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Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Breeders countrywide shot themselves in the foot by failing to support last week’s inaugural Tattersalls Cape Premier Yearling Sale in the Mother City.

Only 122 lots were offered — the figure at the 2022 CTS sale last February was 188 — and those breeders who didn’t enter yearlings were greeted by the news of outstanding sales figures and a top price of R3.8m bid by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Basically, the top studs dipped their toes in the water and — with plenty of buyers ready to splash out — many owners and trainers left the International Convention Centre without horses they wanted to buy.

It’s hard to understand the logic of giving the sale a miss. The venue is first class and for overseas buyers the exchange rate makes the yearlings cheap compared with those in European markets.

“It was a terrific sale with a good middle market and strong top end,” Cape Racing Sales executive Grant Knowles told Business Day.

The final figures were impressive, an aggregate of R44,825,000 and an average of R443,812. This is higher than the average at the National Yearling Sales in Germiston in April last year.

The big action came with the sale of Maine Chance Farms’ Gimmethegreenlight colt, Valley Of The Kings. Before the sale,  vendor Andreas Jacobs described the yearling as “one of the jewels in Maine Chance’s crown for this auction”.

Top international auctioneer John O’Kelly drew this plum lot, and soon had a battle royal on his hands with Justin Vermaak — on the phone to the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s international sales manager Danny Rolston — up against two prominent owners in Greg Bortz and Bjorn Nielsen.

O’Kelly tried his best to get Bortz and Nielsen to go to R4m, but the hammer came down at R3.8m in favour of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Justin Vermaak commented later: “It is a good show of faith in our bloodstock by Hong Kong in our inaugural sale. We are lucky to have acquired a colt of this quality. He was the standout horse and — with SA back on the menu for Hong Kong — I had suggested the horse to them.”

As was the case at the National Sales, the popular sires were Gimmethegreenlight and Vercingetorix. The former had 15 lots sold at an average of R771,667 and the latter 10 lots sold at an average of R682,500.

There were familiar names in the buyers’ list:

Vermaak bought five lots for R3,450,000.

Kotzen Racing bought seven lots for R2,775,000.

Amanda Skiffington bought two lots for R2,750,000.

Hollywood Syndicate bought five lots for R2,750,000.

Irc Krish Nagendran bought three lots for R2,600,000.

Greg Bortz bought five lots for R2,475,000.

John Freeman bought five lots for R2,450,000.

Form Bloodstock bought three lots for R1,925,000.

Bass Racing bought two lots for R1,275,000.

Crawford Racing bought five lots for R1,225,000.

Turffontein host an eight-race programme on Monday and trainer Weiho Marwing’s runner, Vitellius, rates the best bet in the third race.


1st Race: (1) Phantom Of The Forest (9) Mother Of Pearl (3) Air Fusion (6) Edward Rye

2nd Race: (2) Flashy Apache (4) Total Protection (5) Star Coin (6) Twin Turbo

3rd Race: (9) Vitellius (2) Stepping Out (1) Gimme A Diamond (7) Lord Nelson

4th Race: (1) Under Your Spell (2) Humdinger (3) Hollywoodbound (5) Follow Me

5th Race: (7) Trident King (9) Rule By Force (2) Fast Love (11) Destiny Of Souls

6th Race: (4) Go Flichity (2) Last Cheer (3) Liverpool Legend (10) Winning Queen

7th Race: (4) Trump My Queen (2) Southern Song (3) Franklin (5) Dark Travel

8th Race: (4) Timbavati River (11) Power Ranger (7) Back To Basics (8) Scottadito

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