Markus Jooste. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Twenty-three racehorses in the stable of former Steinhoff boss Markus Jooste will be sold in Cape Town on Thursday.

The sale‚ in the parade ring at Kenilworth racecourse‚ is the first auction of horses owned by Mayfair Speculators since Jooste quit as CEO of Steinhoff International Holdings in early December after the discovery of suspected financial wrongdoing.

Absa will apply for the liquidation of Mayfair in the High Court in Cape Town on April 30 but agreed late in December that the company could continue racing and selling its horses in the meantime.

Mayfair’s horses included in the catalogue for Thursday’s Central Route Trading sale include the gelding Silver Coin‚ which set a South African record when he was bought for R6m at the 2016 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

Mayfair has sold other horses privately since Jooste quit Steinhoff amid an accounting scandal that wiped $14bn off the retailer’s market value.

Edict Of Nantes was sold to Hong Kong owners for a reported price of just under R10m and former Tekkie Town owner Braam van Huyssteen paid R3.2m for Legal Eagle.

Mayfair managed many of Jooste’s more than 200 racehorses. The businessman resigned from the company board after the Steinhoff scandal emerged but his son-in-law‚ Stefan Potgieter‚ remains a director.

Absa’s application for provisional liquidation in December was based on an unpaid debt of R226.3m plus interest.

The bank’s manager for business support‚ Hester van Niekerk‚ said in her founding affidavit that Absa had been informed the company had liabilities of about R1bn and assets‚ if realised‚ of about R350m.

She said Mayfair was "both technically and commercially insolvent due to the material deterioration in its primary assets‚ namely the Steinhoff shares held by it".

"[Mayfair’s] primary assets are the share portfolio held by SBG Securities Pty Ltd in Steinhoff International Holdings‚ certain racehorses and a 49% share in Klawervlei Stud Pty Ltd‚ a property-owning entity‚" Van Niekerk said.

Klawervlei Stud has 12 horses in Thursday’s sale.

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