Imperatriz Smashes Southern Hemisphere Record

Champion mare Imperatriz smashed records across the board when she sold for $6.6 million on Day One of the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast today.
The 10 time Group One winning daughter of I Am Invincible was offered for sale by New Zealand based Te Akau Racing after she was recently retired following a glittering racetrack career.

At her peak the sizzling galloper was rated the world’s best sprinter and world’s best mare and it was no surprise to see her in such demand today.

In selling for $6.6 million to Zhijun Zhao, Imperatriz was able to smash the record as the highest priced filly or mare ever sold in the Southern Hemisphere as well as bringing the highest price in the Gold Coast sale ring in history.

Yulong’s Vin Cox, representing the successful buyer, said the opportunity to buy such an incredible racehorse and valuable breeding prospect was too much to ignore.

“These are rare commodities,” Cox said. “A ten time Group One winner, they’re elite and they don’t give Group One races away at any level, in any country, in any jurisdiction.”

“You know you had to dig deep coming here and I think she made well and truly enough money. Congratulations to Te Akau Racing and David and Karyn.”

“They bought her here on the Gold Coast, raced her in New Zealand and then proved her here in Australia. Full credit to them. We had to dig deep to get her.”

“Mr Zhao (friend of Yulong’s Mr Zhang), he was bidding online so we did the inspections, we went over and had a look at her last week and had dinner with David and Karyn.”

“We liked her, obviously, and sent through all the reports, and this is where we’ve ended up.”

Cox said a decision as to which stallion Imperatriz would visit had yet to be made.

“No, you don’t really think about that until you have her in your back pocket. You never write your speech before the race so we certainly weren’t making plans around intentions until we owned her.”

Cox said Imperatriz was as highly regarded by his team as she was by experts across Australasia and indeed around the world.

“There are very few horses that win ten Group Ones. So she’s in the top half-dozen. Certainly top ten mares of all time. She’d have to be.”

“The Zenyattas, the Sunlines, and things like that come to mind but she punches there with them,” Cox added.

David Ellis and his fellow connections were thrilled with the result of today’s sale – a full circle moment after they purchased the champion as a yearling from the Gold Coast for $360,000.

“It is really exciting for the whole Te Akau team,” Ellis said. “For all the staff that have done such an incredible job looking after her, placing her in the right races, managing her, for the owners, we’re just so thrilled and happy for them all.”

“It is great to see such a wonderful mare go to such a good home. Yulong came to the farm and inspected her, and it is great to see that Mr Zhang has got her.”

“She’s in the paddock at the farm at the moment. It is dark right now at Te Akau. The young lady who looks after her is in the paddock and she had an iPad and was showing Imperatriz being sold.”

“We’ve got a photo of it so it is quite priceless, really.”

Ellis said the whole sale process was a huge success despite the horse herself not being on the sale grounds.

“Really ecstatic. The whole process has been really well handled. Karyn has done a great job. Magic Millions has done a great job, and all the people that came to see her at the farm, it has been a really interesting exercise.”

“To break the (Australasian and Southern Hemisphere) record for the top price for a mare is really exciting.”

“We bought her here and a few lots later we bought (Group One winner) Sword Of State and they finished up racing in group races against each other.”

“The whole thing has been a great thrill for the owners and all the staff. Also for Mark Walker who has trained her for the the past two seasons,” Ellis added. “They have done a wonderful job.”

Eight other lots on the day sold for $1 million or more including the blue blooded group winner Platinum Jubilee who sold for $3.5 million.

One of three group winners produced by the blue hen Miss Debutante, Platinum Jubilee was offered as part of the Newgate Consignment, as agent for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s Valerie Syndicate.

Coolmore Stud was able to fight off opposing bidders to secure the prized daughter of Zoustar.

“She was one we were pretty keen to get a hold of,” Coolmore’s Tom Moore reported. 

“Obviously the mother has done more than most will ever hope to do; she’s the dam of a Golden Slipper winner (and) all first three foals are Group winners.”

“This particular filly won her Gimcrack on debut and she’s the type of filly that we want to hone in on to send to stallions like Wootton Bassett.”

“We think that she can produce a commercial yearling, hopefully a top class two-year-old in the future and she was one of the mares here that we really wanted to get home.”

Other highlight results on the day included the sale of Madame Pommery at $2.7 million to Coolmore Stud, Chain of Lightning at $2.5 million to Zhijun Zhao and Ruthless Dame at $2 million to Northern Farm’s Katsumi Yoshida.

The Element Hill Unreserved Dispersal saw a seven figure result achieved with the Wootton Bassett yearling half sister to Golden Sixty selling to Kentucky’s Mt Brilliant Farm for $1 million.

Across the day over $51.7 million was traded on 167 lots sold at an eye watering average of $309,731 and clearance rate of 84 per cent.

“It’s been a remarkable day’s selling and the figures indicate this – an increased average and we’ve sold more million-dollar horses than last year,” Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch said. 

“Day One of the National Broodmare Sale is a real highlight on the thoroughbred calendar. They’re not just horses on a racetrack, they’re investments knowing you can come back here (to sell).”

“I go to America each year and the product is still cheap here. There is value to be found and the international players that aren’t here need to pay more attention.”

Bowditch was thrilled to see Imperatriz smash records late in the day.

“There were three bidders at $6 million or more and that shows the thirst for quality.”

“We worked hard to promote Imperatriz as a global phenomenon and the big farms should participate on her.”

“You never want to be complacent and it was important to ensure David and Karyn’s confidence in this place to sell her,” Bowditch added.  “I thought the way it was handled by the team, it made up for her not being here.”

To view the results of today’s sale or to make an offer on a passed in lot click here.

Following the conclusion of the lots selling this evening, the twelfth and final slot for the new $3 million TAB Magic Millions Sunlight was conducted, an all comers race for three-year-olds over 1100 metres under lights on Friday, 10 January 2025 at the Gold Coast.

The first 11 confirmed slot holders were announced this week as TAB, Aquis & Gold Coast Turf Club, Archer Park Racing, Everest Racing, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing, Magic Millions Sales, Newgate Farm, Oxley Sports Drome Corporation, Ciaron Maher Racing, Widden Stud & RMA Bloodstock and Yu Long Investments. 

The final slot was auctioned amongst eligible applicants with B2B Thoroughbreds the successful bidder at $250,000. 
Day Two of the National Broodmare Sale will commence at 10am (Qld time) tomorrow. 

(2023 Day One in brackets)

Lots Catalogued: 230 (245)
Lots Sold: 167 (193)
Lots Passed In: 32 (30)
Lots Withdrawn: 30 (22)
Sale Gross: $51,725,000 ($50,787,000)
Average Price: $309,731 ($263,145)
Top Price: $6,600,000 ($4,100,000)
Median Price: $120,000 ($110,000)
Sold %: 84 (87)


$6,600,000 – Imperatriz (Lot 587)
Vendor: Te Akau Racing (As Agent) / Buyer: Zhijun Zhao (Vic)

$3,500,000 – Platinum Jubilee (Lot 513)
Newgate Consignment (As Agent for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott) / Coolmore Stud (NSW)

$2,700,000 – Madame Pommery (Lot 487)
Chris Waller Racing (As Agent) / Coolmore Stud (NSW)

$2,500,000 – Chain of Lightning (Lot 430)
Kenmore Lodge (As Agent for Ramsey Pastoral) / Zhijun Zhao (Vic)

$2,000,000 – Ruthless Dame (Lot 624)
Ciaron Maher Racing (As Agent) / Katsumi Yoshida (Japan)

$1,400,000 – Legacies (Lot 482)
Rosemont Stud (As Agent) / Coolmore Stud (NSW)

$1,200,000 – Ulanova (Lot 566)
Sledmere Stud (As Agent) / Andrew Williams B’stock (NSW)

$1,000,000 – Life Lessons (Lot 483)
Kenmore Lodge (As Agent for Ramsey Pastoral) / Zhijun Zhao (Vic)

$1,000,000 – Wootton Bassett-Gaudeamus filly (Lot 586)
Element Hill (Unreserved Dispersal) / Mt Brilliant Farm (USA)