Time to Go Shopping at Magic Millions Tasmania
Tara Madgwick - Wednesday February 7
The Australian yearling sale season is in full swing and next week, the sales action will head south to Tasmania for the 2018 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale.

Dual Group I winner and $1.3 million earner Palentino was bought at MM TasmaniaOne of Australia's most progressive yearling auctions is ready to deliver more life changing racetrack stars with an outstanding line up of youngsters to go under the hammer.

The catalogue is now online comprising 137 lots to be offered at Launceston's Inveresk Showgrounds on Thursday, February 15 from midday.

With recent salesgraduates including dual Group I winner Palentino, $1.3 million earner The Cleaner, Kenjorwood and Hot Dipped it's easy to understand why the sale is regarded as one of the country's best performing auctions.

Despite relatively small numbers, Tasmanian bred horses are renowned across Australia for their toughness and while dual Derby hero and Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan was not sold in Tasmania, he did start life on the Apple Isle at Grenville Stud, who will offer 28 yearlings at this year's sale.

The biggest vendor this year with 40 entries is the Whishaw family's Armidale Stud, whose promising young sire Needs Further is the most represented sire with 22 entries.

Armidale Stud will offer this full sister to smart 2YO winner Mystic JourneyA Group III winning son of Encosta de Lago, Needs Further has just two crops racing for him and they include stakes-winning filly Pateena Arena and this season's smart unbeaten two year-old winner Mystic Journey.

Both horses are graduates of the Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale, Mystic Journey bought for $11,000 from the Armidale Stud draft and Pateena Arena bought for $22,000 from the same draft a year earlier.

Armidale Stud will offer a full sister to Mystic Journey as Lot 2.

A record 52 individual sires are represented including local favourite Wordsmith, who has 16 entries that will command plenty of interest.

A Group III winning son of Testa Rossa, Wordsmith started off as a private stallion for popular Tasmanian owner breeders Paul and Elizabeth Geard, but a string of stakes horses carrying their Geegees prefix has put this stallion firmly on the commercial map.

WordsmithHe is the sire of 11 stakes horses headed by stakes-winners Geegees Goldengirl (Tasmanian Oaks), Geegees Classicboy (Tasmanian Derby) Geegees Top Notch and Gee Gee Double Dee.

The sale received a real boost last week with the announcement of a new Tas Bred Incentive Scheme designed to stimulate investment in the state's breeding and racing industry.

A series of 72 races across the state will carry bonuses of $20,000 if the winning horse is locally born or raised and has been registered for the new TasBred Incentive Scheme.

"If we can get more people breeding horses or buying our horses and racing them in the state we are going to create scores of jobs, whether on stud farms, with trainers and all the other areas such as feed, veterinary care and transport that you need with these horses," said Jenny Watson, president of TasBreeders.

"We believe we have a great industry in Tasmania but we are facing stiff competition from across the country and this is a way of encouraging people to buy our product."

The Liberal government has committed an initial $300,000 towards funding the launch of the TasBred scheme, with a promise of a further $300,000 per year for five years if re-elected to Government.

The breeders of Tasmanian produced racehorses will also contribute to the program by registering their horses to be eligible for the $20,000 bonuses: registration costs $440 if the horse is sired by a local stallion, rising to $1320 if it was conceived on the mainland but reared in Tasmania.

"The Hodgman Liberal Government is pleased to support our thoroughbred breeding industry with a $300,000 commitment in 2018/19. This is as much a primary industry initiative as a racing one and is an important step forward for the industry," said Primary Industries and Racing Minister, Jeremy Rockliff.

"This grant is a good incentive for local trainers and will help boost prizemoney to the owners of winning, locally bred horses, and will be an important addition to existing breeding schemes."

Mrs Watson explained the bonus scheme makes ownership in Tasmania competitive with the major racing jurisdictions on the mainland.

"If you own a locally bred racehorse and you win one of the bonus races you will receive more than $30,000 in prizemoney and bonuses which is a real incentive given it costs much less than that to keep a racehorse for a year in Tasmania," she said. "In fact, with bonuses our races are now worth more than most races in Victoria."

It is anticipated the new incentive scheme will bring a positive vibe to the Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale and boost competition on this outstanding selection of young thoroughbreds.