(Photo : Greig Muir)
“When we went into the Ready To Run Sale,
Kahal was a mere R20,000 adrift of Jet Master
for the top of the South African Sires’ log.”
Summerhill Stud CEOI met up with Altus Joubert, immediate past chairman of the TBA, in the aftermath of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale. His first remark involved the stallion averages, and the fact that there was nothing in it between Mullins Bay, Kahal and Muhtafal. That’s the point of this piece.
We’ve seen it all before: the sale of racehorses is all about fashion, and the one inevitability is that older horses eventually reach a stage where they begin to lose their “glitz”. It happened to Sadler’s Wells and it happened to Mr. Prospector, and while there were the odd exceptions to those rules (Mr.P’s son, Fusaichi Pegasus immediately springs to mind as a $4,5 million Keeneland graduate, conceived when his sire was in his late 20’s,) it has happened again in Europe to Pivotal with the burgeoning popularity of Sadler’s Wells’ sons Galileo and Montjeu, as well as a few other stars; Dansili, Dubawi etc.
And now it’s the turn of Kahal and Muhtafal. When we went into the Ready To Run Sale, Kahal was a mere R20,000 adrift of Jet Master for the top of the South African Sires’ log, yet the best he could muster in the way of average at the sale was R125,000. Muhtafal weighed in with a R116,000 average, and Mullins Bay, despite the distrust of South African buyers for first crop sires, posted a healthy R121,000. This is the point at which the graph of the ascending young sire intercepts with the descending older sire, expressed in fashion terms.
There is nothing wrong with either of the two older stallions: they are still the same horses, and still producing progeny of the ilk that put them in the vanguard of South African sires in the first place. The market knows too, that Kahal’s more recent emergence among the big five (the last three seasons) has attracted for him what have been arguably his best books of mares to date. Logically, his future should be in front of him, but that’s not what the fashionistas have in mind.
That said, some of the country’s finest horsemen labelled the Mullins Bays at the Ready To Run gallops. That’s good enough for us, and it provides us with all the encouragement we need going forward. We have another couple of world-class racehorses whose yearlings go under the hammer in 2012.
P.S. We’re at something of a loss to understand the local “stand off” for the first year crops of stallions these days. If they have the credentials and they look the part, surely there must be value in getting in before they get away.