Right now Team Valor’s Barry Irwin ranks as the best picker of successful racehorses in South Africa, and it’s probable, on his present record, that he’s as effective as the best in the world. Amazingly, he’s an American living in America, yet his strike rate with South African horses locally and internationally eclipses that of any judge anywhere. There aren’t many racing entities with access to the talent of a picker of his calibre, and it’s little wonder Team Valor is as successful as it is.
Quite apart from the Ipi Tombes, Crimson Palaces, Irridescences, and any number of other spectacularly successful South African fillies he’s taken abroad, no fewer than four out of the seven bought two years ago are already Stakes winners in South Africa. It’s a tribute then to the horses presented at this weeks sale, that despite the previous records which now lie shattered in the dust, Barry still maintains “it is the best value Thoroughbred market in the world. The world hasn’t cottoned on to it yet, despite your great performances in Dubai, and I think it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. I enjoyed myself again this time, and I’ll be back next year”.