The surge of Covid-19 cases in Gauteng has affected this week's National Yearling Sale in Germiston with more than 130 lots of the 479 catalogued withdrawn by vendors.

The sale — sponsored by Emperors Palace — will take place on Friday and Saturday this week. The starting time on both day's will be 11.30am.

It appears some studs — notably Ridgemont Highlands — have had a rethink and decided to sell online off the farm. The Robertson-based stud is one of the biggest in the country and had entered 28 yearlings for the sale.

Klawervlei Stud, which held an online sale with New Zealand website gavelhouse in June, has withdrawn 19 of their yearlings, leaving only 10 to come under the hammer.

Chris van Niekerk, chairman of Klawervlei, said on Tuesday: “The pandemic has a great deal to do with it [the withdrawals]. Breeders, in order to keep costs down, have been selling off the farm.

“At the same time, there is a significant health risk in sending staff to Joburg at this time when the infection rate is at its highest to date.”

Ashley de Klerk, head of sales administration at Bloodstock SA, said: “It is a big shock for all of us, but it is the breeders choice to come or not.

“For some of the smaller breeders, it is costly to come to nationals and they decided they didn't want to travel. Each will have had their own reasons,” added De Klerk.

What this mass defection — leaving in the region of only 340 yearlings to be sold — means that those breeders who have not joined the exodus should benefit as buyers will have fewer yearlings to choose from.

Bloodstock SA will be pleased Drakenstein Stud — with a quality draft of 13 yearlings — will be at Germiston and there could be some spirited bidding for one of their early lots, a Duke Of Marmalade colt out of the Australian mare Aquatint.

This chestnut colt is a half-brother to Kasimir who has won seven races and was voted Equus Champion Sprinter for the 2018/19 season. A plus factor is that the youngster was an early foal being born in the first week of August.

Another of the Drakenstein draft likely to prove popular is a Silvano colt out of the Dynasty mare Demanding Lady. The youngster is a half-brother to Cape Derby runner-up Charles.

Trainer Paul Peter has enjoyed an outstanding season sending out over 100 winners and he will forever remember the campaign due to the exploits of his Triple Tiara winner Summer Pudding.

So it is as big a certainty as night following day that Peter will cast his expert eye over Summer Pudding's half-brother named Vanderbilt. The colt — consigned by Mauritzfontein Stud — is by What A Winter whose progeny have done well since he retired to stud in 2013.

Mauritzfontein will also be expecting plenty of interest in their Flower Alley filly Costa Smeralda who is a half-sister to 2017 Vodacom Durban July winner Marinaresco. He was trained by Candice Bass-Robinson who is likely to have a good look at this early foal.

Coral Fever enjoyed an outstanding career in the hands of trainer Robbie Sage winning seven races and Ascot Stud will be offering his half-sister by Galileo's son, Global View.

Wilgerbosdrift have come up with the good name of Buck's Fizz for their Soft Falling Rain colt out of the British mare Espumanti. He is a full-brother to Mike de Kock's speedy filly Gin Fizz.

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