View Comments

Fastnet Rock proved the most popular stallion at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale, but was pipped in the averages for leading sire by dual Australian champion Redoute's Choice.

The fourth and final session of the premier lots was held at the Magic Millions Gold Coast complex on Saturday night, realising a strong increase on 2012.

Gai Waterhouse will train the sale-topper, a $1.35 million Fastnet Rock colt bought by Coolmore.

She and bloodstock partner James Harron led the buying with 27 lots for $6.05 million.

Fastnet Rock's average for 33 lots was $318,030, while Redoute's Choice averaged $384,500 for his 10 yearlings sold.

Redoute's Choice has landed in France to begin serving his first northern hemisphere season at the Aga Khan's stud, where Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava heads the mares he will serve.

Fastnet Rock shuttles between Coolmore in Ireland and Australia.

The gross for the sale was $67.67 million, compared to $62.57 million last year, with the average price of $136,172 up on the 2012 average of $127,175. The clearance rate was 83 per cent.

"It's been an extremely strong sale," Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox said.

"It was pleasing to see the clearance rate climb again.

"It was great to see the support of many newer players - both as vendors and buyers."

As well as the yearlings she bought, Waterhouse will take charge of 21 knocked down to Denise Martin's Star Thoroughbreds.

·The racing career of Alcopop is over after a campaign which reaped an overdue Group 1 victory and a third on the international stage.

Trainer Jake Stephens confirmed yesterday the eight-year-old had run his last race.

Alcopop started favourite when sixth in the 2009 Melbourne Cup, won by Shocking, but his career was dogged by leg injuries over the next couple of years.

Stephens nursed the gelding through his problems and Alcopop responded to reach new heights in the spring of 2012 as an eight-year-old, winning the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and running second to Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and third in the Hong Kong Cup (2000m).

"It was going to be a long spell for him anyway," Stephens said. "He's not getting any younger and he's nice and sound at the moment considering the problems he's had, so it's just a nice way to retire him on the back of what he's done over the spring and in Hong Kong."

Australian Associated Press