Picture: 123RF/ MELORY S
Picture: 123RF/ MELORY S

Former US president JF Kennedy is responsible for one of the most famous quotes. He said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” 

In this regard, the family of Andrew Miller — now resident in Durban — can be proud they have made their contribution to SA over close to four decades.

Miller has been a successful auctioneer for 37 years and owns his own auction company in Durban. His son, David, is a middle-order batsman for the Proteas and is likely to play in the forthcoming series against England. The 30-year-old has had eight seasons with Kings X1 Punjab in the Indian Premier League, but will not be returning in 2020.

Durbanville racecourse is the venue on Friday for the 2019 CTS Ready-To-Run Sale and Andrew Miller will be on the rostrum — with Graeme Hawkins — for his second bloodstock sale in three weeks. The duo were the auctioneers for the Emperors Palace Ready-To-Run Sale at Germiston on November 3.

That sale resulted in a decline in both aggregate and average so the question to Miller is an obvious one — will the drop at Germiston be a factor at this week’s CTS sale?

Miller responded: “The BSA sale was generally tough for vendors as has been the case with most other sales this year. It is an indicator of the tough economy we find ourselves in. However, the CTS does present a strong catalogue and, in my experience, there always seems to be good money for good horses like we found at Germiston. We are hoping for a strong result.”

There is a wider range of vendors than in previous years — does Miller see this as a plus? “Yes, it means greater variety for buyers and different vendors also attracts different buyers.”

In contrast to Germiston where only one lot made more than R1m, does he see a few of Friday’s 169 lots making over seven figures?

“I'm excited about the catalogue, but best not to count chickens before they’ve hatched. I would say I’m hopeful of a few big prices.

“Also, there are some attractive short-term incentives for buyers with the first three juvenile stakes winners of the sale getting a R250,000 bonus,” he said.

Some of the lots Miller is carded to sell include half-brothers to Via Africa and Coral Fever, as well as a half-sister to grade 1 winner Guiness. Soetendal Estate (as agent) is offering a half-brother to 10-time winner Via Africa by What A Winter, while Beaumont Stud has named the half-brother to Coral Fever by Jackson, Jackie Chan.

“Of course, the great advantage of a Ready-To-Run Sale is that you can see them move at the gallops the morning before the sale,” said Miller.

Experts will be trying to pick a bargain buy such as Cirillo who was bought by leading owner Chris van Niekerk for just R60,000 at the 2017 sale. To date the colt has earned more than R4.9m.

When Friday’s sale starts at 4pm, Miller, who began his career in 1982, will be able to chalk up another auction where he has been an important cog in SA’s bloodstock world.


Turffontein selections

1st Race: (11) Leading Fast (3) Tulip Way (5) Marmalade Cat (4) Varnica

2nd Race: (2) Virtuosa (6) Mabella (5) Trapiche (3) Wild Date

3rd Race: (3) Mount Laurel (4) Youcanthurrylove (5) Leopold (1) John Hancock

4th Race: (6) Captain Flynt (2) Apache Too (3) Bien Venue (5) Sea Air

5th Race: (6) Marmara Sea (3) Exion (10) Blue Flute (1) Binky

6th Race: (4) Ikigai (2) Riverstown (5) Spanish Boy (1) Russian Beat

7th Race: (8) Tigermil (4) Gallic Princess (5) Before The Dawn (6) Ponchielli

8th Race: (10) Cosmic Beat (1) Rosalina (2) Miss Khalifa (8) Orchid Express