31 Oct 2012

High clearance rate at mass sale of horses

1:49 pm on 31 October 2012

An absence of reserve prices has ensured a big clearance rate at a mass sale of horses owned by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler.

The ABC reports the former billionaire is selling 320 broodmares and racehorses over three days at the Magic Millions Sale complex on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

He has stressed that every animal must sell, but organisers denied it was a fire sale.

The top-priced horse went for $240,000 and Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox said the lack of reserve prices was a bonus.

"When they know that they're bidding against genuine money and genuine bidders, it gives the market a bit of confidence and people are happy to step up and buy," he said

The ABC reports prices for 200 mares on sale on Tuesday from Patinack Farm ranged from $A1000 - $A240,000, and totalled more than $2.5 million.

Since 2007, Tinkler, 36, has spent more than $300 million to build Patinack Farm, the largest thoroughbred racing and stud operation in Australia.

Some $A19 million was spent on 59 horses at the 2008 Magic Millions annual yearling sale.

Tinkler's two stud farms in New South Wales and a third in neighbouring Queensland have more than 1200 horses.

But the ABC reports creditors are circling his stable of mining, sports and racing businesses.

His stake in Whitehaven Coal, Australia's biggest independent coal miner, which was worth about $A1.2 billion at its peak, has shrunk to below $A700 million.