There was a lot to take away from the two day, 540 lot strong Gold Coast Magic Millions National Weanling Sale last week.
A Fastnet Rock filly for $525,000. A Snitzel colt for $460,000. Ten lots for $250,000 plus. Julian Blaxland’s Blue Sky, the leading buyer with 11 lots for nearly $1.6 million. Solid average. Strong international interest, including some big buys for Dubai and USA.
So, in the general scheme of things, the $110,000 for a Street Boss colt from Pink Champagne didn’t raise too many bubbles (sorry, can’t help it!) when sold near the end of Friday’s final session.
It made a huge difference for Victorian breeder, Mick Maroulis, though. Maroulis, by his own confession, is a battler who breeds a few here, sells a few there.
The eternal optimist, Maroulis sees the trough as half full but has had his share of ups and more than a few downs since first deciding as a kid that he’d like to get more involved in the horse caper.
“My old man used to take me to the races when I was little and it just grew from there,” the now 63 year old, Maroulis points out. “I always knew that one day I’d race some horses of my own and maybe run a small farm.”
A handy footy player, Maroulis played lower grades for AFL team, Essendon, in the early 1970s while working in a bank, then for the department of health and in the tax office, before taking up a role in the youth training centre at Kyneton in central Victoria.
For the last two decades though Maroulis has established his 60 acre farm between Kyneton and Malmsbury which he runs with his wife, Lou: “We only have around seven mares and send out three or four every year to bred to,” Maroulis reveals. “We’ve been fortunate enough to breed some good horses off the farm over the years.
“There was Fiveoclockshadow, who won stakes races in Melbourne and Brisbane and Irazu, who only get beaten a neck in the Sydney Cup, but probably the worse thing that ever happened to me was the first horse I ever bred, Zaparri, ended up winning a Group One. Point of no return after that … I was hooked,” Maroulis adds with a laugh.
“I raced (Carnegie mare) Pink Champagne in partnership and she only had the one start before I ended up getting her for breeding purposes.
“Her first foal, Wild Dynamite, won three in New Zealand and Hong Kong, but I only got $8,500 for him as a weanling.
“The next foal was O’malley, who is by Street Boss and a full brother to the weanling I sold last week. He’s been a terrific sprinter for Enver Jusufovic, winning five from 14 and stakes placed, but the poor bugger has so many nuts and bolts in his knee after he fractured it, that he has to be kept to soft tracks.
“Pink Champagne’s next foal, by Written Tycoon, made only $3,000 in the ring and the next one, a Super Saver, went through for $2,500 … no wonder they called him Cheap Champagne!
“Anyway, when this Street Boss made $110,000 last Friday I was over the moon. The guys at Sun Stud, who sold the horse for me, said he was run off his feet with the number of inspections, but you don’t like to get your hopes up too much.
“When he made the six figures I was pretty much speechless, which some people will tell you is a feat in itself. You don’t do this for the money, but when you get days like that, it makes all those early mornings, feed runs and vet visits worthwhile.”
The show moves on and, over the next four days, 1,000 plus mares will go through the ring, to be followed by another three sessions of yearlings and racehorses.
There will be countless other good luck stories that will unfold between now and 8 June, but for Mick Maroulis his two minutes in the sun will last a lifetime.