THE New Year has brought hope for the Australasian breeding industry with the expectation 1994 could be the turning point after a period of consolidation. With the arrival of the New Year also begins the annual round of Australasian yearling sales and results from there will give all involved in the industry an idea of how far racing and breeding has come since the major problems the recession created during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The industry has fought its way back from the slump which followed the heady days of the late 1980s, and now has confidence of a bright future for those who have planned for it. This year's yearling sales opens with the first session of the inaugural Queensland Millions at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, and continues with William Ingils's introduction of the Sydney Festival yearling sale. The second and last session of the Queensland Millions will compete with the final day of the Festival sale though both parties do not see this as too detrimental for their auctions. The Queensland Millions was launched in May last year and brings together yearlings by stallions standing in Queensland at the time of conception. The auction is promoted as ''Like Against Like'', and graduates from the sale will be able to compete for A$1,750,000 in a sales race and hours series, the underlining factor of the auction being that all horses sold are of comparable cost and quality. Inglis claims some of its January horses are sold for bargain prices, and while the prices tags are nowhere near those at Easter, many top-class gallopers pass through the ring at Newmarket during summer and graduate to Group 1 level. Just A Dash, Ming Dynasty, From The Planet, Razor Sharp, Tierce and Electrique were some of the quality gallopers sold by Inglis in January, and the company hopes the tradition will continue when it offers 340 lots tomorrow night and on Sunday. Eleven first-season sires will make their debut at Newmarket this weekend, headed by the former champion two-year-old Canny Lad and the impeccably bred Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule. Others include the Biscay horse Acecay, the imported Alquoz, Group 1 winners High Regard, King's High and Select Prince, and former quality gallopers Rise 'n' Shine, Sanction and Sir Laurence. However, the sale also begins the end of yearlings to be sold by champion Australian sire Vain. The first of Vain's final progeny will be offered, a colt from the Ballyhot mare Saldin will go under the hammer during the second session. Vain died in 1992 and the cream of his youngers will be offered at the Easter Sales in April, but this colt, an early foal, is a half brother to stakeswinner Cafeteria and the stakes placed Tulloch Opera and is being offered by Lockersleigh Stud, which will cease its thoroughbred interests this year. Vain stood at Widden to produce the winners of A$11 million and 46 stakes winners before becoming a champion broodmate sire. While the Queensland Millions and Festival Sale open the 1994 year of auctions, they will not be seen by breeders as an indication of how they will fare later in the year. With the Sale of the Sanctuary now defunct, the Gold Coast Magic Millions returns as the premier sale in Queensland, and this auction, along with the New Zealand National Yearling Sale at Karaka, will be used by breeders as the barometer of what to expectlater in the year. Some claim this year's Magic Millions catalogue is one of the finest the company has produced, and results from the Gold Coast on the night of January 16 will tell the tale of whether the bloodstock industry in Australia and New Zealand is on the way backup. The breeding industry suffered a major loss with the death of promising young Victorian stallion El Qahira from a lung hemorrhage. El Qahira produced the stakes-winners Maritima, Harkaway and Brompton Cross, and the stakes-placed Aleeve and Exceller, while last Saturday his daughter Viminaria scored an impressive win on debut at Flemington. Randwick trainer Gai Waterhouse suffered a major setback to her training career last week losing the only two-year-old in her stable Robyn's Girl. Robyn's Girl panicked after a swim in the equine pool at Randwick, went berserk and crashed into a nearby fence suffering injuries that forced her to be put down.