Gai Waterhouse's spending spree at last week's Magic Millions yearling sales on the Gold Coast means she has 70 new thoroughbreds on her books for an outlay of more than $15 million.
When Waterhouse took a liking to a horse, she was unstoppable. Her huge team of advisers, spearheaded by young consultant James Harron, were all close by as she time and time again knocked out their opposition.
Figures released by Magic Millions revealed Waterhouse and Harron together had bought 39 lots for $8.16 million. Her new syndication group, Round Table Racing, also with Harron advising, signed for 15 yearlings at $2,065,000.
Waterhouse co-signed for the sales-topper, the Redoute's Choice x Hades colt for $1 million, with US newcomer Jon Kelly. Coolmore's Tom Magnier bought the second-top lot (Fastnet Rock x Headway) for $700,000 and that filly will also enter Waterhouse's stables.
The Melbourne Cup-winning trainer will likely prepare the two lots Harron bought for his main clients, Dr Edmund and Belinda Bateman for $950,000; the new Chinese-owned group at Eliza Park – Sun Bloodstock – bought eight lots for $1.96 million and Waterhouse is their preferred trainer.
The Henderson brothers of the Gold Coast have had enormous success with Waterhouse and they bought two yearlings for $380,000; Astute Bloodstock bought one in partnership with her for $150,000, while British agent John McKeever has a link-up as well and he bought a Hinchinbrook filly for $220,000.
One of the features of Waterhouse's buys was her belief in Lonhro's son Denman. She signed for six Denmans for $1.38 million.
An intriguing statistic is that the return from the selling of 521 lots over the four days was $75,082,500 at an average of $144,112.
Waterhouse and her clients paid roughly a fifth of the overall net.
While Waterhouse was carrying all before her, two of Rosehill's finest trainers, Chris Waller and Gerald Ryan, were also enjoying record personal sales, emphasising the strength of Sydney racing.
The Waller camp was extremely strong, especially after Star Thoroughbreds' Denise Martin linked up with the leading trainer.
Waller signed for nine yearlings for $2.24 million, while Star Thoroughbreds' input was 20 yearlings for $2,542,500. One of Waller's main clients, the Macau-based C. C. Lai, bought five yearlings for $1.41 million and Debbie Kepitis' Woppitt syndicate bought two lots for $240,000.
This gives Waller a total of 36 yearlings and an outlay of more than $6 million.
Ryan has enjoyed great success from past Magic Millions and had plenty of firepower behind him. He signed for four yearlings at $800,000. He also bought another five yearlings for $1.25 million with Damion Flower's Jadeskye Syndicate, and David Raphael bought three lots for $690,000.
These 12 yearlings fetched $2.74 million, including lots by new sires Stryker ($220,000) and Rip Van Winkle ($320,000).
Peter and Paul Snowden worked hard at the sales, buying yearlings for the first time. They paid $565,000 for four babies – two by Stratum and one each by More Than Ready and Husson.
Snowden, however, is certain to finish with a much larger number having had discussions with several high-profile buyers during the week on the Gold Coast.
There were plenty of other highlights after the staggering performance of Yarraman Park's sire I Am Invincible, which had seven yearlings average $240,000 off an $11,000 service fee.
Starspangledbanner, after a global career ended because of fertility issues, came away with first-season-sire honours when his six yearlings averaged $127,500.
The story Gai Waterhouse packs Tulloch Lodge with blue-bloods first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.