So there is a God after all. And if he isn't a Zulu, he's certainly come to Zululand at last. We couldn't wait for Monday morning to share our delight at the fulfillment of our prophecies on the Visionaires; Harry Nillson obviously didn't have Visionaire in mind when he composed his famous first line 'Everybody's talkin' bout me,' but the stallion is certainly singing from the same song sheet.
Michael Ross, a former member of the pedigree department of that great dinosaur of the horse racing world, the British Bloodstock Agency, reminded us this week of Winston Churchill's flirtation with our sport, and the word “flirtation” is used advisedly.
Saturday's J&B Met race meeting was as good a day's racing as we've witnessed recently, and while the margin of his heroics on Saturday might suggest that Futura is head and shoulders above his own generation, it's worth remembering that Legislate was missing and that the recent Highveld Triple Crown winner Louis The King, hot off his own sparkling victory in the Sansui Summer Cup (Gr.1), just didn't turn up.
The one thing about the horseracing business, is that the wheels grind on, no matter where you are, seven days a week, twelve months of the year.The one thing about the horseracing business, is that the wheels grind on, no matter where you are, seven days a week, twelve months of the year.
We recently received a letter from Lynn Atkinson, a regular (and certainly amongst our favourites) correspondent and follower of our blog, and decided that its publication was a wonderful opportunity to share Lynn's latest memoirs, which were described by Mick as "moving"; we're quite sure our readers will agree.
There’s an old saying that “you can take a man out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of a man.” It’s grown up around the exotic beauty of this continent, its sounds, its scents, its people, its animals, and as much as anything, its atmosphere.
This past weekend, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, called a general election, obviously seeking a reaffirmation of the mandate he obtained two years ago for his radical new economic plan, popularly referred to as “Abenomics”. There can only be one strategic purpose behind a snap election in these circumstances, and that is to get the support of the populace before the substantial majority you enjoyed last time, whittles away altogether.
When Sebueng trotted up by 2.5 at Greyville towards the end of last week, we should’ve known something was cooking. This coming weekend the former Premier of KZN, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, hosts an old-style country race meeting at his farm near Pietermaritzburg’s Table Mountain, and we’d already agreed with His Majesty King Letsie that Saturday would be the filly’s swansong, notwithstanding Michael Roberts’ misgivings about testing her over this fresh patch of naked veldt.
Your arrival at the racecourse in this Indian Ocean paradise is greeted by a grand statue of King Edward VII, erected no doubt to continue the appeasement of the local French settlers, whose government had been displaced by the British.
Bloodstock South Africa's National yearling sale ended its three-session run Friday with figures slightly down on last year, although the average and median were up marginally. The aggregate wrapped up at R126,527,500 (US$10,451,592), versus R134,615,000 last year (a decrease of 5.9%, although with 58 fewer yearlings offered). The buyback rate was up slightly to 15.8% from 14.7%. The average was up 8.7% from R338,229 to R367,812 (US$30,275), while the median increased by 6.7% from R225,000 to R240,000 (US$19,795).
Bloodstock South Africa's National Yearling Sale saw a new South African sales record for a filly during the second session Thursday, with Lot 221 selling for R4.75 million (US$390,927). The bidding on the daughter of Fort Wood, consigned by Lammerskraal Stud, started at a million and jumped in million-rand increments, finally slowing down at the R4 million mark.
Session one of the Bloodstock South Africa National Yearling Sale commenced Wednesday and Liesl King has the scoop. A new Bloodstock South Africa record price was established for a yearling when lot 41 went for R4.25 million (US$348,388).
First they pioneered inner city sales, now in the shape of the Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale, Cape Thoroughbred Sales have conducted the world's first "inner hotel" auction of racehorses, a surreal affair in the heart of a transformed garden unrecognisable even to those of us who know it so well.
The inaugural CTS Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale concluded on a very positive note in Johannesburg Saturday, with an aggregate of R44,300,000, an average of R414,019 and a median of R300,000. Nine yearlings breached the R1 million mark, with top honors going jointly to lot 57 and lot 86, both colts being knocked down for R2million.