff announced a $350,000 investment into the industry’s breeding program over 2018-2019.

By the end of the busy day of dust, horse hair and the auctioneer’s voice booming across the showgrounds, a total of $2.794 million had changed hands as the next generation of Tasmanian racehorses made their way to new homes.