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Australian mining magnate bows out of 'sport of kings' as fortune shrinks

Tim Wimborne / Reuters

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, the horse racing stud owned by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, on October 30, 2012.

Martyn Rushby / Handout via Reuters, file

Nathan Tinkler's rise from obscure electrician to mining magnate, sports club owner and champion of a rejuvenated Australian industrial town could be unravelling.

Reuters reportsWith a cry of "cheap as old boots" from the auctioneer, the hammer came down at A$5,000 ($5,200) on the first broodmare to open a three-day auction of 350 horses from the stables of faltering mining magnate Nathan Tinkler.

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, and he is raising funds with the out-of-season sale that began on Tuesday.

His 19.4 percent stake in Australia's biggest independent coal miner Whitehaven Coal, which represents the bulk of his wealth, is heavily leveraged and has shrunk considerably in line with falling coal prices. Read the full story.

Tim Wimborne / Reuters

An auctioneer at the Magic Millions sales complex on Australia's Gold Coast brings his hammer down during an auction of Broodmares from Patinack Farm on October 30, 2012.

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