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Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

At the end of Premier League matches, pundits often select  their man of the match. At the conclusion of the National Yearling Sales in Germiston, that accolade would unquestionably have gone to Varsfontein Stud’s Carl de Vos.  

At the two-day sale, De Vos slotted home three important goals.

• Varsfontein sold the top lot of R3.3m with Form Bloodstock securing a son of Silvano.

• Varsfontein emerged top vendors grossing R17.5m for their 24 yearlings and returned  the outstanding average of R730,417.

• Varsfontein’s stallion Gimmethegreenlight topped the sires list with an average of R703,243.

Chatting to this writer on Saturday, De Vos said: “We are over the moon with our results, we didn’t know there would be money around. How could we given what has happened in the last two years?

“But we went there knowing this was one of our better crops — happily the dice fell right for us. We got our first positive indication when more people than usual came to the farm to inspect the yearlings. We got good feedback from them.

“Of course, it’s so important that Susan [Kalmanson] puts so much into developing the farm, always on the search for British and Irish mares to bolster our broodmare band.”

Formerly a wine farm, Paarl-based Varsfontein was founded by the Kalmanson family in 1974 and is now a powerhouse in the breeding industry.

When Bloodstock SA officials totted up the figures on Friday night, they would have been as over the moon as De Vos was. A total of 381 yearlings were sold (70 withdrawn or not sold) at an aggregate of R136,355,000.

The average of R357,887 was the highest since 2008.

In the sires’ department, buyers concentrated on four stallions Gimmethegreenlight (average R703,243), Vercingetorix (average R623,293), Trippi (average R604,375) and Silvano (average R596,842).

On the buyers’ list, Form Bloodstock have been Bloodstock SA’s best customers since Edmund Hillary conquered Everest and this year was no exception. They spent R22.6m on 34 yearlings.

Vermaak Equine made their presence felt with 20 purchases for a total of R9.9m and they finished second on the buyers’ list.

Meanwhile, punters were left with empty pockets at Turffontein on Saturday when Durban July and Met winner Kommetdieding fluffed his lines in the grade 1 Premier's Champions Challenge.

The dual grade 1 winner was sent off the 83-100 favourite but never got a blow in behind shock 66-1 winner Astrix. The win was the cherry on top of a memorable day for Paul Peter who now has a big lead in the trainers’ championship.

Though jockey JP van der Merwe must have felt he had little chance of landing the R1.2m first prize, he kept his mount up to his work to hold off the second favourite Sparkling Water.

Van der Merwe’s victory celebrations were somewhat tempered when the stipes fined him R15,000 for excessive use of the whip on Astrix.

S’manga Khumalo, rider of runner-up Sparkling Water, also received a fine of R2,500 for the same offence plus a two-meeting ban.

These differing fines for an identical offence resulted in some heated debate on social media with many people querying why both jockeys were not penalised the same amount.

VAAL SELECTIONS

1st Race: (5) Chasing Mavericks (1) Copernicus (2) Triple Decker (4) Parker Getrix

2nd Race: (2) Litigation (5) Leopold (3) Team Gold (7) Whafeef

3rd Race: (5) Roxara (4) Sweet Sensation (2) Before The Dawn (1) Naarah

4th Race: (1) Time Is Ticking (2) Imposing Angel (4) Grecia (7) Miss Magician

5th Race: (2) Follow Me (3) Shivers (1) Thumbs Up (4) Miss Elegance

6th Race: (4) Defender Of Rights (10) Ball Rolling (11) Silly Fella (3) Leshawes

7th Race: (3) Princess Kesh (4) Snow Palace (10) Pashasha (7) Stunning Kitten

8th Race: (2) Nabeela (3) Liverpool Legend (8) Queen Bomi (7) Global Louise

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