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

One factor emerged from last week’s National Yearling Sale in Germiston, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is an organisation whose policy is action not words.

At the 38th Asian Racing Conference held in Cape Town in February 2020, Andrew Harding, Asian Federation secretary- general, stood in for the club’s then chair Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges (now Philip Chen), who could not make the trip because of the pandemic.

In his speech, Harding said: “It is clear that as an industry we must stand together like never before. The SA industry has laboured hard to overcome the barriers created by African horse sickness and the Asian federation has committed to assisting it.”

In a nutshell, Hong Kong is there to help and they took action last week buying three yearlings for R4.8m.

What a contrast to what we have seen here since we thought racing would enter a new and exciting era when MOD (Mary Oppenheimer daughters) won the vote for control last August. They have simply been treading water and some Phumelela employees have been out of work for more than a year.

Of course, the Hong Kong purchases make good business sense. They will have to travel the long route to Hong Kong via England before being put on sale in the former British colony in June 2022.

With the exchange rate of about R2/HK, it is as big a certainty as night following day that the price the two-year-olds will make in their second appearance in a sales ring will be far greater than their cost at Germiston.

With Vermaak Equine acting as their agent, the Hong Kong Jockey Club bought the second top lot at the sale paying R2.4m for the Silvano colt Power Factor. The half-brother to grade 2 winner Princess Calla was consigned by Maine Chance Farms.

A bid of R1.5m from the Vermaak team secured a Gimmethegreenlight colt who is a full-brother to Mike de Kock's dual grade 2 winner Barahin. An early foal — in contrast to Power Factor — the yearling was offered by Mauritzfontein Stud.

The colt has been named Hopjes and it was necessary for a Google search to determine it is a Dutch sweet with a coffee and caramel flavour that originated in the 18th century. A name change in Hong Kong seems likely.

Not surprisingly, Form Bloodstock emerged as leading buyer and also secured the top lot — a Gimmethegreenlight colt from Klawervlei for R2.8m. By the end of the sale they had bought 24 yearlings for R13.8 m.

The grey colt — the fourth produce of 2012 Equus Champion two-year-old filly All Is Secret — was bought on behalf of Lady Laidlaw and will join the stable of Dean Kannemeyer.

“We are delighted to have the support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and their purchases are proof that the SA product is sought after in the world market,” said Bloodstock SA CEO Michael Holmes.

The sale’s final statistics

Aggregate: R102.4m (R87m in 2020 when it was a virtual sale).

Average: R276,946 (lowest since 2012).

Lots sold: 370 from 462 catalogued.

Lots not sold or withdrawn: 92 (20% of the catalogue).

Top vendors:

Varsfontein Stud — 39 yearlings sold for R11.2m.

Klawervlei Stud — 16 yearlings sold for R8.3m.

Wilgerbosdrift Stud — 19 yearlings sold for R7.3m.

Top Sires:

Gimmethegreenlight — 48 lots sold for R20.9m.

Silvano — 22 lots sold for R11.1m.

Dynasty — 12 lots sold for R7.5m.

Rafeef — 19 lots sold for R6.3m.



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