THE auctioneer’s hammer came down at almost two-minute intervals over two days at the Magic Millions National Horse Sale in Gold Coast in Australia.
The frenzied buying is not for the tardy and faint-hearted; as bidders outbid each other at the split of seconds.
Even the highest price horse Lot 101 Bel Esprit colt fetching a whopping RM1.11mil (A$360,000) was done in less than three minutes.
Malaysians, among the many Asians at the sales, bought 43 horses out of the 306 horses up for sale.
Penang Turf Club (PNTC) committee member Datuk Seri Teh Choon Beng was spot on and those present were amazed with his observation that Lot 101 would be the highest priced horse before the auction.
What turned out was not only true, the bidding for Lot 101 was so surreal. First call was already for RM310,000 and the figure notched up a few more times before hitting RM1.1mil. Then the hammer came down. An Australian trainer, Peter Morgan, from Victoria was the proud owner.
Teh, who led a delegation from the club comprising horse owners, said it takes a wizened buyer who frequents horse sales to spot the priciest horse.
“Even if I love to have the horse (Lot 101), it doesn’t warrant Malaysians to buy it at that huge price because the stakes in the local racing circuit are not attractive enough.
“Hopefully, a day will come when the prize money is much more attractive and Malaysians will then purchase better quality horses” he said.
PNTC ordinary members bought horses with the price ranging from RM154,754 to RM263,205.
Magic Millions managing director David Chester said the two-day auction was brisk, with a sizeable number of buyers from the Asia, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Korea and China.
“We had a barnstorming start when the sale of lot 101 Bel Esprit colt was fetched at a record RM1,114,279 by Victorian trainer Peter Morgan.