06/07/2013 2:58PM

Magic Millions National sale: Auction posts gains as it concludes with more controversy

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Australia's Magic Millions National sale concluded Friday with a single horses of racing age session, as problematic activity from embattled Australian businessman Nathan Tinkler that arose midweek caused the sale company to pre-emptively withdraw 13 of Tinkler’s horses that were to be offered during the final day.

Magic Millions removed the horses, cataloged as part of Tinkler's Patinack Farm dispersal, after the owner bought back several of his best yearlings during select sessions held Tuesday and Wednesday. Tinkler’s purchases, made via his trainer John Thompson or through Magic Millions as agent, drew criticism from numerous buyers who underbid on the horses or were otherwise interested in acquiring them.

“We exercised our right to withdraw those 13 horses from the sale as Mr. Tinkler was going to bid against the market and we don’t think in a fair market they would have obtained those prices,” Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox told the Australian press.

Despite the withdrawals, Tinkler was still involved in the purchase of several of his own horses on Friday, according to Cox. The top three priced horses, all from the Patinack dispersal, were purchased either by Tinkler’s trainer John Thompson  or by Magic Millions as agent. Thompson went to about $132,780 ($140,000 Australian) for the highest-priced lot of the session, the Encosta de Lago filly Another Prayer.

Magic Millions reported 182 lots sold during Friday’s National racehorse sale for gross receipts of about $3,957,300 ($4,166,750 Australian). The sale posted an average price of about $21,740 ($22,894 Australian) and a median of about $14,240 ($15,000 Australian). All of these figures marked increases of 400 percent or more compared with the 2012 sale, which featured a far smaller catalog and occurred before Tinkler announced his intention to liquidate his bloodstock. 

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