Andreas Jacobs — who runs Barry Callebaut Group, the largest coffee and chocolate empire in Europe, and owns Maine Chance Farms in the Western Cape — has approved a further investment in the local racing industry with the signing of a deal last week to secure Irish thoroughbred Erupt, a dual group1 winner in Europe.
Erupt will join the Maine Chance stallion roster this season to stand alongside premier stallions Silvano and Querari.
"Erupt is a quality horse and ticks all the boxes on racing ability, class, pedigree and in terms of conformation, he is a ringer for his own sire, Dubawi," said bloodstock consultant Robin Bruss, who is syndicating the stallion with Justin Vermaak of Green Street Bloodstock.
Two other breeders have spent significantly recently on stallion imports, putting their faith in an industry going through trying times by enhancing the gene pool with top European and American blood.
Johannesburg advocate Nigel Riley has brought Wings of Desire (UK) to Heversham Park Farm in south Gauteng in an effort to revive the area as a breeding region. Wings Of Desire was placed in the group1 2017 Investec Epsom Derby and the group1 King George Stakes.
"Wings of Desire is the only son of the accomplished Pivotal to stand in SA," Riley said.
Heinrich Rix and Klawervlei Stud are responsible for the recent import of Royal Mo (US), a son of US stallion Uncle Mo. "Royal Mo is an outcross, free of ubiquitous Mr Prospector blood. He is a well-balanced horse," said syndicator Grant Knowles of Central Route Trading.
Racing on Thursday is at the Vaal, where trainer Sean Tarry and jockey Lyle Hewitson look set to post a double with Pidgeon Rock (race 4, 1,200m) and Cinnabon (race 9, 1,600m).
"Pidgeon Rock ran second at Turffontein last week and if he makes any more improvement I expect him to fight out the finish," said Tarry. "Cinnabon ran on strongly over the last 150m when we tried him over 1,400m and the mile should suit him."