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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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