WHILE he may not have yet sold a million-dollar yearling or trained a Group 1 winner, long time passionate southern districts participant Neil Osborne is still making his presence felt in the Australian Thoroughbred industry.
I found Mr Osborne this week among the stables at the Magic Millions Gold Coast selling complex, wearing his “yearling hat” getting ready to offer three youngsters at the annual January slotted auction which began yesterday.
Over $130 million is expected to be generated by the end of Saturday night at the conclusion of the 853 catalogued lots of the Book 1 sessions – Mr Osborne’s three youngsters among them.
Mr Osborne dons many “industry hats” not only selling a few yearlings, but also trains his own horses, and breeds a number of foals each year along with his staunch supporter and wife Denise from their Sutton located property – Mane Lodge, which they established in the early 1990s.
The Magic Millions is the first on the Australasian yearling sales’ auction calendar, and one that Mr Osborne has attended almost annually since its inception in 1987.
“I have been coming here since Sally (Rogers, a trainer) won the Magic Millions (race in 1987 won by Snippets) but I may have missed the odd year,” Mr Osborne said.
“While I like to spread them (my yearlings) around, I nominate for different sales, and see which horses get accepted at what sales.”
Mr Osborne received a handsome $260,000 for a yearling colt at last year’s Magic Millions sale, while earlier he sold an in-foal broodmare for $300,000.
Training since the mid 1970s, Mr Osborne prepared 21 winners last season, and nine to the end of December for the 2017-18 year from his small team of horses.
Numerous outstanding racehorses have graduated via the Magic Millions none better known than wonder mare Winx (earner of over $15m) and more recently Redzel, inaugural winner of the $10m The Everest in Sydney last autumn.
The Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale – which kicks off the 2018 round of the Australasian sales’ season, has become a mecca among participants with both international buyers, as well as vendors flocking to the renowned coastal resort for holidays while completing their Thoroughbred commitments.
The Magic Millions Carnival is not just about the yearling sale (its 32 nd edition), but has developed in to 12 days of festivities, which also consists of the $10m Magic Millions Raceday this Saturday, and more recently the Magic Millions Polo has been added.