While there are no certainties about the sport of horse racing, the bloodstock world is a different kettle of fish with outcomes more predictable.
This column’s prediction for the week: the 2019 top price of R4m will be exceeded at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale to be held on Thursday (1pm start) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Vendors will have a skip in their step as they head for the venue — there has not been such a bullish mood since Markus Jooste made many richer beyond their dreams with big purchases about five years ago.
At last week’s Magic Millions Sale in Australia, a colt by Exceed and Excel (sire of Saturday’s Cartier Paddock Stakes winner Queen Supreme) was sold for A$1.8m (R18m), but this week’s top price will not get near that figure.
A year ago, the sale registered an aggregate of R83.5m with 192 of 226 lots catalogued averaging R435,208. CTS will want to improve the clearance rate this time, yet there has to be a real chance of the average hitting R500,000.
Most pundits are predicting that a number of big buyers will be interested in the half-brother to L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate victor Vardy. Klawervlei Stud (as agent) have consigned the colt who is a son of popular sire Gimmethegreenlight.
Trying to predict the top lot is hard, but it is interesting to get the choices of the top people in the bloodstock world. One of those is Durban-based bloodstock consultant Lynton Ryan, SA’s best judge of a thoroughbred.
The Sporting Post asked Ryan to give his top picks, leaving aside Vardy’s half-brother, and his choices were lots 99 and 219.
His first selection is a Silvano colt consigned by Drakenstein Stud (as agent) and the second produce of the Giant’s Causeway mare Song Of Happiness. The youngster’s grandam, Captain’s Lover, was a top-class performer, winning seven races including the grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas.
Ryan’s second selection will come under the hammer towards the latter part of the sale. The yearling, Carl Vinson, is a son of deceased champion sire Dynasty out of the US mare Helleborus Blue. She has produced a number of top performers including Trip To Heaven and The Hangman.
The vendors, Ridgemont Highlands, have come up with the interesting name of Carl Vinson. He was an US politician who served in the US House of Representatives for more than 50 years.
The naming of horses by breeders often leaves much to be desired and there are a number of cases this year in which vendors have simply taken the first part of the sire and second part of the dam.
An exception is Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm, who have come up with the name of Spielberg for their Futura colt out of the mare Miss October.
Filmmaker Spielberg is a huge name in the movie industry, and Avontuur’s Pippa Mickleburgh says the stud came up with the name because in Spielberg’s Back To The Future they travelled to the month of October.
The second lot to enter the ring also has a strong name, with Connemara Stud calling their Rafeef colt Napoleon. The sire, winner of the grade 1 Computaform Sprint, is a son of legendary stallion Redoute’s Choice.
It was necessary to Google the name Lammerskraal Stud came up with for their Dynasty filly out of the grade 1-winning mare Viva Maria. She is called Ntinga, which is apparently a state-owned development agency at OR Tambo International Airport.
Golfing legend Gary Player, who now lives in Plettenberg Bay, is certain to attend the sale and will be hoping for a good price for his black filly by What A Winter.
“This is a fantastic dam line that holds much promise. What A Winter’s cross with a Captain Al broodmare is ideal,” Player said.