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

With New Zealander Steve Davis marooned because of Covid-19 restrictions, auctioneers Andrew Miller and Graeme Hawkins face a heavy workload over the two days of the Emperors Palace Yearling Sales in Germiston on Friday and Saturday.

“We’re sad Steve Davis is not able to be here as he’s been a stalwart at this sale for two decades. However, we have two consummate professionals in Andrew [Miller] and Graeme [Hawkins] who will be up to the task,” said SA Bloodstock CEO Michael Holmes.

Miller, father of Proteas cricketer David Miller, has been an auctioneer since 1986, and Hawkins, marketing manager at Gold Circle, knows every yard of the Germiston complex as he worked there for the TBA early in his career.

The two gentlemen will have to sell about 346 yearlings over the two days, with the number of withdrawals — notably the whole draft of Ridgemont Highlands — standing at 133.

Davis was due to sell Hawwaam’s full-brother, with this end of October foal consigned by Wilgerbosdrift Stud. Many pundits are predicting the colt will be the top lot.

Earlier in the week, this column highlighted some of the yearlings from the big studs, but there are some from smaller operations who could prove popular with buyers.

One of the first lots in the ring on Friday is a What A Winter colt out of three-time winner Aconcagua, consigned by Bosworth Farm Stud in Klerksdorp. The sire was responsible for last Saturday’s KZN Yearling Sale Million winner, Winter Stories.

A few lots later, Riverton Stud will be offering a Pomodoro colt out of the Al Mufti mare Al Shiba. The youngster is a half-brother to Tony Ruffel Stakes winner Ikigai, so it is possible Sean Tarry will run his expert eye over this lot.

Cape Guineas winner William Longsword is a new addition to the stallion ranks, and Clifton Stud will be offering a colt by him out of the Irish mare Athassel Abbey.

Clifton Stud has also consigned a colt related to another Tarry inmate, Spiritofthegroove. The yearling is by Dynasty’s son Act Of War and a half-brother to Tarry’s Emperors Palace Ready-To-Run Cup winner.

David Hepburn-Brown’s Hemel ’n Aarde Stud has sent up 13 yearlings from Hermanus (four as agent) and his first offering is a daughter of Aussie stallion Rafeef out of the one-time winner Big Sugar. Her dam, Sugar Babe, was a grade 3 winner in Australia.

A little later, the same stud will be hoping there is some spirited bidding for their What A Winter colt out of the Jet Master mare Butterfly Girl. She won four races and this is her second produce.

The Bush Hill Stud in Mooi River has an interesting draft as six of their 10-strong draft are by different stallions. Their first-day offerings include a filly — an early foal — who is out of five-time winner Countess Corlia.

The same stud has a What A Winter filly Indigo Winter, who is the third produce of Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Go Indigo. No surprise if the grey proves popular with buyers.

Nadeson Park Stud, which bred last Saturday’s KZN Million winner Winter Stories, consigns just three yearlings, but the trio make plenty of appeal on pedigree. They include a Time Thief colt out of a three-time winner, a half-sister by Gimmethegreenlight to four-time winner Easy Lover, and a Potala Palace colt out of six-time winner Purple Orchid.

Yearlings from Summerhill are always worth close scrutiny and, while some of their choice lots have been withdrawn, they are offering a colt by exciting young sire Willow Magic out of four-time winner Hlabelela.

There are plenty of choice lots on Saturday, with a half-brother to Folk Dance by Silvano, who is likely to be examined by trainer Paul Peter; a half-sister to six-time winner Takingthepeace; a Dynasty colt out of six-time winner Mary Lou; a half-brother by Oratorio to Val De Ra; a half-brother by Vercingetorix to Punta Arenas; a Silvano colt out of 10-time winner Princess Victoria; a half-sister to July flop Bunker Hunt; a Dynasty colt who is a half-brother to Snowdance; and a colt by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo.

Miller is due to sell the last lot and by this stage both he and Hawkins will be clamouring for some strong refreshment.

TURFFONTEIN SELECTIONS

(Sunday)

1st Race: (3) Anna Capri (1) Country Mile (7) Courtney Leigh (8) Dalgety Bay

2nd Race: (12) Vars Vicky (13) West Coast Lover (1) Phinda Mzala (6) Prince Alf

3rd Race: (11) Duke Of Gold (12) The Time Is Now (3) Petersham (4) Bravo One

4th Race: (1) Lady Amherst (3) Dice The Bullet (2) Sapphire Rock (12) Twice The Act

5th Race: (2) Expressfromtheus (7) Bergerac (1) Nordic Rebel (4) Bien Venue

6th Race: (4) Barak (9) Top Rank (2) Afraad (5) Bellagio King

7th Race: (5) Risk Taker (3) Florida Quays (1) Pool Party (7) Promise

8th Race: (4) Bassam (2) Var Aglow (10) Smoke (1) Twelve Oaks

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