Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA
Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA

With 18 yearlings fetching R1m or more, it is understandable Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) CEO Wehann Smith’s view that last week’s trade at their Cape Premier Yearling Sale was “a real sale with no smoke and mirrors” is the right assessment.

Smith told Turftalk: “We had plenty of buyers from all over the country and overseas.”

These included Anthony Shroud, Amanda Skiffington, Mick Flanagan and Peter and Ross Doyle, but the anticipated Hong Kong involvement failed to materialise and Coolmore’s John Magnier also appeared to give the sale a miss.

With 192 of the 217 yearlings that went through the ring sold for R84,2m, the average for this eighth year of this particular sale was R43,6450.

“If there was to be a negative, it is that our average price was down from last year’s R699,000 to R436,000,” said Smith.

He is actually doing himself a disservice because the 2018 average at this sale was R504,411 so the decline was not that marked. The 2017 average was R699,000.

Anthony Shroud had the distinction of buying the top lot, a Captain Al filly consigned by Klawervlei Stud. This early foal is well related being a full-sister to Cape Guineas victor William Longsword.

The dam, Pagan Princess, has also produced a top-class filly in Real Princess whose six wins include the grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville.

“She’s a lovely filly and I think she’ll be trained by Justin Snaith,” said Shroud.

UK bloodstock consultant Amanda Skiffington is becoming a regular visitor to this sale and she had the final say for another of Captain Al’s progeny, a colt offered by Ridgemont Highlands.

This yearling — another early foal — boasts an impressive pedigree as her dam, Exotic, is by Galileo and her dam, Ice Queen, is a two-time winning daughter of Danehill Dancer.

Rathmor Stud were the surprise top buyers outlaying R6.7m on 13 lots. They spent more than Form Bloodstock who have been leading buyers at previous sales.

It is interesting to compare last week’s results with those of the National Yearling Sale held at Germiston in April. In 2018 that sale — for which 526 were cataloged but only 387 sold — averaged R362,649. Admittedly, only 226 were cataloged at last week’s CTS Sale, but the final average of R436,450 has to be viewed as satisfactory.

The top price at the National Yearling Sale in April was R5.2m — compared to R4m at CTS last week — but the person behind many of those telephone number bids in 2017 and before is now a notable absentee.

Jockey Diego De Gouveia, fresh from his win on Atyaab in Saturday's Cape Derby at Kenilworth, will be hoping for more success at the Vaal on Tuesday. Alec Laird has his team in good form and he has booked De Gouveia for his five-year-old, Obvious Child, who takes on 10 rivals in the fifth race.

Although one has to forgive his latest disappointing run behind Arlingtons Revenge, Obvious Child has an each-way shout judged on his third behind The Dazzler at Turffontein on Summer Cup day.

Paul Peter saddles recent winner, Defy Gravity, and the gelding should be involved with the finish with his young rider claiming his 2.5kg allowance.

Gavin Lerena had a rare winnerless day at Saturday’s Sun Met meeting, but he should add to his seasonal tally when he partners Ilha Da Varlette for trainer Geoff Woodruff in the third race. The daughter of Var has won two of her four starts.

Vaal selections

2nd Race: (8) Masaaqaat (10) Sarah (13) What You Are (4) Candy Cane

3rd Race: (7) Ilha Da Varlette (8) Scoop (4) Alpine Glacier (3) State Trooper

4th Race: (4) Russian Prince (5) Electromagnetic (1) Nautic Spirit (2) Peppermint Tea

5th Race: (8) Obvious Child (7) Defy Gravity (1) Finchatton (4) Come The Day

6th Race: (2) Flying Fable (3) Podcast (4) March To Glory (7) Veritas

7th Race: (7) Combat Muster (2) Wildlife Safari (1) Jubilee Line (9) Ready To Strike

8th Race: (2) Over Sharing (4) Dry Your Eyes (3) Gold Lightning (5) Myrrh