06/01/2010 12:00AM

Gross up but average down at Magic Millions

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The three-day select portion of Australia's Magic Millions national broodmare sale ended Tuesday with mixed results as gross increased sharply but average prices fell 8 percent.

The select sale ran one day longer this year, three days instead of 2009's two sessions, and sold 709 horses as compared with last year's 556. That fueled an 18-percent rise in gross. Last year's auction grossed approximately $16,331,280, a total that climbed to about $19,294,800 this season. But the average dropped from about $47,200 last year to about $43,653.

Magic Millions did not report median results for either the 2009 or 2010 auction.

The auction highlights this season were a pair of seven-figure mares, Cheeky Choice and Strawberry Field. Group 1 winner Cheeky Choice sold for about $861,000 to Baramul Stud. Bellagio Lodge sold the Redoute's Choice mare in foal to More Than Ready.

Strawberry Field went for about $840,000, on a final bid from Gerald Ryan. The 4-year-old stakes-winner will stay in training, Ryan said after purchasing the racing and breeding prospect. Strawberry Field is by Encosta de Lago.