Million Dollar 2YO Stakes -Winners Before Christmas!

Tara Madgwick - Sunday December 3

The focus is fast switching from the breeding season to the yearling sales season and with a record number of yearlings sold in Australia in 2023 for $1million or more we’ve already seen three of them come out and win stakes races this spring.

Some 47 yearlings were sold in Australia this year for $1million or more, 26 at Inglis Easter, 20 at Magic Millions and one at Inglis Premier.

$1.6million Magic Millions purchase Bodyguard - image Grant Courtney

Of the eight stakes races for juveniles run so far this season, three have fallen to million dollar purchases and two of those are colts secured by James Harron Bloodstock.

The Group III ATC Breeders Plate was won by Zoustar colt Espionage, a $1million Magic Millions purchase from Baramul Stud trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and the Listed VRC Maribyrnong Trial was won by I Am Invincible colt Bodyguard, a $1.6million Magic Millions purchase from Emirates Park trained by Peter and Paul Snowden.


An early season stakes victory does not ensure a future stud career and that’s a fact James Harron knows only too well.

His green and gold colours were carried to victory in the 2015 Breeders Plate by Capitalist, who went on to win the Golden Slipper securing Champion 2YO honours before retiring to a super successful and lucrative career at Newgate Farm

The next year in 2016, he won the Breeders Plate again with another handsome chestnut colt in Khan, but lightning did not strike twice. The son of Exceed and Excel failed to win again for Harron’s syndicate and was ultimately offloaded and gelded. He won only one more race in a career that spanned 26 starts.

Connections of Espionage and Bodyguard will no doubt be hoping they turn out more Capitalist than Khan!

Flying the flag for the million dollar fillies was Eneeza, who improved on her debut second in the Group III VRC Ottawa Stakes to win the Listed MRC Merson Cooper Stakes, the race won in recent years by Anamoe and Little Brose, who won this year’s Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes.

The Peter Moody trained daughter of Exceed and Excel was a $1.1million Magic Millions purchase for KiaOra / TFI and does look like a genuine natural two year-old runner.

The top end of the global bloodstock market appears to be holding up well enough in the latter part of this year although there has been a softening further down the food chain and how that translates in Australia next year will be interesting given our booming racing industry that is awash in prizemoney.

How many million dollar yearlings in 2024?


All juvenile stakes-winners this season as follows:

G3 VRC Maribyrnong Plate – Dublin Down (Exceedance) – Magic Millions $370,000

G2 VRC Ottawa Stakes – Karavas (Alabama Express) Inglis Premier $260,000

G3 ATC Gimcrack Stakes – Manaal (Tassort) – Homebred Emirates Park

Listed MRC Debutant Stakes – Coleman (Pierata) – Magic Millions $550,000

Restricted Listed MVRC Inglis Banner – Bold Bastille (Brazen Beau) – Inglis Premier $270,000

No Black Type $1million ATC Golden Gift – Shangri La Express (Alabama Express) – Magic Millions $220,000


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