Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH

David Ferraris is training in Hong Kong but remains a big supporter of SA bloodstock and bid top price of R830,000 at Sunday’s CTS De Grendel ready-to-run sale held at Kenilworth racecourse.

The former SA champion trainer, whose son Luke is now riding  in the former British colony, and his patron, David Hui, had earmarked a Querari colt from Drakenstein Stud at the top of their buying list for the sale that bettered expectations.

The aggregate of R16.48m was up 33% on the 2020 sale and the average of R156,952 represented an increase of 43% compared with 2020, when the aggregate was R12.33m and the average R110,134.

Of course, one has to take into account that — because of the Covid-19 pandemic — the 2020 sale was conducted online while buyers were allowed to be present at the venue in 2021.

“We are extremely happy and satisfied with the numbers achieved and the venue, which incorporated the 1881 lounge and use of the winner’s enclosure and can only be described as first-class,” said CTS MD Grant Knowles.

Last season’s KwaZulu-Natal champion trainer Garth Puller made the journey to the Cape and bid on behalf of Ferraris and Hui for the top lot, who is a half-brother to the smart performer Danilo Danilovitch.

Puller also made a successful bid of R340,000 for a Gimmethegreenlight colt, a son of last season’s champion sire.

The trainer told the Sporting Post: “I was happy with what I saw at the gallops [held on the Friday before the sale] and they are both lovely colts.”

Top buyer at Sunday’s sale was Greg Bortz, who bought 12 lots for a gross of R3.03m. Like Ferraris, Bortz has supreme confidence that SA breeders can produce champions.

Soetendal Estate emerged as top vendors, which was predictable with their large draft, but the stud will be pleased with their numbers, with a total of 38 lots grossing R7.24m.

In the sires department, the progeny of William Longsword proved popular, with his 13 lots offered grossing R2.4m to give an average of R184,615 per lot.

Gimmethegreenlight grossed R1.73m for his four lots and this provided the stallion with the top average at the sale of R432,500.

Vercingetorix is another stallion whose progeny have excelled over the past 12 months and his two lots averaged R175,000 for the pair.

Meanwhile, Verry Elleegant won the $6m Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday, storming home in the final straight to win by three-and-a-half lengths from local favourite Incentivise.

The six-year-old mare, rated a 14/1 chance by bookmakers, gave jockey James McDonald and trainer Chris Waller their first wins in the gruelling two-mile handicap known as “the race that stops the nation”.

New Zealander McDonald was overwhelmed with emotion after crossing on the horse that won the 2020 Caulfield Cup but had never triumphed beyond 2,400m.

“I love her to bits, she’s been so good to me,” he said. “I can safely say she is a champion now. She was relaxed the whole way ... I was blowing kisses to her all the way. I just can’t believe it.

“I never thought I would win one [Melbourne Cup], I dreamed I’d win one, it’s so hard to win. Her fight and determination just takes her so far. I want to swear.”

British runner Spanish Mission finished third while 2020’s winner Twilight Payment, trained by Irishman Joseph O’Brien, was 11th.

With Reuters

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