Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

There is an intriguing question ahead of the kick-off of the National Yearling Sale in Germiston on Thursday — will Wilgerbosdrift Stud sell the top price for the third year running?

The statistics for the past three years make interesting reading and are a feather in the cap for the Kimberley-based operation.

2019 National Sale: Aggregate: R139.3m. Average: R318,219. Highest: R9m bid by Shadwell SA for Silvano colt. Vendor: Wilgerbosdrift.

2020 National Sale (virtual): Aggregate: R87m. Average: R295,136. Highest: R7m bid by Summerhill Equestrian for Silvano colt. Vendor: Wilgerbosdrift.

Racing pundits are forever saying “put a line through that last bad run”, but it is relevant to 2020’s national sale which, because of the pandemic, was a virtual one. Expect big increases in both aggregate and average compared to the 2020 figures.

This year Wilgerbosdrift has consigned 24 yearlings to the sale and three are sons of the now retired Silvano. One of them is out of the nine-time winner Europa Point, but her first offspring have not set the world alight.

Studying the Wilgerbosdrift draft, two yearlings that appeal are Lot 7, a Gimmethegreenlight colt out of the six-time winner Festival Of Fire; and on Friday, Lot 262, a Rafeef colt whose granddam is SA and UAE winner Front House.

Wilgerbosdrift’s sister stud Mauritzfontein is offering 17 yearlings including Lot 137, a full-brother to Mike de Kock’s grade 2 winner Barahin.

Early on Thursday, the stud will also be selling a Rafeef colt who is the first produce of three-time Aussie-bred winner Fish River.

Meanwhile, the Vaal hosts an eight-race programme on Wednesday and champion jockey Warren Kennedy can tune up for another date with Summer Pudding next Saturday by winning the seventh race on Candice Dawson’s runner, Miracle And Wonder.

Bred at Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein, this daughter of Captain Al has raced four times for a win and three places. Kennedy will know he is going to relinquish his jockey’s title to Lyle Hewitson at the end of July, but he is still riding at the top of his game.

He will be pleased Miracle And Wonder has drawn well as this will make life easier against his main rivals, Making A Scene (second at Turffontein last Saturday) and Curvation.

Robbie Sage took one horse, She’s A Cracker, to Turffontein last Saturday and the filly did Business Day followers proud by winning the Spook Express Handicap at odds of 19-4.

Sage also sends just one horse to the Free State track on Wednesday — his Marchfield filly Euphoriant who runs in the sixth race and will be ridden for the third time by apprentice Cole Dicken.

This looks like a competitive apprentice handicap in which Diamonds N Dollars (Joshwin Solomons) and Mazari (Mfanelo Zuma) are likely to take a hand in the finish.

Lucky Houdalakis has a strong hand in the final leg of the Pick 6 with Set The Standard and Spanish Boy, but the top choice is Valetorio, who should go well in his third run after a break.

VAAL SELECTIONS

1st Race: (8) Kissing Booth (10) Gilda Gray (1) Meet The Captain (3) Sheltering Sky

2nd Race: (2) Successful Ruler (12) Only Him (4) Jet Cat (6) Light Warrior

3rd Race: (3) Passing Shot (2) Irish Rain (1) Genie (10) Rainy Season

4th Race: (7) Fantasy Flower (8) Grindelwald (10) Eastbrook (3) Country Squire

5th Race: (5) Fred (3) Brand New Cadillac (7) Rockpaperscissors (4) Gold Griffin

6th Race: (9) Euphoriant (7) Diamonds N Dollars (15) Mazari (2) Mode

7th Race: (12) Miracle And Wonder (13) Making A Scene (7) Curvation (9) Mauby

8th Race: (7) Valetorio (1) Set The Standard (10) August Rain (13) Namaqualand

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