Cape Town International Convention Centre
22 - 23 January 2015

The 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale ended with records tumbling across the board; closing Friday with an aggregate of R120,450,000, an increase of 16.9%.
— Liesl King / Thoroughbred Daily News

The 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale ended with records tumbling across the board, with an aggregate of R120,450,000, an increase of 16.9%. The average of R644,118 showed an increase of 12.5%, while the median increased by 14.3% from R350,000 to R400,000.

"We're ecstatic with the results of the sale, we were expecting a decent increase and am more than happy with the results achieved," commented Adrian Todd, COO of Cape Thoroughbred Sales. "Thursday's new South African record of R5.2 million and tonight's R4-million session topper shows that the market is definitely improving with an increase in new entrants into the industry. This definitely augurs well for the future."

Silvano Star on the Rise

It took three lots during Session One before a six-figure horse entered the ring, but Thursday's record price seems to have fired up the buying bench, with the first horse into the ring, the Winterbach Stud-consigned lot 101 going for R2.7 million to Mayfair Speculators. Produced by A Star For Maria (Aus) (Noverre), a half- sister to Listed Rockingham Stakes winner Bannock (Ire) (Bertolini), the outstanding bay colt is by Silvano (Ger) (Lomitas), whose 13 horses through the ring grossed R10.65 million (US$932,983) for an average of R819,231 (US$71,789). 

"He is a lovely colt from a very good family and he was beautifully prepared by Winterbach Stud," said Derek Brugman, racing manager for Mayfair Speculators.

Six lots later, Silvano was again responsible for a million plus horse when Gavin Smith signed for Lot 107 at R2million. Smith was one of the underbidders on Lot 101 and he was determined not to let this one get away. Out of Burnt Savannah (SAf) (Elliodor), a half-sister to G2 November Handicap winner Likeithot (SAf) (Rakeen), the bay colt was consigned by Hemel 'N Aarde Stud. Smith was relieved to finally have the Silvano he was looking for.

"He is a quality horse, who is a good walker, with a good eye, a good topline and I was advised by good friends. Need I say more?" Smith quipped.

Fiona Carmichael Takes the Plunge

An invite by Mrs. Gaynor Rupert to the elegant blue-and-white themed L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Day four years ago was responsible for Fiona Carmichael falling in love with the beauty of Cape Town and she has returned every year since. Back home in England, Carmichael has owned star gallopers such as Toronado (Ire) and Ivawood (Ire), and it seemed inevitable that she would not be able to resist the lure of owning a racehorse in South Africa. Three years ago, she succumbed and acquired a 'tiny' share in a horse, but she hadn't taken the step of attending a bloodstock auction yet.

The 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale changed all that. Carmichael brought her partner Ian Jennings along, and together with bloodstock agent Amanda Skiffington, they decided to have a look at what was on offer in the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Skiffington has an exceptional eye for a top horse and her initial pick was the record breaker from the first session. Undeterred, the ladies went for Skiffington's second pick, lot 123, the beautiful near black colt, Moonrise Sensation (SAf). By Var (USA) out of the Indigo Magic (GB) mare Earn A Moon (SAf), the colt is from the family of globetrotting Lucky Find (SAf) (Rich Man's Gold), who raced successfully in South Africa and Dubai. Skiffington had to go to R4million before the colt with the striking white blaze was finally theirs.

"He is a really beautiful horse and we decided that if we were going to bid on one it had to be a classic horse," Skiffington said. "This is a really terrific sale and it reminds me a lot of Magic Millions in Australia. The quality of the horses on offer is exceptional and I will definitely be back next year," she added.

Successful Trainers Enter the Fray

Last year's champion trainer Justin Snaith had been fairly quiet by his standards, but that all changed when he spotted lot 131, a Dynasty (SAf) colt out of the Al Mufti (USA) mare Es La Vida (SAf). Snaith is the trainer of the exceptional Dynasty colt Legislate (SAf), the reigning South African Horse of the Year and a multiple Grade 1 winner, so he is well qualified to spot the best sons of the outstanding stallion. Snaith was however not alone in his estimation of the unnamed colt and he had to go to R3million before the hammer fell. 

"For me he was the pick of the Dynasty's and we bought him for a young, first-time owner," Snaith stated. "He has loads of scope and will mature into a very imposing horse. I am delighted to have got him."

Another who stuck to a winning formula is 'Master of the Classics' trainer Dean Kannemeyer. The conditioner was recently forced to retire his stable star and G1 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate winner Capetown Noir (SAf) due to a recurring tendon injury. Capetown Noir was a son of the sadly deceased Western Winter (USA), and Kannemeyer was on the prowl for another one of the sire's offspring. Lot 135 is a daughter of the Silvano (Ger) mare Field Flower (SAf), winner of the G1 Cape Fillies Guineas, and the colt fit the bill perfectly. Again his choice did not come cheap and Kannemeyer had to survive a spirited bidding war, before he managed to secure the colt for European interests at R3.7 million. Kannemeyer is a tough competitor and explained why he was determined to have the colt.

"Western Winter was a great stallion and the dam is a Guineas winner," Kannemeyer commented. "The colt is a magnificent individual, who ticked all the right boxes. We knew we would have to pay, but weren't expecting to have to go quite so high for him. Fortunately Jehan Malherbe of Form Bloodstock agreed with me and hence we decided to tough it out and make sure we get him."

Mayfair Speculators Takes Home a Truckload

Mayfair Speculators also acquired a son of each stallion. First signing for lot 119, a Dynasty filly out of another of Highlands Farm Stud's imported American fillies turned champion broodmare, Destination Mars (Coronado's Quest), at R2.2million. A son of Western Winter followed, when lot 158 was acquired for R2million. From the female family of 2008 Champion 2-year-old filly Consensual (SAf), the striking colt is out of the Caesour (USA) mare In Camera (SAf) and was consigned by Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm

Brugman advised that the colt named Attenborough was going to be trained by Joey Ramsden, who also sent out 2014 G2 Godolphin Mile winner Variety Club (SAf) (Var) for Markus and Ingrid Jooste. Ramsden clearly likes the family as he also acquired lot 113, a Dynasty filly out of Consensual herself, for R2million.

"Consensual was no slouch", Ramsden explained. "But while pedigrees are important, in the end it is about the individuals, isn't it? These two were by top stallions in Dynasty and Western Winter and were superb individuals in their own right."

The Leaderboard

With 53 lots selling for an aggregate of R34,925,000, the leading vendor for the 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale was Klawervlei Stud, well ahead of the Beck Family's Highlands Farm Stud, while Mayfair Speculators topped the buyers list with 15 lots totaling R21.5million. Not surprisingly, the list of leading sires was headed up by Dynasty, with his 17 sons and daughters selling for R24,700,000 and one of only four sires to achieve a seven-figure average (R1,452,941). Western Winter occupied the second position with 10 lots selling for R14,050,000 (R1,405,000).

Extracts from TDN/CTS (p)