Buying a Group I Winner is Not as Expensive as You Think

Buying a Group I Winner is Not as Expensive as You Think

 Tara Madgwick
Analysis of our 58 Group I winning horses this year shows that while domestic commercial thoroughbred auctions might seem the best place to find your next Group I winner, the reality is that more Group I winners this season were sourced from overseas or retained to race by their breeders.

27 Group I winners were sold (take note SOLD, not OFFERED) at auction through either Inglis, Magic Millions or NZB with 12 apiece for the Australian auction houses and three from New Zealand.


The remaining 31 Group I winners include 11 Northern Hemisphere bred horses and five Australian Darley homebreds – Kiamichi, Microphone, Lyre, Alizee and Trekking – with the remainder a mix of Australian and New Zealand bred horses that did not sell at public auction and in many cases race for their breeder.

Of the horses sold at auction, Inglis Easter pin up boy The Autumn Sun is the most expensive, bred and sold by Arrowfield for $700,000 with the next most expensive horses being Qafila ($400,000 Magic Millions sold by Attunga Stud), Sunlight ($300,000 Magic Millions sold by Widden Stud, Manuel (Inglis Easter $240,000 sold by Segenhoe), Winx (Magic Millions $230,000 sold by Coolmore), Booker ($230,000 Inglis Premier sold by Mill Park), Grunt ($220,000 NZB Premier sold by Trelawney Stud), Brutal ($220,000 NZB Premier sold by Mapperley Stud) and Prince Fawaz ($220,000 Magic Millions sold by Baramul Stud).

The horse with the honour of being the least expensive purchase is $3million earning filly Mystic Journey, a bargain $11,000 Magic Millions Tasmania purchase for her trainer Adam Trinder from the Armidale Stud draft.

There’s some food for thought here and some comfort for trainers that dream of winning the big Group I races, but don’t have the ammunition to shop at the top end of the market.

Quite often the very best horses come out of the middle market with 18 Group I winners sold for less than $200,000.