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Australian coal magnate sells 350 of his dreams

Self-made billionaire Nathan Tinkler auctions off his racehorses after falling coal prices reduce the value of Whitehaven Coal.

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A potential bidder views a foal at the Magic Millions sales complex on Australia’s Gold Coast during an auction of broodmares from Patinack Farm, owned by faltering mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, Oct. 30, 2012.

TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS

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An auctioneer brings his hammer down for $5,200 (U.S.) for the first broodmare at the opening of the three-day auction of 350 horses. Mr. Tinkler is raising funds with the out-of-season sale that began on Tuesday.

TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS

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Mr. Tinkler’s rise from pit electrician to Australia’s youngest billionaire has hit a hurdle, with creditors circling his stable of mining, sports and racing businesses.

TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS

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An auctioneer’s assistant gestures to a bidder at the Magic Millions sales complex during the auction. Mr. Tinkler’s 19.4-per-cent stake in Australia’s biggest independent coal miner Whitehaven Coal Ltd., which represents the bulk of his wealth, is heavily leveraged.

TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS

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A handler guides a horse near the stables at the Magic Millions sales complex at the auction. Falling coal prices have also reduced the value of Whitehaven Coal.

TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS

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A handler guides a horse on stage to be auctioned. The stable’s stallion All Too Hard won the Caulfield Guineas two weeks ago, but other winners have been scarce.

TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS

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A horse walks on stage at the sales complex. Mr. Tinkler started Patinack Farm in 2007 and, in 2008, spent A$19-million on 59 horses.

TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS

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