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.
Angus Gold, as under-bidder, had a few more attempts at securing the beautiful filly, but eventually even he threw in the towel and she was knocked down to longtime Lammerskraal Stud owner Mike Rattray, who recently sold the stud and its stock. Rattray set about setting the record straight Thursday.
"People mustn't forget I am still in racing, I have just stopped breeding," he said. "The filly I loved as a foal and I should not have sold her with the farm. I had to have her back. And I told Angus that he was wasting his time; he would never have had enough money to buy her."
Rattray had also struck one lot earlier for a son of Western Winter, who he said would go into training with Mike de Kock. Before his untimely death, Western Winter was Lammerskraal's resident champion sire and with few of his yearlings left to buy, they have been in high demand. Rattray had to have one and snapped up Lot 220, a colt out of the Fort Wood mare Justthewayyouare consigned by Varsfontein Stud, for R1.7 million (US$139,911).
Dynasty (Fort Wood) was responsible for the new Bloodstock South Africa sales record on day one, and the popularity of the sire of the moment continued on day two as lot 192, a colt out of Hunter's Glen (Complete Warrior) was knocked down to John Freeman for R1.4 million (US$115,221). Freeman has a long relationship with Dynasty and he makes no bones about the fact that he loves the stallion.
"I bought Dynasty as a yearling and have loved him ever since," Freeman said. "Since he retired to stud I have managed to buy his four best stakes-winning offspring as yearlings. I guess you can say I have a love affair with this horse. This colt ticks all the boxes and he is the right type of Dynasty."
Freeman may love Dynasty, but he is not alone. Owner Jack Mitchell, for whom Freeman bought the colt, has been involved in each of Dynasty's four star performers - Legislate, Futura, Jackson and Heartland - and knows the family of lot 192 very well. Mitchell added, "In 2006 I visited Cheveley Stud and saw a colt I really liked. I told John that he needed to have a look as I thought the colt was worth buying. That colt was Ivory Trail. He was by an unfashionable sire in Badger's Drift (Badger Land), but he impressed me. Ivory Trail went on to win the G1 Champions Cup for me, beating the legendary Pocket Power. So how could I resist a brother by my favorite stallion Dynasty?"
Champion sire Tapit makes headlines at sales across the world, and South Africa is no exception. Lot 207, the only son of the Gainesway resident in the sale, went the way of prominent owner Adriaan van Vuuren for R1.1 million (US$90,544). Consigned by Drakenstein Stud, the grey colt out of the Giant's Causeway mare Irish Torrent unleashed a flurry of bids before being knocked down to Van Vuuren. Van Vuuren is known to have a penchant for greys and he wasn't about to let this one slip through his fingers. Mike Azzie, Van Vuuren's trainer, said that he thought they would have to pay a lot more for the colt.
"While he is not the biggest, he will grow into a lovely horse and I thought we would have to fork out a bit more to get him," he said.
KwaZulu-Natal owner Alesh Naidoo came to the sale for one horse only: lot 274, a Silvano colt out of one of Avontuur's Thoroughbred Farm's foundation mares, Minelli (Elliodor). A half-brother to multiple Grade 1-winning filly and Equus Champion Sprinter Val De Ra, as well as graded winners Mitra and Tevez, the colt was in high demand and Naidoo had to dig deep before the hammer fell in his favor at R1.7 million (US$139,911).
"I just loved him," Naidoo said. "He is the only horse in the sale that I wanted. He will be trained by Charles Laird and ridden by Anton Marcus, I have it all worked out."
Cumulative figures for the two days show an aggregate of R88,910,000 (US$7,317,334), an average of R365,885 (US$30,113) and a median of R240,000 (US$19,752). Last year's median at the conclusion of day (which was also the conclusion of the sale last year) was also R240,000, and the average was R347,776.
"It was another record-breaking day, with lot 221 breaking the South African record for a filly," said Bloodstock SA's Chief Executive Officer Kevin Woolward. "At this point we are ahead of last year's figures and we hope the trend continues tomorrow."
Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News