To say that racehorse owner Greg Bortz had a busy — and successful — weekend is an understatement.
It really could not have turned out better with a three-year-old he co-owns, Pomp And Power, winning the Concorde Cup at Kenilworth, as well as him buying 10 lots for R3.2m at a Germiston sale.
Over the past few years, Bortz, brought up in Durban but who has lived in the US and the UK, has emerged as a welcome new addition to the owners’ ranks. He owns top performer Undercover Agent and was Gold Circle “owner of the month” in May 2019.
Despite winning three of his first five starts, the betting market suggested Pomp And Power would find Cosmic Highway, Good Traveller and Xavion too smart in the grade 2 Concorde Cup, but the son of Vercingetorix and jockey Grant van Niekerk had other ideas.
The Justin Snaith inmate held off the challenge of the favourite, Cosmic Highway, to suggest his purchase price of R250,000 when bought from Maine Chance Farms was a bargain.
While the Cape meeting was in progress, Bortz was proving Bloodstock SA’s best customer at its November Two Year Old Sale at the TBA complex at Gosforth Park. He was comfortably the top buyer, securing 10 lots for R3.2m.
Bortz bought the second highest price at the sale with a successful bid of R750,000 for the Querari colt Vaupes. This late foal was consigned by Boland Stud (as agent) and is a half-brother to the five-time winner Twinkle Toes.
Two other notable purchases by Bortz included a Vercingetorix (same sire as Pomp And Power) colt for R620,000 and a US filly for R425,000. The former, offered by Summerview Stud, is the second produce of the five-time winner Ahlaam. No surprise there was interest in Boland Stud’s US filly as she is a half-sister to Cape Guineas winner Russian Rock.
Russian Rock ran in Saturday’s grade 2 Cape Merchants but finished five lengths behind surprise winner Vikram.
Bortz’s purchases helped the sale aggregate to reach R18.8m with an average of R140,299.
Top price at the Germiston sale was R800,000 bid by Hollywood Syndicate for a daughter of What A Winter consigned by Hemel ’n Aarde Stud. David Hepburn-Brown, owner of the Hermanus breeding operation, must have always been confident the filly would sell well as she is a half-sister to Camelia Stakes and Man ’O War Sprint winner Celestial Love.
Former top jockey Anthony Delpech, racing manager at Hollywood, told the Sporting Post: “Lot 29 was the standout filly on the sale for us and if we only walked away with one horse, she was the one we came for.” The two-year-old is likely to join the stable of Sean Tarry.
Two other notable sales were the R575,000 bid by Rathmor Stud for an Elusive Fort filly from Sandown Stud and R550,000 from Willem Ackerman for a Silvano colt from the same stud as agent for Shadwell SA.
David Ferraris will be disappointed Captain Fontane lost his unbeaten tag in the Cape Merchants, but he secured a Mambo In Seattle colt from Clifton Stud for R260,000.
Sandown Stud was the sale’s top vendor with 10 lots averaging R210,500, while Master Of My Fate headed the stallion list with the nine lots by the son of Jet Master returning an average of R243,889.
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