While analysts worldwide are painting a dismal scenario for the festive season — particularly for retailers — the bloodstock sales party shows no signs of ending.

When the curtain came down on Sunday’s Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale at Germiston, it left Bloodstock SA in a familiar role — announcing another record turnover.

The final thoroughbred sale of this year saw a 45% jump in aggregate to R16m with the average of R135084 being 39% up on last year.

Mick Goss has never been a man at a loss for words, but the Summerhill boss, whose stud made up two-thirds of the draft, knew this was the best Ready to Run since its inception two decades ago.

“A spectacular success,” enthused Goss. “The results prove that we have taken sales promotions to another level. I believe that Bloodstock SA did a phenomenal job for which I congratulate their team.

“I was moved by the planning and enormous efforts of my own team at Summerhill, who have become one of the world’s best.”

jan naudeJan Naude (mikedekockracing)Bloodstock SA CEO Jan Naude said he was overwhelmed by another hugely successful sale.

“The strong and consistent growth of our various sales in 2007 has been quite remarkable. The Ready to Run sale, in particular, was well promoted with incentives as a part of the package and a strong catalogue featuring various imports.

“We are more than satisfied with the results, and we hope that 2008 can bring similarly excellent sales results,” he said.

Surprisingly enough, Summerhill, SA’s champion breeders, have never sold a foal for R1m, but they came tantalisingly close with KwaZulu-Natal trainer Tony Rivalland bidding R900000 for the top lot, Stay Sonic.

The son of Hawk Wing out of the Australian mare Onwards had been touted as the likely sales-topper and Rivalland outbid Gauteng trainer Michael Azzie.

stay sonic horseStay Sonic (Lot 8)“He’s been bought for a new patron of mine named Tony Feasey, a property developer in Pietermaritzburg,” said Rivalland. He will now be eyeing next year’s Ready to Run Sweepstakes race, which is likely to carry a purse of R1m.

Trainer Mike de Kock also bid for Stay Sonic, but he did not return home empty-handed as the Equine Group bid R525000 for the Hussonet colt Mdasini.

“Having bought some of the progeny of Hussonet in South America, I am well aware of their value and this one impressed me at the breeze-up gallops,” De Kock said.

The second-highest price was R600000 bid by Marlon Aronstam of Anfield Sports for the Fantastic Light colt Unyazi. Aronstam said the son of the former Godolphin champion, who now stands at stud in Japan, had been acquired for the well-known owner Fred Crabbia.

The sum of R93333 translates into a great many Zimbabwean dollars so it was little wonder that Harare-based trainer Noelene Peech was delighted that the three offerings by the stallion Kitalpha averaged that figure.

“I wish I could take them back with me,” enthused Peech.

Foreigners were active at the sale and Bloodstock SA entertained buyers from Hong Kong, Turkey and England. Turkish businessman Fedai Kahraman spent almost R1m on five lots including Kahal’s son, Mbabala, for R425000.

Goss had the final word : “Roll on 2008. The next Emperors Palace Ready to Run Cup might be contested for over R1m — even R1,5m is possible!”

By David Mollet (Businessday)