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Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale

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BE BRAVE... TAKE THE BIG VIEW

Most attendees at last month’s Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sale would’ve had one thing in common when it came to talk about the new kids on the block, Visionaire and Brave Tin Soldier.

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OPEN FOR BUSINESS

When Brian Finch, Wayne Kieswetter and Joey Ramsden; Mike Bass and Marsh Shirtliff; Sabine Plattner and Yogas Govender; John Freeman, Gavin Hunter, Glen Kotzen, Barry Irwin and Justin Snaith all put up their hands at an opening average of R349,000 a head for Visionaire’s first South African progeny, you know you’re in business.

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PEOPLE OF VISION

We all know that Visionaire’s first South African crop averaged R349,000 at the National Yearling Sale. What really matters though, is the people behind them.

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NEW SALES MARK FOR SOUTH AFRICA

Bloodstock South Africa hosted the opening session of its annual Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale in Johannesburg, South Africa on the weekend. While the day did not produce too many displays of fireworks, at the end of the day figures showed across-the-board increases.

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BARRY IRWIN - LOVING THE FINISH LINE

Barry Howard Irwin is the founder and CEO of Team Valor International. A racing journalist, successful bloodstock agent, owner, breeder and above all, racing enthusiast, Barry has embraced and helped promote the South African Thoroughbred like few others.

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THE THREE G'S

Glorious weather, gorgeous horses and good prices: that just about sums up the first day’s trade at the TBA’s Emperors Palace National Sales complex outside Johannesburg yesterday. Prices were solid, the clearance rate was satisfactory, and with averages and the median rising by an even 11.4% and 12.5% respectively, buyers must have felt well-rewarded for their efforts.

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NATIONAL YEARLING SALE 2014 DAY 1 CONCLUDES UP

var white mischief - national yearling sale
var white mischief - national yearling sale

Summerhill-consigned Lot 140 Unnamed (Var - White Mischief) fetched R1,400,000 / Leigh Willson (p)

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa

27 - 28 April 2014

The first day of the 2014 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale concluded on a high note on Sunday evening.

Day one’s aggregate rose from R66,275,000 in 2013 to R71,455,000 (8%), while the first day of trading at the sale saw the average prices jump by 11% from R308,256 a year ago to R343,534. However, it was the median’s increase, from R200,000 to R225,000 (or an increase of 12.5%), which proved most pleasing.

The sales topper on day one came early on Sunday, when lot 38 was knocked down to Park Bloodstock for R3.75 million. The colt, a son of Silvano and a full brother to former Gr1 J&B Met winner Martial Eagle, was consigned by Wilgerbosdrift. The latter also made headlines when the farm’s grooms owned yearling (Lot 238) fetched R800,000. A Dynasty half-brother to former Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup winner Wagner, the colt was also snapped up by Park Bloodstock.

Top priced filly on day one came in the form 44, whose half-sister, She’s A Pippa, had won the Listed East Cape Oaks, just days prior to the sale. A daughter of champion sire Western Winter, this well bred filly was knocked down to Ridgemont (Pty) Ltd for R2,000,000.

In total, 12 yearlings were sold for R1,000,000 plus. Four of these were sired by the late Western Winter, whose progeny were much sought after.

The TBA’s CEO Tom Callaghan was satisfied with the sale’s start, commenting,”It was a day of tough trading, but it was most positive to note that all the indices were up. The highest price was also up from last year, and another highlight today came when Wilgerbosdrifts grooms managed to sell a yearling for R800,000. It was a tough sale for some of the unproven sires, but a few promising young sires, like Summerhill Stud’s Visionaire, enjoyed good results. Overall, the sale was a realistic reflection on South Africa’s current stallion power.”

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

Day 1 Lots R1million and above

Lot

Sex

Sire

Dam

Vendor

Purchaser

Price ZAR

38

colt

Silvano

Seeking The Wind

Wilgerbosdrift Stud

Park Bloodstock

3,750,000

92

colt

Western Winter

Sunshine Lover

Klipdrif (Agent)

John Freeman

2,000,000

44

filly

Western Winter

She’s On Fire

Klipdrif (Agent)

Ridgemont PTY Ltd

2,000,000

234

filly

Silvano

Consensual

Klawervlei Stud

Adams H. Racing

1,800.000

97

colt

Western Winter

Sweetie Pie

Wilgerbosdrift Stud

John Freeman

1,800,000

140

filly

Var

White Mischief

Summerhill Sales

Dr Jim Hay

1,400,000

230

filly

Visionaire

Coastal Waltz

Summerhill Sales

Ridgemont PTY Ltd

1,400,000

42

colt

Fort Wood

Setting Sun

Mauritzfontein Stud

Form Bloodstock

1,200,000

162

colt

Var

Allez Afrique

Boland Stud

Misty Meadows

1,100,000

183

colt

Western Winter

Bardot

Lammerskraal Stud

Form Bloodstock

1,100,000

5

colt

Silvano

Refined Gold

Backworth Stud

Form Bloodstock

1,000,000

160

filly

Judpot

Alexia

Varsfontein Stud

Jagessar

1,000,000

Summerhill-consigned denoted by yellow

A full list of the day’s prices are available on the Bloodstock South Africa website. The second day of the National Sale will commence at 11am on Monday.

tba.co.za

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VISIONAIRE ON FIRE AT NATIONAL YEARLING SALE 2014

Lot 230 Yoruba Visionaire - Coastal Waltz
Lot 230 Yoruba Visionaire - Coastal Waltz

R1,4million Lot 230 Yoruba (Visionaire - Coastal Waltz) / Leigh Willson (p)

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa

27 - 28 April 2014

Summerhill Stud’s exciting young stallion Visionaire made a big impression on day one of the 2014 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. The Grade 1 winning son of Grand Slam, whose first local crop are now yearlings, had a filly fetch R1.4 million on Sunday evening.

The filly, a really attractive grey half-sister to the Grade 1 performer No Worries, was knocked down to Ridgemont Pty Ltd for R1.4 million. Consigned to the sale by Summerhill Sales, the grey was catalogued as lot 230. Out of the 11 time stakes winner Coastal Waltz, she has been named Yoruba.

tba.co.za

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'LOUIS THE KING' CROWNED 'SASCOC TRIPLE CROWN' KING

SA DERBY (Grade 1)

Final Leg of SASCOC SA Triple Crown

Turffontein,Turf, 2450m

26 April 2014

#whoislouis - In a world of droll headgear (red berets anyone?) and a Hollywood cast of Eastern European thugs and Bond-esque assassination plots - we have needed a new champion. We have thirsted for a dashing lionheart to lead the way, inspire and elevate us from a sea of fallen heroes.

He has arrived! Sound the bugle, raise the flag and all hail the king… Louis the King! From the ‘Sport of Kings’, from the illustrious Geoff Woodruff yard, rises a new breed of winner, who outruns, outsmarts and has the courage to fight for victory. Louis the King today became only the second horse in history to win South Africa’s coveted Triple Crown, earning his owners a cool R2million bonus in the process and elevating him to legendary status.

Only one other horse has ever won all three legs of the Triple Crown: the renowned Horse Chestnut who stunned the nation when he won in 1999.

Having won all three legs of the SASCOC Triple Crown; the Gauteng Guineas, the SA Classic and the SA Derby, Louis The King has established himself as a true ‘legend of the turf’ and the racing public now awaits the stable’s plans for the KZN racing season, sure to offer a mouth-watering racing carnival spectacle.

From humble beginnings (his owner purchased him as a yearling for only R55,000) Louis the King has earned R5million plus in his short racing career spanning just 5 month to date.

His is a story of passion, inspiration and hope! See you at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, TBA Sales Complex in Germiston, tomorrow (tba.co.za for more information). Sunday kicks off at 11am with lots 1 - 280 and Monday at 11am for lots 281 - 529.

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SSSH... DON'T EVEN TELL YOUR WIFE

block a tbs sales complex
block a tbs sales complex

Summerhill Stud - Block A TBA Sales Complex / Heather Morkel (p)

…beacuse she’ll drag you off to the sales and splash your cash.

For the umpteenth week in a row, Summerhill recorded seven or more winners.

1st - Iwo Jima for Gavin van Zyl

1st - Flying Cross for Robbie Hill

1st - Lebeoana for Garth Puller

1st - Chilli Pepper for Gavin van Zyl

1st - Soukous for Stephen Page

1st - Brother In Arms for Dorrie Sham

1st - Princess Chichibu for Cliffie Miller

OK, SO MAKE HER DAY. BRING HER TO BLOCK “A”

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa

27-28 April 2014

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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GOOD FOREIGN INTEREST EXPECTED AT NYS 2014

Johannesburg
Johannesburg

Johannesburg - Home of NYS 2014

(Photo : SA Live)

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa

27 - 28 April 2014

Ringsider: During the two days of the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sales in Germiston (on Sunday and Monday), the busiest place at the TBA complex is reception, with the ladies fielding all sorts of varied requests.

There could be an unusual one this year. “Quick, ladies, find us an interpreter ASAP.”

When asked about possible foreign interest at the sale, back came this reply from Bloodstock SA CEO Tom Callaghan: “We’re expecting buyers from Germany, Sweden, America, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the United Kingdom.

The exploits of SA-breds in Dubai must surely have woken up the most sleepy bloodstock agents and - as Mick Goss once pointed out - “we’re selling First World horses at Third World prices”.

One of the great attractions at this annual sale is New Zealand auctioneer Steve Davis, who has been as loyal to this event as Ryan Giggs is to Manchester United.

If you want to be entertained, just spend half an hour in the sales ring when Steve is on the rostrum. He stands no nonsense. You might hear a response like this towards a buyer taking ages over every bid: “Don’t you worry sir, I can wait till Christmas, but I’m not sure everyone else can.”

This is Davis’s seventh sale of 2014 and he says, “It got off to a real bang with the Magic Millions (in Australia) when there was an outstanding clearance rate of 90%. I remember that from lots 525 to 580 just one yearling was passed out.

“I will again open this year’s sale and I believe there is much to look forward to - especially given the continued success of SA-bred horses on the international stage.”

Davis’s mention of the clearance rate is interesting as these details of last year’s sale clearly show.

Aggregate: R122,533,000 Average: R295,260 Highest price: R3.6 million Lots catalogued: 537 Lots Not Sold or Withdrawn: 81 Lots Vendors buy-back: 46

So, more than 20% of the yearlings catalogued were either not sold, withdrawn or bought back. The aim for Bloodstock SA this year must be to reduce this figure significantly.

Callaghan has an aggregate figure of R130-million in his sights and that looks on the conservative side given that the sale has 23 full and half siblings to Grade 1 winners.

There are 59 sires from buyers to choose from and it would be no surprise if one of the last of Western Winter’s progeny (12 colts and 9 fillies) made top price.

Champion sire Silvano has 40 yearlings (17 colts and 23 fillies), Captain Al 31 yearlings (17 colts and 14 fillies), Kahal 30 (17 colts and 13 fillies), Trippi 29 (15 colts and 14 fillies) and Var 29 (14 colts and 15 fillies) as well as excting prospects Brave Tin Soldier 6 (3 colts and 3 fillies) and Visionaire 16 (10 colts and 6 fillies).

Buyers are really going to have to do their homework and there are bargains to be found as a look back at previous sales confirms. In 2011 recent Empress Club Stakes heroine Along Came Polly was sold for just R60,000 while Forest Indigo was knocked down for R160,000.

One can also make a case for buying at the top of the market. In 2010 Master Of My Fate was sold for R3-million, Capetown Noir for R1-million and All Is Secret for R800,000. We have yet to see the best of Master Of My Fate, but both Capetown Noir and All Is Secret are now household names.

Also in 2010, Geoff Woodruff, one of the best judges of horseflesh in the country, picked out Tellina and got the son of Silvano for just R210,000. The five-times champion trainer needs to put a padlock on his catalogue!

What about another of Silvano’s sons from the same year? I refer to a certain thoroughbred named Vercingetorix, bought for R1.4-million. He’ll probably earn that amount for just being placed in Hong Kong this weekend.

One can also argue that some purchases have been good news for the breeder, but not the buyer.

The year 2009 is a perfect example, with Potala Palace sold for R3.6-million and E-Jet for R1.4-million. That’s the glorious uncertainty of the bloodstock market because - in the same year - Vodacom Durban July winner Heavy Metal was purchased for just R250,000.

Despite the huge financial rewards in Dubai, if you ask the majority of buyers at this weekend’s sale what they are aiming for the reply will be “a horse that can win the July”.

In our enforced cocoon, glory at Greyville remains the No 1 target. Fortunately, our champion trainer Mike de Kock can say “Been there, done that” and now has his sights set on races such as the Investec Derby in the UK and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France.

Nevertheless, his team will be putting their hands up at Germiston this weekend, which is an endorsement of the sale in itself.

De Kock continues to bang the drum for South Africa with every overseas victory. Every vendor owes him at least a case of French champagne!

Extract from Tab News

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FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE

“BLOCK A”

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa

27 - 28 April 2014

mick goss
mick goss

Mick Goss

Summerhill CEOWe all know the mantra: good “manners maketh a man”, and in the context of the world we live in, it’s equally true that good “men” maketh a stud farm. By “men” we mean stallions of course, and the search for that elusive beast with speed, substance and superior genes, is never-ending.

There is an exuberance to stallions which I can’t explain. I know the five senses well, but there is nothing to match the thrill of knowing you’ve got your hands on a gem. When Senor Santa, Another Minstrel, Northern Princess, Rip Curl, Mystery Guest and Gentleman Jones announced the “arrival” of Northern Guest, it was like the angels had come down from the heavens. Hot Guard, Taban and First City heralded the “second coming” of Home Guard, then National Emblem and Fard topped the Juvenile Sires’ table with their first crops. Kahal and Muhtafal were slower to get out of the starting blocks, but both were commendable sires with distinguished careers.

You can get up in the mornings for men like these, as we’ve done religiously for the past 35 years, and this week gave us a new reason to do so. If you haven’t already been there, “clock” the piece “Salute The Brave”, penned on Thursday following the victories of Split The Breeze and Flying Cross, and you’ll understand. It wasn’t the fact that they were winning for the first time, it was the style of their victories that mattered, reminding us of the first progeny of the Northern Guests, the Home Guards and the National Emblems. When they win like this, they generally have more to come; that’s the hallmark of the good racehorse.

So when Iwo Jima blasted home at Turffontein on Saturday, it was like the moment the stranger steps through the saloon doors and the plinky-plunk piano dies. The sheriff looms in the rush. Now it’s flying fists, smashed whisky bottles, and the newcomer smashes through the plate glass window. This movie obviously hasn’t reached its final reel.

As they hit the “400”, the youngster delivered a withering sprint and with fully a furlong to run, the chequered flag was out, his place booked for the Premiers’ Champion Juvenile (Gr.1) on “July” Day. The grapevine tells us Split The Breeze and Flying Cross are headed in the same direction, for the Golden Medallion (Gr.1) and the Golden Slipper (Gr.1) respectively. In common of course, they have Brave Tin Soldier as their sire. Now you know why there’s a new spring in our early morning steps.

We need a new impetus in our sire ranks in KwaZulu-Natal though; the proven brigade are an aging lot, and one swallow isn’t going to bring back the summer. That’s why we’re so elated with the early returns of another young star on the Summerhill firmament, Visionaire, whose first local crop debuts at the Emperors Palace National Yearling sale this weekend. Our American readers will obviously remember him as one of the better performed members of his Classic generation, and for the expectations they held after his coming-from-the-clouds victory in the race that launched the three-year-old careers of Secretariat, Gone West, Seeking The Gold, Gulch and Easy Goer, the Gotham Stakes.

But the race that finally defined his class was what has become America’s greatest “stallion-maker”, the King’s Bishop (Gr.1) at historic Saratoga, where he delivered one of the greatest stretch runs in the great race’s history. Have a “deck” at the video above, and you’ll see what we mean: you’ll never forget it.

Visionaire left just a handful of foals in the States before his hurried embarkation on the flight to South Africa. Already eight of them have won, five have chalked up multiple victories, one is a Stakes-winner, and another has earned his Black-type brackets. Now you know why we’re beginning to get that old familiar feeling again.

Barry Irwin is nothing if he is not one of the shrewdest judges in world racing. He’s bred them, he’s raced them, and importantly, he has written about them. As the pioneering pace-setter in the “internationalization” of the South African racehorse, he knows our racing and he knows what’s good for it. When he talks, we tend to listen. “I’ve always wanted to breed my South African mares to this type of horse. Visionaire ticks all my boxes”. Looking at the draft sent to Jo’burg last Thursday, we’d say he’s got it right again.

And it helps that it’s the sire line that’s given the world the current American champion stallion, Speightstown, Elusive Quality, Zafonic, Mr Greeley and Zamindar, and to South Africa, Western Winter and the astonishingly promising Sail From Seattle, the new signature sire at Ashley and Bev Parker’s Ascot Stud.

Enough of this propaganda: you be the judge!

(Go to www.tba.co.za and click on Emperors Palace National Yearling sale to see the Brave Tin Soldier’s (Lots 13, 24, 317, 347, 402, 520) and the Visionaire’s (Lots 12, 17, 71, 79, 86, 89, 96, 108, 129, 209, 230, 243, 259, 306, 325, 345, 350, 366, 434, 499).

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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SALUTE THE BRAVE

flying cross by brave tin soldier
flying cross by brave tin soldier

Flying Cross by Brave Tin Soldier wins by a growing 3¼ lengths / Gold Circle (p)

FLYING CROSS

Brave Tin Soldier (USA) - Mumtazah (AUS)

If pedigree has any influence in anointing royalty, it’s a fair bet that if there was an Equine Vatican, Brave Tin Soldier would be the Pope. At $500,000, his father Storm Cat, was the world’s most expensive stallion. His mother is a sister (by the great Mr Prospector,) to one of the most famous winners of the Kentucky Derby, while his grandmother was a sister (by the immortal Danzig,) to a winner of the second leg of the American Triple Crown. As if his lineage was not on its own enough of a recommendation, his princely looks were such that the world’s best judge paid a world record price for him when he was just a few months old.

While these credentials alone would’ve qualified him for higher ecumenical office, racing demands more of its pretenders before they aspire to its throne. The racecourse is the final testing ground, and whatever your origins, unless you make your muster, neither your family nor your worth count for anything.

It is one of the truisms of our sport that the encumbrance of a lofty sales price is a burden few horses can bear, yet this family has carried that impost with equanimity. At $4,5milion, his uncle Fusaichi Pegasus, was the world’s highest priced yearling of his year. At $3million, Brave Tin Soldier was the most costly foal of all time. The former was the best Classic horse of his generation, the latter chose the race that launched the Juvenile career of Sadler’s Wells to demonstrate his class in the company of the best two-year-olds in Ireland.

So much for Brave Tin Soldier’s ability, so much for his precocity, yet the good stud man, seeking the final reassurance in a budding stallion, will search for that one elusive thing no great horse can do without: courage. It’s enough to recall that he returned from a career-threatening fracture to post a record-breaking performance in Graded Stakes company, and that, as much as all the other credentials at his disposal, is why no fewer than 15 individual international agents, made him their first recommendation when our “SOS” went out to the market in the autumn of 2010.

All these things help when a new stallion is greeted by his first mates in his inaugural season indeed, they are the only things that count. Thereafter, all that matters in the full cycle of racing’s affairs, is how good his progeny are.

A week ago, a handsome colt called Split The Breeze, gave notice of his talents when he flattened a blue-blooded line-up at the first time of asking. He has bigger fish to fry as the season grows in stature. In the context of today’s story, it’s appropriate that the next episode in the Brave Tin Soldier fairy tale, is about a former jockey known to his fans as “Prince”. The racing world loved “Prince”, and the heartland in Durban loved him most of all. Yesterday Robbie Hill was back at his old hunting ground with a once-raced daughter of the “Pope”, who’d come from 13th at the “400” on debut to be third over the minimum trip. For a young lass from a Galileo mare, you’d expect Flying Cross to be more at home with a bit more ground to show off her attributes, and at 1450 metres this was the answer to the Prince’s prayers. There was one obstacle though: among her adversaries, a five-to-ten shot with the champion, Anton Marcus in the wheelhouse.

Taking on quality horses as a maiden however, was a challenge her dad had managed under hands-and-heels, and this was a script that looked tailored for a repeat. In his customary style, jockey Marcus was quickly into the box seat travelling like an odds-on shot, while apprentice Dillon slotted our heroine in behind. When the sticks came out as they turned for home, the favourite quickly reached the head of affairs. Meanwhile, the bent hairpin of Flying Cross’ rider was so motionless it seemed he was on any errand except the winning of a horserace.

And then he squeezed the trigger. Whoosh! In a matter of strides, it was settled. By a growing 3¼ lengths. Simple as that.

Summerhill Stud Logo
Summerhill Stud Logo

Enquiries :

Linda Norval +27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email info@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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VISIONAIRE : FIRST CROP AT THE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

VISIONAIRE

Grandson of Gone West

Visionaire, who like Western Winter descends from a son of a Secretariat mare,

Gone West, has his first South African-breds going under the hammer

at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.

History has always been kind to those who embrace the future.

It doesn’t take “rocket science” though, to divine the outcomes for Visionaire.

They’re winning by 11.5, by 10, by 8, by 5.5 and by 5.

And there are two Black type performers already.

BLOCK A

Lot 12 Commodus (Visionaire - Roman Dream) colt

Lot 71 Three Trees (Visionaire - Spring Garland) filly

Lot 86 Telekinesis (Visionaire - Success Counts) colt

Lot 89 At Long Last (Visionaire - Summersault) colt

Lot 108 Thiel (Visionaire - Tialata) colt

Lot 129 Flower Forest (Visionaire - Victory Garden) colt

Lot 209 Bar None (Visionaire - Catch Me) filly

Lot 230 Yoruba (Visionaire - Coastal Waltz) filly

Lot 306 Stokvel (Visionaire - Footsteps) colt

Lot 325 Avail (Visionaire - Grail Maiden) colt

Lot 345 Lala (Visionaire - Hlabelela) filly

Lot 366 Jet Air (Visionaire - Jet Park) colt

Lot 499 Revelation (Visionaire - Particular Passion) colt

1ST CROP.

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park

27-28 April 2014

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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BANKABLE : FIRST CROP AT THE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

ONE TRADE, BANKED.

WE THINK YOU CAN BANK ON THE NEXT TRADE, TOO. 

Bankable won eight races and more than R20million in stakes.

He earned his 122 Timeform rating from 1200m to 2000m.

He ran world champion Raven’s Pass to one length,

giving the champion six pounds.

That placed him in the top half percent of racehorses worldwide.

BLOCK A

Lot 312 Reactive (Bankable - Four Ladies Wind) colt

Lot 338 Unnamed (Bankable - Harems Secret) colt

Lot 478 Lokshina (Bankable - National Woods) colt

1ST CROP.

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park

27-28 April 2014

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SALES PREP TEAM

“BLOCK A”

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa

27 - 28 April 2014

mick goss
mick goss

Mick Goss

Summerhill CEOThe countdown has begun. Less than a fortnight, and lot 1 takes his place at the nation’s showpiece auction, the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. We had a man and his three sons make the pilgrimage all the way from Jo’burg Saturday morning for a second look at what he’d seen less than a month ago. He’s a man of business, but he also breeds horses, and he knows a good thing when he sees one. The day before, a wise man from Europe phoned, keen to know what the “Bankables” were like. He knows how good the South Africans have been abroad, and he’s looking for the next “big thing”. As the owner of a son of a first crop sire who’d been close in the Investec Epsom Derby, he knows that real value resides in the undiscovered potential of a freshman stallion. After all, New Approach gave him the thrill of his life, and he remembers that Northern Guest, Jet Master, Western Winter and Silvano were all “first season” champions at one stage.

The man from the Reef was quite specific too. Or should I say his eldest son was. He’s obviously seen the movie, and he wanted a “Secretariat”. The fact that Secretariat was a horse in a lifetime, and that with Frankel, there’d already been two in mine, was no deterrent to the young man from Hilton College, where the motto is “Orando et Laborando” and which in my loosest of translations, means all things are possible. Remembering that miracles just take a bit longer, the penny suddenly dropped for me. I recalled my childhood, when my fascination with horses ranked above everything.

I suspect that Trevor Bennison, the chap who had the task of teaching me the subject, may not have credited me with a sense of history. But it was always a fact, and just a shame that the characters and events from the past that he tried to enthuse me with, rarely excited me much. When, aged seven, I bought my first book on racing, what grabbed me most about the sport, was its long history. It had been around for longer than any of my other boyhood passions - cricket and rugby - and the fact it had endured so long, made it the more compelling. It did not take me long to become a pedigree nut, because that seemed the easiest way to understand the continuity in the sport. Today’s horses didn’t emerge from nowhere; they are the current representatives of a long-established breed, connecting with the great horses of the past, whose achievements had me in thrall.

On Saturday, I had to draw on all my childhood research to satisfy the young Hiltonian. We didn’t have a Secretariat, but we sure as hell had some of his blood. Earlier in the week, Brave Tin Soldier had registered his first South African winner. Visionaire, who like Western Winter descends from a son of a Secretariat mare, Gone West, has his first South African-breds going under the hammer. We were making progress; both carry the blood of “Big Red”.

When I told the young man that for me, a stallion had to be top class as a racehorse, able to hold his own in the best company, I could see his eyes beginning to respond. The stallion needs to have some mystique to his pedigree, and an aura about his ability. He needs to inspire belief, and I could see that both the Hiltonian and I were becoming believers when it came to the “Visionaires”. His score is already on the board: eight winners from a handful of American juveniles, a Stakes winner and a Stakes performer among them, and the young man was a convert.

In the Stallion Prediction Stakes, it’s two strikes and you’re out. There are really only three things people consider when a horse goes to stud: pedigree, performance, physique, in no particular order. A Stakes-winning juvenile at six furlongs, and a record-breaking miler as an older horse when, Lazarus-like, he’d risen again from the ashes of a crippling injury, Brave Tin Soldier answered the other two criteria in a matter of a few syllables. He was, and still is, the record-priced foal of all time. You wouldn’t want to be betting against either of them.

Watching our grooms when we arrived at the Final Call Yearling yard, you’d think they were rubbing down the most valuable racehorses in the world. It’s like they’re as delicate as some precious artefact from the Cradle of Mankind, to be handled gently, reverently, because one careless touch might undo everything that’s led to this day.

You see the successes of our horses are a culmination of so many factors. When a foal hits the ground, all things are equal. Before and after, there can be vast differences. Those two things are in the hands of those of us who are privileged to care for them.

The second phase starts within minutes of birth, and here we are, 18 months on, working with the fruits of our labours. Among the youngsters are the brothers and sisters to Love Struck, Fakazi, No Worries, Emperor Augustus, Onehundredacrewood, Highly Decorated, Alejate, Salutation, Phunyuka, Aces Wild, Winning Leap, Negev, Fox Hunt and Extra Zero; the sons and daughters of millionairesses, Classic heroines, blinding speedsters and doughty stayers. Their grooms are kneeling in the straw of their boxes removing the “putties” and tightening the surcingles. A pigeon scrambles out, frightened from its wits by the stable cat. The horses are immediately taller, alert and mildly agitated.

The grooms, still kneeling at the altars of their straps and buckles, offer a fretful look. Whatever lunacy is this? And a fair question, too. But these youngsters are not that easily stirred. They have faith in their “sidekicks”, it’s the Summerhill way. In the soft light and brisk air that passes for an early Summerhill Saturday, the yearlings are ready for their morning walk. We are watching the rituals that produced the likes of Mowgli, Sentinel, Magic Mirror and Panjandrum, and in a more recent age, Nhlavini, Rebel King, Spook and Diesel and Pick Six, Igugu, Imbongi, Hear The Drums, Pierre Jourdan, Blueridge Mountain and Fisani, who in the space of the past nine years, have delivered up more Breeders’ titles for Summerhill than any other farm in modern history.

Editor: The yearlings depart for Block “A” at the TBA Sales complex this Thursday.

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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ONE EYE IS BETTER THAN NO EYES...

Visionaire Stallion
Visionaire Stallion

Visionaire

(Photo : Greig Muir)

…BUT HINDSIGHT IS “20/20”

Visionaire had only a handful of foals in the States. But he’s quickly making a fistful of it. Already Bacopa Breeze is a Stakes winner, and Outlook has racked up two Stakes-performing places. Now Trident Hero comes rattling home again. For the third time.

First crop at the

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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FIFA WORLD CUP, DUBAI WORLD CUP AND THE KING'S CUP

rio carnival wins king's cup
rio carnival wins king's cup

Rio Carnival / Gold Circle (p)

YOUR TICKET TO “RIO”: BLOCK “A”

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

There’s been all sorts of talk about “Cups” lately,

one in Dubai, one in Rio, the other in Durban.

The oldest of these by a country mile, is the King’s Cup (Gr.3),

in which Summerhill has an enduring record.

Like he knew he had a name to live up to, Summerhill Sales’ graduate, Rio Carnival, demolished his field by 3.25 lengths last Saturday.

More glory for Markus Jooste, Charles Laird and the Summerhill Sales’ team.

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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