Ahead of the Cape Thoroughbred Sale (CTS) in the Cape on Thursday and Friday, the company’s CEO, Wehann Smith, says "the increase in overseas buyers is a wonderful sign for our industry".
"At our premier sale in January, overseas buyers were responsible for 30% of total turnover. That’s a big number compared with previous years."
A total of 343 yearlings — representing 53 sires — will come under the hammer of auctioneers John O’Kelly and Andrew Miller and Smith is confident of a successful sale.
"I believe it offers something for everyone. There will be horses sold for big figures and some for R20,000."
In 2017, Smith said he believed "the markedly reduced number of sales in 2018 will be a huge positive and enable us to better retain the attention of buyers. The fact we are now having a premier auction in April will certainly provide breeders with the opportunity to sell their later developing yearlings in Cape Town.
"We also believe we will be able to attract international buyers to this later sale."
A boost for any sale is the racecourse performances of its graduates and two of them, Janoobi and Singapore Sling, have made headlines in 2018.
Janoobi won the Zabeel Mile in Dubai, while Singapore Sling — formerly trained by Geoff Woodruff — won the Hong Kong Classic Cup. His purchase price was just R225,000.
The 2018 catalogue is 33% larger than 2017, when 257 lots were offered. Apart from top sires such as Trippi, Dynasty and Silvano, there are yearlings by top-class international stallions including Exchange Rate, Rock Of Gibraltar and Investec Derby winner Camelot.
Buyers of yearlings this week are eligible for the two rich CTS races to be run at Kenilworth in January 2020 — the 1,200m CTS Sprint and 1,600m CTS Mile. Both races carry a stake of R5m.
The Sporting Post said "with breeders already under the whip for some time, there will be hope that the renewed sense of positivity prevailing on the back of the recent changes in our political landscape will translate to an upturn" cannot go unchallenged.
No one is shedding tears for breeders. Indeed, during the last few years — due to bids from Markus Jooste and Mayfair Speculators — they have sold yearlings for amounts far exceeding their expectations.
In summing up this week’s sale, Smith concluded that "there’s a positive mood — there’s a lightness that hasn’t existed for some time".
On the local racing front, the Vaal hosts an eight-race programme on Tuesday and the best race could be the last on the card, which features a clash between several promising three-year-olds.
The likely favourite is the Irish-bred colt Buffalo Bill Cody, who scored a maiden victory over Lobo’s Legend in November. Lobo’s Legend emerged victorious in Saturday’s R2m SA Classic at Turffontein.