"There was a very strong top market, with the middle market being notably absent," said Bloodstock SA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Woolard. "There were a variety of buyers, but the big buyers were all targeting the same horses and hence there were a lot of bargains to be hand at the lower end of the market."
Leading vendor at the 2015 National Yearling Sale was Klipdrif Stud, selling 30 yearlings for R11,515,000 (US$949,726). Ascot Stud finished second with 19 yearlings selling for R10,580,000, with Varsfontein in third with 16 yearlings selling for R9,800,000. Leading buyer was Form Bloodstock, purchasing 18 yearlings for R14,135,000 (US$1,165,816). Tony Millard occupied the second spot, paying R10,900,000 for five yearlings and Mike Rattray, buying three yearlings for R6,750,000, ended in third. Silvano was the leading sire by aggregate, with 28 selling for R21,360,000 (US$1,761,715), while Dynasty ended the sale in second with 12 lots selling in R14,525,000 and Var filled the third spot with 26 lots selling for R10,350,000.
The demand for yearlings by Dynasty continued unabated Friday with lot 407, a colt out of the G1 Cape Fillies Guineas winner Sports Chestnut selling for R3.1 million (US$255,680). The colt, consigned by Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm, kept several buyers interested, with the hammer finally falling to Tony Millard. The Hong Kong conditioner has enjoyed a good sale, picking up several top lots and confirmed that all of them will remain in South Africa for the time being.
"The mare has already done it and he is a beautiful individual; a lovely, leggy horse," said Millard. "I like to buy a certain type of horse and he fits that mold perfectly. "
It was a bittersweet sale for Avontuur Stud Manager Pippa Mickleburgh. "Sadly, we lost his dam, Sports Chestnut, and he is the last of her offspring," she revealed. "He is so typical of the family - a strong, workmanlike horse."
After buying lot 192 from Cheveley Stud for R1.4 million, agent John Freeman and Jack Mitchell could not resist another Cheveley-produced Dynasty when going to R1.4 million (US$115,468) for lot 391, a colt out of Siena (Elliodor). Freeman tends to stick with families he knows, and he recants the story behind the purchase of the colt.
"I bought the colt's second dam, Roman Fantasy (Complete Warrior), for Jack and she won the G2 Majorca Stakes for him. Her daughter, Siena, has already produced a listed winner, Rush For John, who I also bought and who incidentally was named after me. In fact, I have bought all of Siena's offspring to date." He added, "This colt is a great walker. He is tall and unfurnished but I like them like that; you know that there is lots still to come."
Silvano (Lomitas) ended Session Two as leading sire, and Session Three continued in the same vein, with a Silvano colt out of Prestine Performer (Rambo Dancer) knocked down to John Freeman for R2 million (US$164,955). Consigned by Drakenstein Stud as lot 333, the strapping colt is a half-brother to the very versatile G1 Derby winner Seal.
"He is a lovely horse, a very nice mover with a proven pedigree," said Freeman. "And you can't go far wrong with a half-brother to Seal."
Silvano may be better known for his colts, but he has his fair share of Grade 1-winning fillies, and Form Bloodstock was pushed to R2.7 million (US$222,689) for his daughter out of the Grade 1-winning Royal Fantasy (Al Mufti).
Consigned by Ashley Parker's Ascot Stud as lot 369, the imposing bay filly will be trained by the 2014/2015 leading trainer Sean Tarry. "I am very pleased to have her in my yard," said Tarry. "For me she was the filly of the sale. She is a beautiful mover and such a strong filly."
Parker, who was having the sale of his life, having sold 19 lots for an aggregate of R10,580,000 at an average of R560,000, was delighted with the price achieved. "I never expected to sell the highest-priced colt and the second-highest priced filly," he said. "One always hopes for such a sale, but one has to be conservative in your estimations. We are not a big stud; we only have 55 mares of our own, so to have such a great sale is absolutely marvellous."
Another proven sire, Western Winter, continued to hit the high prices, with Angus Gold adding another colt to his collection when signing for lot 337 at R1.6 million (US$131,963). Consigned by Varsfontein Stud, the colt - from the family of their great foundation mare Young Polly - is out of the six-time winner Princess Polly. Young Polly was acquired by owner Susan Rowett at a dispersal.
"I bought her as she was closely related to another of our foundation mares, Indira (Preamble II)," Rowett explained. "Indira produced sprinters for us and as Young Polly had won from 1400 meters to 3200 meters, I thought she would produce more of a Classic-type. We kept three of her daughters, including Princess Polly, and also have some of their daughters on the farm. Young Polly has been a outstanding mare for us, producing an Equus Champion in Young Rake, while her daughter Perfect Polly kept the tradition going, producing Along Came Polly, the 2013 Equus Champion 2-year-old filly."
Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News