One in a Million
December 26, 2008
Stratheden draws the bookends at MM sale.
PYTHAGORUS himself would be scratching to calculate the odds of the same vendor selling the first lot and last lot in any sale, let alone one where 1327 horses are catalogued.
But that is exactly the position in which Stratheden Stud find themsleves when the 2009 Magic Millions Sale begins earnest on January 7.
�� Can you believe it,�� Stratheden�s Judy Marheine laughed.
�� It�s like a tennis tournament, you play in the first round then have to sit through until last game.��
Lot 1 is something akin to being the first one up on the dancefloor - nobody really wants too, but someone has to get the party started.
Acting as � D.J� at the Gold Coast is David Chester who, master of ceremonies, always kicks off Magic Millions� auctions so has his share of lot ones.
�� I�ve been auctioning for over 35 years and I really don�t feel it makes any difference,�� he said.
�� If you�ve got the product, people will buy it whether it be first or last lot. I can remember a few years ago Lot 1 made almost $400,000.��
One upside to being is avoiding the inevitable dips that come during all auctions - even at Easter and Magic Millions.
�� People haven�t set any ideas on value when Lot 1 walks in. I know some people who say, and I�ve done it myself when buying horses, � oh it�s Lot 1, we�re going to get it cheap� - but it doesn�t work out that way.�� So who is Lot 1 this year? �� He�s a Flying Spur colt out a stakes placed mare named Radio Song,�� Marheine explained, �� and he�s a very correct, very athletic colt who will sell himself.��
Said colt was bred by Jack Horseman and is his only lot in the sale.
�� If you�re Lot 1, nobody has run out of money,�� he mused.
�� That�s the luck of the draw isn�t it - you take what you get. The horse will be sold on it�s merits. And after that? �� Then I�m off to the beach.�� Aside from the exhaustive wait, being the last lot can also have it�s privileges.
�� Often it happens that with the last 20 horses, when we�re running out of horses to sell, buyers and agents have to fill their orders,�� Chester said.
But the reality is that no vendor would knowingly seek to be in either first or last position which is why both Magic Millions and Inglis� employ an egalitarian method for selecting lots.
�� Yearlings are lotted in alphabetical order by their dam and we move down 5-letters every year. We started on � M� 2008, so it goes to � R� in 2009,�� Chester explained. For the record, Easter began on the letter � B� 2008. �� That means they�ll start with � G� next year which I�ll be number one again because we�ve got one out of a mare named Galway Lass,�� Marheine said.
FOURTEEEN yearlings by the former Group one winning juvenile Mossman are making to their way to the Gold Coast, one of which requires an important catalogue update.
Lot 779 from Stratheden Stud is already a half brother to the stakesplaced Atomic Huss but dam, Catalyst, left another important winner on Monday.
Synergist, trained by Peter Snowden, scored an impressive debut win at Seymour racing in the ubiquitous maroon and white of Sheikh Mohammed�s Darley.
In a few weeks time, Stratheden Stud will offer Synergist�s impeccable Mossman colt to buyers.
�� He is a nice horse, very correct, very compact, BOBS eligible of course and racey,�� Stratheden Stud�s Judy Marheine told Sportsman.
One of the major drawcrads, if not the leading light among the Mossman contingent, comes from the historic McAlpine property known as Eureka Stud on the Darling Downs.
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