Champion Sunlight Smashes Records on Gold Coast

Champion Sunlight Smashes Records on Gold Coast

Champion mare Sunlight smashed the all time Magic Millions auction record when she sold for $4.2 million on a spectacular Day One of the National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast today.

Coolmore Stud’s Tom Magnier snapped up the mare and was among three seven figure purchases for his Hunter Valley operation.

“We are very lucky to have got her,” a delighted Magnier said of Sunlight. “She is a lovely looking mare and she was unbelievable on the racetrack, not only did she beat her own age, she beat the boys.”

“She is a filly of a generation and we are very lucky to have got her and there were a lot of good people involved in her and there were a lot of people around the world who had their eyes on her, so to take her back to Coolmore in the Hunter Valley is exciting and she will visit Justify.”
“We are committed to Justify – he is the horse of a generation as well. He won the Triple Crown in America and retired unbeaten.”

“We really wanted to have her,” Magnier added. She is so good looking and we are trying to build a really serious broodmare band at Coolmore and if you are serious about that, you have to have mares like that in it.”

“We are delighted to have got her and hopefully we will have a bit of luck along the way,” he summed up.

Bidding started at $1 million and quickly went over $2 million before breaking through Listen Here’s all time Magic Millions record of $3.4 million. It was then she soared over the $3.85 million Southern Hemisphere record for a race filly or mare sold at public auction.

Sunlight’s purchase capped a remarkable ride for her connections who celebrated the record breaking purchase with tears and cheers.

The Zoustar mare was offered at the auction by Widden Stud, who acted as agent for her ownership group, a number of who were at the complex to shed tears and celebrate a wonderful race career.

Sunlight was led through the ring by her long time strapper and track rider Sarah Rutten who flew up from South Australia to play her part in a historic moment.

“I’m almost speechless. There were a lot of tears. It is very sad that I won’t see her as much but I’m excited she is staying in Australia and going to such a great home,” she said.

Unforgotten set a record herself – becoming the most expensive lot sold to an online bidder in Australia – when she was knocked down for $2.75 million around 20 minutes later.

The Australian Oaks winner who was prepared during her top class career by Chris Waller was purchased by Yulong and was offered through the Blue Sky Premium Consignment draft.

Yulong’s Luke Wilkinson said Unforgotten was highly rated by the team and he was delighted they were able to secure her.

“Marcus Corban and I looked at all the race fillies and mares and she was right up there for us with Sunlight, perhaps just a touch below, and we loved them both.”

“Mr Zhang is bidding online, so we weren’t aware which leg he was on and we didn’t know until the phone rang afterwards from his son-in-law, so after that we knew that we’d secured her.”

“She’s a great mover, with great joints and you can see why she was such a good racehorse. Chris Waller has done a great job managing her and she looked good enough to put back into work.”

Wilkinson said no stallion has been locked in as yet but he has approached Yarraman Park Stud to express interest in her visiting I Am Invincible this spring. 

Another high class mare heading to Coolmore is Champagne Cuddles who was purchased by Tom Magnier for an even $2 million after a bidding battle late in the day.

A group winner in Sydney and on the Gold Coast, Champagne Cuddles was offered for auction by her breeder Turangga Farm and Stuart Ramsey said he had mixed emotions in parting with his star performer.

“It’s very satisfying and it’s good to see the Magnier family buy her because we’ve had a good association for a long time,” Ramsey said. 

“We’ve got a lot of kids and grandkids and she’s worth so much to us and more to other people. The girls and my wife aren’t very happy, but you’ve got to make these decisions and they’re not easy. It’s very emotional to lose her.”

Early in the day Magnier and the team from Coolmore went to $1.3 million to secure the Group One winner and Magic Millions record breaking Invincibella.

Presented by Glenesk Thoroughbreds on behalf of Star Thoroughbreds, Invincibella impressed renowned bloodstock agent James Bester who was thrilled Magnier secured the strapping daughter of I Am Invincible.

“She won $3 million on the track, so her race record speaks for itself as a Group One winner, but beyond that she is such a great individual,” Bester said.

“She has a great head, so typical of the I Am Invincibles with a great hindquarter on her, a wonderful shoulder and girth and she is truly a queen.”

“As far as we’re concerned she’s the perfect mix of pedigree, physique and race performance.,” Bester added. “What more could you want!?”

Across the day over $24 million was traded on 117 lots sold at an average price of $206,714. The clearance rate was an impressive 84 per cent.

“It’s been a really great day of selling,” Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch said. “There was a real thirst for quality and it was great to have so many people involved – from those at the complex and those bidding online.”

“It was fantastic to be holding a live sale again and those in attendance really played their part on Day One.”

“Sunlight was an obvious highlight and it was fantastic to break so many records with her sale. We thank Tony and Calvin McEvoy, Widden Stud and all of her connections for giving us the opportunity to offer her for sale.”

“The international market got involved with Sunlight and showed the respect she deserved. I was bidding on the phone for the eventual underbidder from America.” 

“Sunlight has always been a wonderful ambassador for Magic Millions. As a two-year-old she won the 2YO Classic and captured the Racing Women’s Bonus – it has been an amazing ride for all those connected with her.”

Day Two of the National Broodmare Sale – comprising the first selection of proven producers and young pregnant mares will commence at 10am (Qld time) tomorrow.

“There will be a lot of opportunities for buyers,” Bowditch added. “And sure to be value as well.”

To view the results of the sale and to make an offer on a passed in lot click here.

(2019 in brackets)

Lots Catalogued: 168 (246)
Lots Sold: 117 (168)
Lots Withdrawn: 29 (38)
Lots Passed In: 22 (39)
Top Price: $4,200,000 ($2,300,000)
Average Price: $206,714 ($168,646)
Median Price: $75,000 ($70,000)
Sale Gross: $24,185,500 ($28,332,500)
Sold %: 84 (81)


$4,200,000 – Sunlight (Lot 80)
Vendor: Widden Stud (As Agent) / Buyer: Tom Magnier (NSW)

$2,750,000 – Unforgotten (Lot 92)
Blue Sky Premium Consignment (As Agent) / Yulong (Vic)

$2,000,000 – Champagne Cuddles (Lot 131)
Turangga Farm (As Agent) / Tom Magnier (NSW)

$1,300,000 – Invincibella (Lot 12)
Glenesk Thoroughbreds / Tom Magnier (NSW)

$700,000 – Another Dollar (Lot 114)
Blue Sky Premium Consignment (As Agent) / Yulong (Vic)