SP Sprint - 17 April 2024

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Wednesday 17 April 2024

From The Horse’s Mouth…

It’s all systems go for the BSA National Yearling Sale at the TBA Sales Complex in Johannesburg on Thursday and Friday. Candiese Lenferna caught this future champion with the bit, ummm, the book, between his teeth, earlier this week!

On the cover

It’s sales week! This will be a familiar sight as buyers do the hard yards, and then sit down to raise their catalogues in hope! Candiese Lenferna took the photograph.

17 APRIL 2024 | 3 SOLD ON A DREAM! 08 What To Buy? You pick, you pay 16 Big Ticket Yearlings Hop on the Bruss bus! 75 Fall Of The Hammer Meet Steve Davis 102 New Drakenstein Stallion A case of speed! 218 Grand National Action A thriller! CONTENTS Issue: 15/2024


The Sprint is interactive – simply click here to find out where the smart money is being spent!

Ascot Stud

Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm

Benmarne Stud

Black Swan Stud

Blue Sky Thoroughbreds

Boland Stud

Bush Hill Stud

KZN Breeders

Camargue Stud

Cornerstone Stud

Drakenstein Stud

Hopes and Dreams Stud

Klawervlei Stud

Lammerskraal Stud

Maine Chance Farms

Millstream Farm


Narrow Creek Stud

Paardeberg Stud

Riverton Stud

Sandown Stud


Summerview Stud

Varsfontein Stud

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Two sets of eyes are better than one! | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

A truly exceptional catalogue awaits prospective buyers for the 2024 BSA National Yearling Sale on Thursday and Friday.

This year’s sale is set to take place at the TBA Complex in Germiston, with the first day set to commence at 10:00 am sharp.

Approximately 230 lots are set to go through the ring on the first day of the sale, with the remainder due to be sold on Friday.

Historically South Africa’s most successful yearling sale, the National Yearling Sale has a long and impressive honour roll and recent star performers offered include Gr1 winners like Bless My Stars, Cousin Casey, Lucky Lad, Malmoos, Mrs Geriatrix, Rainbow Bridge, Royal Victory, Sandringham Summit, Thunderstruck,and Trip Of Fortune.

Further back, champions Elusive Fort, Futura, Hawwaam, Legislate and outstanding sire

Vercingetorix are also past graduates of the National Yearling Sale, and all stallions are represented at this year’s two day auction.

All of South Africa’s top stallions are represented, with the likes of Gimmethegreenlight, Master Of My Fate, Querari, Rafeef, Trippi, Vercingetorix and What A Winter among the top sires boosting strong drafts.

Young sires represented at the National Sale for the first time this year include Erik The Red and Hawwaam, both of whom have already made a splash in sales rings around South Africa.



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E Cape champion trainer Gavin Smith – surveying tomorrow’s superstars | Credit: Candiese Lenferna


The Raceform Buyers’ Guide is a detailed summary of the dam and siblings of the BSA National Yearling Sale yearlings. It gives insight as to what to expect of the youngsters in terms of class, stamina, sale price. It’s essential reading for the prospective buyer.

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PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MORE Summerveld trainer Bo Ngcobo chats to fellow buyers earlier this week | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

The 1979 National Yearling Sales and GALLANTRY becomes the first horse to reach the R100,000 barrier | Credit: SA Horseman

In 1979, self-made millionaire and founder of Edgars Stores Ltd, Sydney Press bought GALLANTRY for what seemed a staggering price: R100,000! In those days, in a climate of an exchange rate of R1,00 = US$1,35, it was enough to buy four brand new versions of his motor car, a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, or six brand new top of the range Mercedes Benz, writes Robin Bruss.

It seemed such a sensation at the time, an army of photographers appeared and the following day, the story of ‘Man Buys Horse for R100,000’ was on the front page of the Sunday Times in full colour.

Racing was big news then, whereas today, even the winner of the Durban July doesn’t get a mention in the Times, only what fashions the ladies were wearing.

GALLANTRY’s arrival in the sales ring was predicted to be a sensation, for he was a

magnificent looker, big and imposing, and was by the Champion Sire of the day, Plum Bold (USA), son of 8x Champion USA sire Bold Ruler.

In addition, the was out of the peerless Champion Broodmare of the Year, Sun Lass, Grade 1 winner of 10 races, including the Cape of Good Hope Paddock Stakes, and had already bred 10 winners, including the Rothmans July winner and Horse of the Year, Yataghan.

By a Champion, out of a Champion, brother to a Champion – and the looks to match, the finest yearling in decades, they said. He wasn’t just a prize offering. He was The Prize. He was bred by Alex Robertson of Vlakfontein Stud, son of the great Allan Robertson, and whose broodmare band comprised mostly high-class racemares, from whom he had bred many champions.

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Sydney Press had started out as an office boy in the small town of Springbok, too poor to go to University. But he was an incredibly smart man who had not only built an empire of 450 department stores, but also received the award for Harvard Businessman of the Year.

I was in my 20’s when I met him, and when he told me he wanted to start racing and breeding, it seemed a very obvious choice to suggest he start at the top by buying GALLANTRY at the National Yearling Sale, as well as a well bred filly as a future foundation broodmare.


fact,” I suggested, “Gallantry is not only a racehorse prospect, he is a future stallion prospect, therefore must be worth more than the racehorse market would suggest.”

“If Robert Sangster could buy Northern Dancer’s son The Minstrel for $250,000 at Keeneland, win the 1977 English Derby, and then be worth $8 million as a stallion in 1978, why shouldn’t something similar apply to the South African bred Gallantry in 1979, a horse who breeders and buyers clamoured to be the best in years.”

Mr Press loved the idea of a new dimension in the approach, and determined that he would be the victor in the Sales Ring. In fact, he would be willing to bid quite a lot more than R100,000.

“Tell no-one, just reserve two seats in the sales hall and register me as a buyer” he said.

It was Select Day, 2 April 1979.

Mr Press was a man of singular determination.

He had no interest in the sale itself, only the bidding on Gallantry, whom he had yet to lay eyes on.

I estimated the horse would be in the ring

around 15h00, lot 91. At 14h45 I was anxious that he would arrive too late, but then the Rolls pulled up at the doorway of the TBA complex in Germiston, and he hopped out, resplendently dressed in a light grey Edgars suit – what else?. We took our seats directly opposite the auctioneer’s podium, and a few lots later Gallantry stepped into the ring.

The stage was set. There was a hush.

The ring was tightly packed, every seat taken, and men and women packed six deep around the walkway at the top. The sales complex was still new, no agency offices, no outside bidding ring, no phone bidding, no internet. If you were a buyer, you had to be there.

The famous Peter Lovemore was the auctioneer, assisted by Ireland’s David Nagle, who had been a shareholder in The Minstrel and had told me the inspiring story of his syndication – and on which dream we were now pursuing Gallantry. He would be more than just a horse, he would be the future of the farm we were planning.

“Can I have an opening bid?” called Lovemore. “Give me 100,000,” he shouted, the usual exaggerated start, from which he would then drop to R50,000.

Only this time, the short dapper man in his grey suit raised his catalogue. Sydney had struck.

“Is that a bid?”

“Yes! ….. I’m bid 100,000 Rands!”

There was a gasp around us, and at the same time, it seems like the world was in slow motion, as the ripple effect of what had happened encircled the ring.

“Four Rolls Royces!”, I thought. I could hardly breathe.

“Who will bid me 110,000 Rands?” called Lovemore.

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There was a stunned silence. This had not been anticipated.

“Then I sell to my starter in block A, I can’t believe it, the one and only bid, and I sell, I do, for…One Hundred Thousand Rands!”. It seemed an eternity that the hammer hung in the air, and then -

KNOCK. The hammer fell. SOLD.

Then it was pandemonium.

“Who is that man who bought the horse?”

“Does anyone know who that is? He’s sitting with that boy from Zimbabwe, what’s his name again? Can you believe it, they must be crazy”.

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Sydney Press signs the TBA vendor roll alongside the writer| Credit: Supplied

The Vendor Roll was brought to Mr Press by the auctioneer Peter Lovemore, and he signed it to a round of applause. By then the breeder Alex Robertson had also arrived to shake his hand, ask his name, and thank him.

Mr Press stood, he thanked me, telling me to

arrange the insurance and details of the trainer, and we left to go and take a look at our horse, pose for some photographs, and then he strolled to the waiting Rolls, and he left to go back to the office.

Mission accomplished.

“Who is going to train the horse?”

We decided on Terrance Millard in Cape Town.

“Why him? Don’t they know, he is a good trainer of fillies, not colts, can you believe it?”

I heard the whisper around me. “And he trains in Cape Town, not Joburg, off the beaten track!”

Four years later, Terrance won the July for

Sydney with Tecla Bluff (Arg), then he became Champion trainer of colts and fillies, and dominated for six consecutive years.

Mr Press was always good at human resources. Understanding how people think and what motivates them and choosing wisely, was how he built Edgars.

Later on that Select Day, I bought the filly to complete our purchases. Lot 183, Permission, by Persian Wonder out of Miss Terese by

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Sydney Press takes charge of GALLANTRY at the Sales, he was thrilled to own his first colt | Credit: Supplied

Preamble II for R27,000. This was the second highest priced filly in the sale.

It was a bit of a quirk of fate when she ran only twice and went wrong, and only produced 4 foals before being lost. However, one daughter produced Broodmare of the Year, Divine Nymph, dam of SA Classic Gr1 winner Divine Jury, and another produced the J&B Met Gr1 winner Martial Eagle. Foundation mare she was.

Mr Press and I were invited to the launch of the SA Racehorse Owners Association (SAROA) where the major owners wanted their own association as a breakaway from the Owners & Trainers Association.

“Trainers are our employees,” said the new chairman. “How could we possibly be thrown in the same mix?”

His wife approached me. “I don’t know who you think you are Colin Bruss,” she said, adding: “But I want you to know that we spent more than R100,000 on all our purchases, and I think you were just trying to show off to embarrass us.”

I was too polite to say that my name is Robin and not Colin, and I was also thinking, ‘we can’t be embarrassing you, lady, you are making a fine job of doing it yourself!’

As in all cases of winning and losing, you find that some folk are genuinely pleased, whilst others will frown and call it a get-up, and not wish you well. You can learn a lot about human nature in horse racing.

I told the story to Mr Press, he laughed and said another phrase, which has always stuck with me:

“Robin, you can’t teach pigs not to grunt, so don’t worry to even try!”

So to the second part of the story.

It’s one thing to buy an expensive horse, but to truly justify it, you have to win, and that’s the much harder part.

Rather like The Minstrel, we decided to sell shares and invite some prominent breeders in the quest to enjoin racing and breeding values into a yearling purchase.

Sydney kept two thirds of the horse, I took a share in lieu of agent’s commission, breeder Alex Robertson took one share, trainer Terrance Millard a share, and Laurie Jaffee, Peter Wright, and Dr Tommy & Veronica Foulkes, one each. None of the major breeders joined.

The Coromandel Syndicate was the first of the owner syndicates in South Africa, recording something new for racing. We were told it could not have more than 10 members, or would breach the rules of the Jockey Club.

“We are not about to commonalise racing,” they said.

We registered silks of chocolate brown, gold cap.

GALLANTRY went into training at Terrance Millard’s Park Lodge at Milnerton. He was ridden by Felix Coetzee when he won his maiden as a 2 year old, and what a maiden race it was!

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Gallantry’s first win was like the famous unbeaten Eclipse: he was First, the rest were nowhere | Credit: Supplied

At this point, as an owner, you get a bit above yourself, thinking, “oh boy, we are going to win everything, including the July! Gallantry first, the rest nowhere.”

Then came the call from trainer Millard:

“Sorry to tell you, but the horse has started making a noise in his work, he has developed a wind problem, and can’t breathe properly, he is going for a soft palate operation.”

Racing’s rollercoaster had begun!.

The operation was partly successful. Thereafter,

when Gallantry ran over distance, and was forced to arch his neck when restrained off the pace, he would often choke up. He would have to be campaigned as a sprinter where he was off the bit and his neck stretched out.

The Durban July plans to emulate his brother Yataghan went out the window.

We ran him in the Cape of Good Hope Guineas Gr1 at Milnerton, where there was always a furious pace because of the tighter track on the near bend. But for running wide, he might have won, but rolled into second by ¾ length to San Louis.

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Gallantry with the writer in Cape Guineas week 1982 at Terrance Millard’s Park Lodge – stripped and ready to run Credit: Supplied

We tried the Cape Derby Gr1 and he started favourite. Mr Press by then had gone for open heart surgery and didn’t attend the races.

I flew to Cape Town and was on the Owner’s stand at Kenilworth when approached by a Steward of the SA Turf Club.

“Young man,” he started, “what are you doing here? Where’s your badge?”

“I don’t have a badge, but I’m a member of the syndicate,” I replied.

“That doesn’t mean anything here.No metal badge, and you have to leave the stand !” he roared.

I went down to the ground floor to stand amongst the people and the punters. “Mr Press,” they would call me, “will your horse win today?”

“Only if you guys are with me,” I would say back. I felt like I had arrived!

The Derby was not our day, but GALLANTRY became a fine sprinter winning 9 races, including the Cape Merchants Gr2, and earned R78,530, before retiring to stud.

What became very interesting was that back in the 1970’s and the 1980’s, in order to encourage thoroughbred breeding, the tax laws provided that any horse bought for breeding could be written down to the standard value of a draft horse that pulled a plough. The tax value had been set at R10 in 1910.

This meant that by declaring Gallantry as a professional breeding stallion, his yearling purchase price could be written down from R100,000 to a tax value of R10, and therefore R99,990 could be taken as a deduction from ANY taxable income.

Effectively the entire cost of the horse came off Mr Press’s tax bill. It felt like winning the July without the winner’s circle! Gallantry retired to Tommy & Veronica Foulke’s

Normandy Stud in the Western Cape.

I suppose that trying something new is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Despite his illustrious pedigree, Graded Stakes form, and movie star good looks, he was ignored at stud by the top breeders.

Alex Robertson had retired, and Mr Press had bought his first two mares, and sent them.

Gallantry covered only 10 mares in the first crop, 8 of them ran and 5 won. In the second, he had 5 runners and 4 winners.

One of these, bred by Normandy Stud, went for sale as a weanling without reserve. I decided to buy him – only one bid, R1,000. I took him to the KZN Yearling Sale to try and make a profit. The news was worse. There was no bid at all. Did I own an asset or a liability? I lost confidence. The farrier walked past. “Hey Johnny Dawson?,” I said.”Do you want a horse ? You can take this one for R500. He is by Gallantry.”

Johnny was happy, his wife Tessa would train the colt, he was given the illustrious name of BOND. Well, as in all roller coaster adventures, Bond turned out to be a cracking racehorse. He won 9 races, the Durban Merchants Gr2, was second in the Golden Horse Sprint Gr1 twice, and ended up bankrolling R322,000 in stakes.

By this time, we had shipped Gallantry off to Zimbabwe to get him more opportunity. In that country he produced 126 winners from 243 foals, including 17 SW (which is 6,5%, or more than double the average of the breed.) He became the Champion Sire one year, and he fulfilled his destiny.

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One of the things we learned as newcomers to the 1980’s version of the business of yearling sales, racing and breeding, was that it’s a competitive game. We are all friends, except in competition, and to have the courage of your own convictions is important, if you are putting yourself on the line.

In the end, despite the ups and downs, we learned as much about human nature, as the ups and downs of racing. Financially it was a win, but as an experience it made us richer and wiser.

For Sydney Press, despite his health issues, it

emboldened him to take the next big step.

In 1983 he won the Rothmans July with a filly Tecla Bluff (Arg), trained by Terrance Millard, and the following year, he bought his own private stallion, Northfields (USA), son of Northern Dancer, for a record price of U$2,750,000 – enough to buy a hundred Rolls Silver Shadows – and he bought 40 stakes winning mares.

It was a quest to find his place in history and let the tax man pay for it.

And that’s another chapter for another day.

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Gallantry – the horse with movie star good looks, when Champion Sire in Zimbabwe 1989 | Credit: Supplied


Fresh off a Turffontein feature victory with Dreamland in the Betway Mythical Flight Sprint on Saturday, Pippa Mickleburgh told the Sporting Post that the massive storm of Sunday 7 April that ravaged the area was the worst

At the weekend, the South African Weather Service issued an orange-level 9 (out of 10) disruptive rain warning, and it proved ominously on the mark.

The Helderberg region was on the receiving end of a wind lashing last weekend, which culminated in a downpour, leaving hundreds of residents counting the damage, with some severely impacted families left homeless and roads throughout the area scattered with debris. Many century old oak trees were also lost.

“We probably have had more rain in the past, but never wind and consequent damage as we experienced on this scale. But in comparison to some properties around us, where entire buildings have been destroyed and homes lost, we have been fortunate. And the horses and our staff are all safe, and that’s what counts,” added Pippa, who said that it was all systems go for the National Yearling Sale.

With roads impassable and destroyed by Mother Nature, there was only a minor delay in transferring the valuable cargo North.

The exciting Avontuur Nationals class of ’24, including yearlings by all of Captain Of All, Erupt, Futura, Gimmethegreenlight, One World, Oratorio, Vercingetorix, and What A Winter, left

the farm on Tuesday, and Pippa reports that they are all safe and settled at the TBA Sale Complex in Johannesburg.

The home of a generation of champions, including the likes of Legal Eagle and Val De Ra, Avontuur are enjoying another wonderful season.

Avontuur bred recent Gr1 Jonsson Workwear Computaform Sprint winner Thunderstruck (also victorious in the 2024 Gr2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes), the farm also bred recent graded stakes winners Litigation (Gr3 Betway London News Stakes) and October Morn (Gr2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes).

Pippa Mickleburgh said that her National draft are all in all, ‘a super bunch and have been an absolute pleasure to prep’.

One of South Africa’s most experienced breeders, she singled out the undermentioned yearlings as standouts in Avontuur’s draft. Given his name, could the omen point to

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Century old trees were ripped up at Avontuur Credit: Supplied

October Storm (#245)?

Pippa’s thoughts on the colts:

Lot 245: October Storm c by Vercingetorix ex Miss October.

“An exciting colt. Tall athletic and very correct. Looks like a true miler. Has a stunning temperament and the mare has been a real star. So definitely a horse that will attract nice interest.”

Lot 130: Headstart c by Gimmethegrenlight ex Esteemal

Very strong rugged colt..powerful hind quarter and sure has a desire to ” move”… proper colt from a young mare from a lovely family.. exciting colt.

Lot 358: Constellation c by What A Winter ex

Star Burst Galaxy

“A classy speed machine bred to win someone the Computaform Sprint! A beautiful looker he reminds me lot of the Vars of the past.”

Pippa on the fillies

“Both One World fillies (Lot 32, Lot 53) are big and strong, correct and easy moving types. I am very chuffed with both of them. Plain bays but they both have, I think, an X factor. I do like Apostrophe (Lot 299), I see her half sister, Valieva, just ran second.She is a tall athletic daughter of Futura a beauty with a lovely female line to boot. She could be anything.”

The Avontuur draft can be found in Block C at the TBA Complex in Germiston.

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If the art of selecting a yearling depends on the good eye of the Buyer, then I wonder which of these racehorses you would have chosen as yearlings?

Here is your chance to test yourself.

These 15 yearling photos are from many years ago – some are the top sellers at the yearling sales, some were bought for little money, some

turned out to be champions and some were failures.

What it shows is that good horses don’t know how much they cost and that champions can arrive from any part of the market place.

In the end, the choice is yours.


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Ascot Stud bred thoroughbreds have more than made their mark, both locally and overseas.

From the likes of Warning Zone and Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship winner Rock Opera (dam of high-class international gallopers Royal Meeting and Heavy Metal), Ascot bred horses have proved tremendous advertisements for the quality of horse produced in South Africa.

Ashley Parker will be bringing another highclass string to this year’s National Yearling Sale, with Ascot Stud offering a further five yearlings on behalf of the Riyo Stud.

While this draft is packed with quality horseflesh, Ashley picked out a few lots he is confident will find favour with buyers:

Lot 3: Conditionally c by Global View -Unconditional, by Danehill Dancer

A racy scopy Global View colt out of a Danehill Dancer mare, and he is bred on the famous Galileo/Danehill cross

Lot 9: Miss Military f by Act Of War -Via Seattle, by Sail From Seattle

A well grown good moving filly out of a G3 winner, from a prolific stakes producing filly family

Lot 133: King Oberon c by Heavenly BlueFairy Queen, by Lecture

A scopy well balanced half brother to the famous syndicate horse Fairy Knight-who is unbeaten in his last four starts

Lot 295: Pop Chart c by Fire Away - Queen Of Pop, by Sail From Seattle

A powerful good moving Fire Away colt out of a full sister to G1 winner Gulf Storm and G2 winner Seattle Singer from the family of Rock Opera (dam of French G1 winner and promising sire Royal Meeting and multiple graded stakes winner Heavy Metal)

Lot 313:Greenandgold f by Gimmethegreenlight - Seattle Gold, by Sail From Seattle

This filly scored 9’5 with the inspectors. She is a magnificent filly out of a stakes winner, who is a full sister to a Cape Guineas winner, and she is by champion sire Gimmethegreenlight

Lot 208: Actuary c by Futura - Klever Kathy, by Bold Silvano

A big scopy colt out of stakes placed mare who is a half sister to Champion Cousin Casey

This draft can be found in Blocks B and C at the TBA Complex in Germiston.

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Ascot’s Galileo stallion Global View | Credit: Pauline Herman


Renowned New Zealand auctioneer Steve Davis - the backbone of Bloodstock SA sales for two decades - is ‘hopeful’ the reinstatement of the direct export of horses will have an immediate effect on this week’s National Yearling Sale at Gosforth .

However, Davis who left Auckland last Friday night on his umpteenth journey to Johannesburg via Sydney warned that “it might take a little time for the potential opportunities to filter through to buyers from Europe.”

David Mollett writes than on 25 March 25, Adrian Todd, Managing Director of SAEHP (South African Equine Health and Protocols) broke the ground-breaking news of the reinstatement of direct exports to Europe.

An outbreak of African Horse Sickness in 2011 led to a ban on exports from SA.

“SAEHP was formed due to the vision of Chris Van Niekerk and the Export Task Team which he jointly founded with Mrs Susan Rowett as a cooperative venture between the sales companies,” said Todd.

The big news on the bloodstock front in the last week has been the sale of a daughter of champion Winx for A$10 million - the highestpriced yearling sold at public auction in Australia.

Prior to this sale, the highest price for a yearling in Australia came in 2013 when a half-brother to Black Caviar made A$ 5 million.

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Steve Davis – selling up a storm | Credit: Supplied

“There was a lot of press prior to the sale featuring the American underbidder, John Stewart, saying he was going to A$9 million. An interesting ploy as it obviously meant Debbie Kepitis knew what she had to go to. She owns a third, but A$6,6 million is still a large outlay,” said Davis.

The highest price yearling Steve has sold is Forbidden Love at A$4,1 million at Magic Millions in Australia. He was on the rostrum when Simon Vivian sold New Zealand’s highest priced yearling Don Eduardo, a son of Zabeel, for NZ$ 3,6 million (2m Euros). “The horse won a Derby but was not overly commercial at stud.”

The highest price ever paid for a yearling remains Seattle Dancer, a half-brother to Seattle Slew, who made $13,1 million when sold at Kentucky in 2013.

As always, Davis has done his homework on the 2024 National Yearling Sale catalogue. “On paper this looks to be a strong catalogue. If the

yearlings match up physically, it will be a good sale.”

A total of 393 will come under the hammer of Davis and his longtime colleague, Andrew Miller, and they will both be hoping to sell the top lot.

Apart from top sires such as Gimmethegreenlight and Vercingetorix, buyers also get the chance of buying the progeny of new sires including One World, Hawaamm, Buffalo Bill Cody, Erik The Red and Soqrat.

Royal Victory, winner of the Premier’s Challenge at Turffontein and now priced at 7.14-1 for the Hollywoodbets Durban July, was a 2021 BSA National Yearling Sale graduate. Ambiance Stud are offering his half-sister (by Querari) on the first day of the sale.

Another 2021 graduate is the Justin Snaith inmate, Mucho Dinero, and owner Nic Jonsson’s son of Twice Over,is a 6.25-1 chance with the sponsors for the July.

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In exciting news for the breeding industry, it was announced earlier this week that boom Ridgemont-based Redoute’s Choice stallion Rafeef will stand for a fee of R120 000 in the new breeding season.

A champion and Grade 1 winner on the racetrack, Rafeef has established an indelible reputation as a stallion who has the ability to sire stakes winners across the speed and stamina spectrum, his elite winners from 1000m to 2450m stamping him as the most exciting SA-based sire for some years.

South Africa’s leading freshman sire of 2021, Rafeef has gone on to greater things and emerged as a big-hitting successor to his champion dam National Colour’s sire National Assembly, who also stood at the famed Robertson nursery.

Rafeef is currently challenging established champion elders Gimmethegreenlight and Vercingetorix, both on the champion logs

and in the sales arena. The supreme athlete matches both of the aforementioned with seven black-type winners, while his AEPR of R80 953 is bettered only by Pathfork, Lancaster Bomber, Gimmethegreenlight, and Vercingetorix.

Rafeef’s first three crops boast stakes winner’s percentage of 13%, 14% and 15% - the last season bettered only by champion, Trippi.

“From his first three crops (with limited numbers) Rafeef has consistently produced results on the racetrack, and it is fantastic to see him challenging the top tier of stallions in the country – most notably with his stakes winner’s percentage. After consultation with Jehan Malherbe, representatives from Shadwell Stud, and the shareholders we felt that he

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deserves his service fee to reflect his results,” said Ridgemont’s Craig Kieswetter

Given Rafeef’s exponential growth in stature in the past term, the season-on-season increase in his service fee from R20 000 nomination

and R70 000 live foal last season, to R30 000 nomination and R90 000 live foal in the new term, has to be considered great value in a market set for take-off following the recent news of the opening of the EU export gateway.

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Varsfontein Stud have a great record of selling top-class thoroughbreds at the National Yearling Sale.

Recent star gallopers sold by Varsfontein at past National Sales include champions Bless My Stars and Sandringham Summit, as well as such notable graded stakes winners as Atticus Finch, Cala Muretta, Double Grand Slam, and Lucky Lad, to name but a few.

This year, Varsfontein will be offering another fine draft at the National Sale, with this consignment headed by yearlings sired by resident stallions Erik The Red, Gimmethegreenlight and Master Of My Fate, as well as by such high-class sires as Futura and What A Winter.

The farm picked out the following lots as likely standouts on sale:

Lot 10: Gimmethegreenlight filly out of Viking Princess

Viking Princess is a full sister to Real Princess, the dam of Gimme A Prince. So in blood, this filly is theoretically a carbon copy. In the flesh she is not far off the handsome duel Gr 1 winner, as she exudes just as much class and quality. She is a tall, scopey, athletic type and is really a beautiful looking filly.

Lot 24: What A Winter filly out of Wylie Wench

Aptly named Snow Queen, this filly could be royalty coming from a family like this. Her granddam is the champion Enchantress and she is bred on the same nick as her Western Winter colt, Nevvay. She is a medium size filly, stands over ground with a very strong hindquarter. A racy, eye-catching filly.

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Varsfontein was started in 1974 | Credit: Jeremy Nelson

Lot 56: Erik The Red colt out of Bela-Bela

Not only are we excited to present Erik The Red’s first yearlings for sale this year, but we are taking the very first colt out of our champion Bela-Bela to auction. Bela’s first 3 foals are all fillies by Gimmethegreenlight and include the Gr2 winner Ciao Bella.

This big, robust, strong colt acquired the nickname Etzebeth as a foal for good reason, and the name has stuck. He is an exceptional walker, his strong frame and good bone give him the look of a tough, hard knocking colt. The cross to Captain Al through Erik The Red is promising as it has already proven to be so successful in this family.

Lot 77: Master Of My Fate filly out of Captive Lady

Perhaps not typical of what would expect to see in a Master Of My Fate filly, As Sure As Fate is powerfully built with an exceptional quarter on her. She is medium to good size and is beautifully put together. Certainly one that keeps catching the eye every time she walks by, a lovely filly.

Lot 115: Master Of My Fate filly

out of Destiny Dancer

Princess Izzy has been causing quite a stir with her recent win in the Listed Sweet Chestnut Stakes. This has created the perfect timing to take a full sister to auction so we are thrilled to present this filly for sale. She has good size and scope, is well conformed and is a very good mover. Along with a high quality head, beautiful shoulder and hindquarter, she also has a lovely temperament to match.

Lot 184: Erik The Red colt out of Imperial State

This colt is one of the picks of our string, a stand out colt that should attract a lot of attention being a half-brother to the likes of Lucky Lad and Follow Me.

He is the ultimate advertisement for Erik The Red, not only carrying a resemblance to his Captain Al sire line but he is so well balanced and well made. He is a good size, covers ground, has a strong shoulder and hindquarter and good bone.

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Lot 193: Gimmethegreenlight filly out of Je Ne Sais Quoi (selling as agent)

Her jet black coat and attractive appearance makes this filly catch the eye. She is a good size, her powerful frame, deep girth and good walk add to her appeal.

Lot 251: Erik The Red filly out of Monroe Spring

The dam, Monroe Spring, is the last foal out of the legendary mare, Mystic Spring. The Wylie Hall mare has really outdone herself with this first foal .Blue Lagoon is medium size and is a compact, powerful type with a precocious look to her. As mentioned before, the cross to Captain Al is a bull’s eye in terms of proven bloodline success. Her paddock value will appeal to breeders as well.

Lot 256: Gimmethegreenlight colt out of My Guiding Star

Being another top colt in our string, one can’t ignore his potential coming from this sire producing family. He is truly a special looking colt with all the qualities one would seek in an elite racehorse. From his handsome head, strong build, powerful forearm… he is just incredibly balanced and well put together with a physical likeness to his sire.

Lot 265: Gimmethegreenlight colt out of On My Mind

The dam is a lovely imported mare by High Chaparral and is still early in her stud career. However, she has produced her best so far in this colt. He is a good size, imposing colt with good scope and rein and is a high class, classic type. One of the best looking Gimmethegreenlight offspring in our string.

Lot 288: Gimmethegreenlight filly out of Princess Peach

Beautifully named, Peaches and Cream, this filly will certainly attract a lot of attention being

a half-sister to the in top form, Double Grand Slam. Being by champion sire, and from a filly producing family of this calibre puts her in the top tier. She is medium size, well balanced and deep through the girth with still plenty to come.

Lot 305: Gimmethegreenlight colt out of Sabina Park (Selling as Agent)

A limited edition colt being the final progeny on offer from this brilliant mare, Sabina Park, who has done it all both on the track and at stud. The mare may well have saved the best for last as he is really a lovely colt with a compact, speedy frame. He is medium size and is well balanced with a good hind quarter and hind leg.

This draft can be found in Blocks B and C at the TBA Complex in Germiston.

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SCENE AT THE SALES Credit: Candiese Lenferna



of Europe’s 1000m Sprint Championship, the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamps (Gr1) | Credit: Supplied

Champion Turf Sprinter of Ireland, France and Dubai, A CASE OF YOU (IRE) lands in South Africa on Friday 19th April 2024, the fastest horse to come here since VAR (USA), who won the same race, the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamps (Gr.1) twenty years ago.

Bought by Mrs Gaynor’s Drakenstein Stud, A CASE OF YOU, is an imposing beast of a horse, a 16.2 hands ball of muscle, who weighs in at 585kg. He is what you would expect a champion sprinter to look like.

A CASE OF YOU campaigned across the globe and was thoroughly tested as a racehorse: He ran 22 times in six different countries – UK, Ireland, France, USA, Dubai, and Australia –against the best sprinters in the world, on all surfaces turf, synthetic, dirt, winning on firm, yielding and heavy ground, campaigned for five straight seasons and earned £1,162,956 in 7 wins from 1000m to 1300m.

In short, he was an admirable racehorse and must have had an incredible temperament to

be away from home so often, and adapt to varying conditions so readily and always give of his best.

A Case of You began his career very smartly, using his dominant frame to win two of his first three starts in Ireland including the Anglesey Stakes (Gr3) at The Curragh.

As a 3 year old, he won the premier 1000m race in Europe, the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamps (Gr1), a breed shaping event invariably won by the fastest horses in the world.

The ground came up soft, A Case Of You sat back in 6th.

“It all happened so quickly”, said his jockey Ronan Whelan, “we I came out of the pack, I said to myself, oh grand, I’m going come and nice second here – and all of a sudden, he’s getting closer and closer, and I say, Jeez, I have a chance here to get the result and win on such a big day, it was hard to describe the happiness”.

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A Case of You wins the Anglesey S. (Gr3) at 2 years at The Curragh, 1300m |

On A CASE OF YOU he said “ He’s literally brought me around the world, put my name on the world’s stage, Ado and everyone in the yard, we can never be more thankful to him.”

As a 4 year old, A CASE OF YOU travelled across the world and his best victory came in Dubai, where he defeated a high class field of international sprinters in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (Gr1) over 1200m., this time leading from start to finish on a hot sweaty day in 1 min 8,07

secs., the second fastest in the history of the race.

Behind him were Gr1 sprinters from England, Ireland, France, America and Japan, inc Naval Crown (Royal Ascot Platinum Jubilee Gr1), Air de Valse (Prix de l’Abbaye Gr1), and Casa Creed (four Gr1 wins in USA).

Another day, another title, another celebration: Champion Sprinter of Dubai.

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THE SPRINT IS INTERACTIVE WATCH THE RACE HERE: THE SPRINT IS INTERACTIVE WATCH THE RACE HERE: A Case Of You “a magnificent horse, another Gr1” wins the $1m Al Quoz (Gr.1) in Dubai | Credit: Supplied

A CASE OF YOU is a Mr Prospector line stallion from the Gone West branch which has done so well in South Africa.

His sire HOT STREAK, one of the fastest sprinters of his day, is by IFRAAJ, Champion sire of 2 Year Olds and Sire of Sires, including Coolmore’s latest Champion Sire, Wooten Bassett, the €150,000 service fee stallion who has now sired 10 Gr1 winners.

“We are very excited to have the European sprint star A Case Of You,” said Drakenstein’s Kevin Sommerville, “especially now that Cape Racing has created such an


intense programme of big two year old races, including the Cape Slipper.

“He is such a big powerful animal, he looks the perfect replacement of the late Champion Sire of Sprinters and two year olds, VAR (USA), who won the same race that he did, and produced so many outstanding champions in South African racing. He’ll pick up Var’s mantle so well – ‘the Need for Speed’ and will be popular with breeders and buyers alike.

He will stand his first season at Drakenstein Stud this season at a stud fee of R25,000.

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Drakenstein Stud enjoyed an outstanding season in 2022-2023. The farm, named both Equus Outstanding Breeder and Champion Breeder for the past season, were responsible for breeding no fewer than 20 stakes winners who won an astonishing 35 black type races between them last season.

Among this tally were Gr1 winning stars Charles Dickens, Jet Dark and Hollywoodbets Durban July victor Winchester Mansion.

Drakenstein, who are again enjoying a wonderful season in 2023-2024, will be bringing a top-class consignment to the National Yearling Sale.

With their string including yearlings sired by the likes of Fire Away, Futura, Gimmethegreenlight, Legislate, Querari, One World, Trippi, Vercingetorix, and What A Winter, this is a draft

bound to prove hugely popular at the sale.

However, the following lots appear to be particularly impressive and are a must see for any serious buyer:

162 Trip To Camelot: c Trippi -Grail Maiden, by Galileo

A half-brother to a Gr1 winner, he is beautiful, strapping colt with a great hind-quarter. He is a really classy animal.

281 Cardinal Point: c Vercingetorix -Point Of Sale, by Var

A son of a Listed winner and from arguably the most current family in South Africa.He is well balanced, strong, correct and walks well. He does everything nicely.

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Just think champion! | Credit: Supplied

322 Spanish Verse: c Vercingetorix -Seville Orange, by Duke Of Marmalade

Lots to like about this horse, plenty of class with a great walk about him. He has a great temperament and should be really liked at the sale.

349 Pure As Snow: c Futura -Snowdance, by Captain Al

He is a very good model of his sire and dam, not an overly big horse but very correct.

We think a lot of him.

372 Eric Liddell: c Futura -Supreme Vision, by Visionaire

A half-brother to See It Again, he is very much in the mode of his brother but is perhaps slightly more mature than his brother at this stage. Has a great head and does everything really easily.

This attractive draft can be viewed from Blocks A,B and D at the TBA Complex.


Credit: Candiese Lenferna

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The search for a good racehorse has been made a little easier by an innovative local private partnership who have developed an interesting Quantitative Analysis Model, founded on Probability Theory that maintains the facts seldom lie.

Building of the Research Model commenced in 2019 and was formalised in 2022 with the formation of ETHANICITY Research.

The Research Partners are avid horseracing enthusiasts, small owners and also founders of an exciting new low-cost Breeding initiative called Dream Breeders Club that offers membership to anybody anywhere.

Their love of horseracing is patently obvious, and they hope that their efforts will in some small way contribute to a sustainable horseracing industry for SA.

The ER service is geared towards assisting new and smaller owners with buying selections given the large owners are all already understandably ensconced with their circles of advisers and/or equipped with an advanced level of understanding.

Similarly, with Breeders, all of the larger more experienced and established operations know what they are doing and unlikely to call on ER. It is the first time, emerging and smaller class of Breeders that could benefit from what ER offers.

Even though their ER method has been in development and trialled over the past 5 years the Partners are acutely aware and respectful of the fact that they still have a long way to go to earn their stripes by proving their method in

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The search for a champion! | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

an industry that possesses many very learned, proven, talented horseracing experts at a time in which significant consolidation has occurred.

The critical output of the ER Racing Model is a Probability Rating that predicts the future racing probability of horses by searching deep and wide into the pedigree and historical racing performance of the family for indicators of future racing potential derived from facts.

ER believes that understanding what is “under the hood of the horse” and behind a horse is as equally important as its confirmation and that both assessments are critical in the identification of future racing potential.

Not only can the ER Model be used to identify future racing probability, but it can also be utilised to assess future broodmare and sire potential across the spectrum of current and emerging bloodlines in SA.

The aim of this research is to enable clients to receive alternative information to guide the decisions to breed or not.

They are under no illusion that predicting future potential is a minefield and that their model has, and will, call it wrong.

The ER model is being continuously checked and updated as the dynamic of bloodlines and performance becomes known. When a wrong call is made an investigation is carried out to try and determine the reasons why and then improve the model to improve its reliability.

They maintain that every predictive model is far from perfect and only as good as it is correct more times than it is wrong.

They hope that their reports will provide a fresh alternative and additional perspective to the decision-making deliberations

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of their clients, ultimately for the benefit of horse racing.

Hereunder they offer the future racing probability ratings for a small selection of 2024 BSA National Yearling Sales horses.

ETHANICITY Research – 2024 BSA National Yearling Sales

The following is a short selection of just some horses that have been researched by ETHANICITY Research using Quantitative Assessment method for Future Race Performance Probability.

It IS NOT A TOP SELECTION but rather a selection of some horses that have been identified as having nice future performance probability.

IMPORTANT QUALIFICATION – no Conformation Assessment has been undertaken

40 - Unnamed(C) - One World x Amarillo Rose

From a nick already proven to represent high potential, with a potent deep Dam Tail Rating = 7.25/10

52 - Unnamed(F) - Querari x Atlantic Beach

Both 1st and 2nd Dam contain racing and

breeding performance, quality deep dam tail

Rating = 7.0/10

73 - Cherry Lane(F) - Erik The Red x Candy Galore

Promising Freshman Sire throwing well conformed progeny

2nd dam reasonable racehorse, good broodmare, attractive pedigree convergence

Rating = 7.0/10

157 - Unnamed(C) - Rafeef x Gilded Minaret

Super quality pulling forward into this horse, rich pedigree in good positions

Rating = 7.75/10

171 - Willewragtig(C) - The United States x Hazleton

Ignore prior covers, this carries reasonable promise.

1st Dam offers some quality to this sire

Rating = 6.5/10

181 - Call The Midwife(F) - Futura x Idaho

Not much in the 1st generation , better in 2nd dam

3rd Dam pushes high quality forward for reasonable prospects

Rating = 6.75/10

Ratings have an accuracy tolerance of 0.25 both up and down on the issued Rating

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ETHANICITY Research reflecting back… searching forward: https://www.facebook.com/ethanicityresearch/ https://ethanicity-research.co.za Contact Details: Dream Breeders Club


Credit: Candiese Lenferna

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–https://www.facebook.com/dreambreedersclub Whatsapp - 083 307 1478
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Klawervlei – nursery of blue bloods | Credit: Supplied


Outstanding broodmares and racemares are a striking factor in Klawervlei’s draft for the National Yearling Sale.

While this string includes the offspring of Gimmethegreenlight, One World, Querari, Trippi, Vercingetorix and What A Winter, it is the quality of producer represented here which looks so impressive.

Below are a few examples of the mare represented in the Klawervlei consignment for the 2024 National Sale:

Witchcraft (Kahal -Deceptive Charm, by Kingmambo)

A half-sister to Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship winner Under Your Spell, this dual G3 Track And Ball Oaks winner has a colt (Lot 23) by reigning champion sire Gimmethegreenlight on offer.

Cinna’s Ransom (Red Ransom -City Dance, by Seattle Slew)

This mare has produced four winners notably six time Gr1 winner Captain’s Ransom -South Africa’s Horse Of The Year in 2021-2022.

Cinna’s Ransom has a Vercingetorix colt (Lot 89) on offer, and he looks sure to be a standout in this draft!

Gibraltar Blue (Rock Of Gibraltar -Holly Blue, by Bluebird)

A top-class racemare who won all of the Gr2 KRA Fillies Guineas, Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge, Gr2 Tibouchina Stakes and Gr3 Joburg Spring Challenge, she has produced six winners

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including the smart performers Pillar Of Hercules, Battleoftrafalgar, and Cullinan Blue. The latter is a full-sister to the Vercingetorix colt (Lot 156) on sale.

Sting Operation (Captain Al -Roxanne, by Western Winter)

Herself a daughter of a Gr1 winner, Swallow Stakes winner Sting Operation has produced three winners headed by Gr2 winner Silver Operator and the useful Promettere. She has a Gimmethegreenlight colt (363) on offer at the National Sale.

The Secret Is Out (Captain Al -Secret Of Victoria, by Goldkeeper)

A full-sister to triple Gr1 winner and Equus Champion All Is Secret and to Listed Lady’s

Pendant winner Canukeepitsecret, this halfsister to this season’s high-class two-year-old Roman Agent won six including the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship. She has a colt (Lot 383) on sale sired by the sire of Roman Agent -Vercingetorix.

Thin Red Line (Redoute’s Choice -Isadora, by Gold Fever)

A three-parts sister to Gr1 Winx Stakes winner Samadoubt, this mare has produced five winners headed by Gr1 Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby/Gr1 Daily News 2000 winner Linebacker. She has a Captain Of All fullbrother (Lot 384) to Linebacker on offer here.

This draft can be found in Block H at the TBA Complex in Germiston.

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For emerging Summerveld trainer Bo Ngcobo it has been an incredible past few weeks, and a period in his career he is unlikely to forget.

It started with his first win ever with the only horse in his stable, followed with the arrival of a second horse on Easter Sunday – and then on Friday 12 April, the announcement of a sponsorship by Hollywoodbets

Understandably Bo is very attached to his first winner, Lightning Jimmy, a Willow Magic gelding out of a speedy Fort Beluga mare, bred at The Fort Stud in KZN.

He bought the horse at the 2022 KZN Yearling Sales in partnership with his good friends, M M Mkhize and M N Mchunu.

And now things are happening! His onehorse first win story so moved a few racing lovers, that they rallied together to reward and encourage his incredible efforts with a second.

A partnership was hastily formed and Colorado Creek, a one- time winner from six runs, was despatched from Johannesburg down to his Summerveld Yard.

The lovely filly by The United States out of the Fahal mare Rivulet was bred by Riethuiskraal Stud.

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Bo Ngcobo - a man on the up! | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

Bo confirms that she has settled in really nicely, eating extremely well. The immediate assessment is that she could be a decent miler, with the potential to mature into a performer over further.

The partners are thrilled to be a part of Bo’s special journey.

Lloyd Naik, a Capetonian, and one of the partners, says that he is in this industry for the love of horses, and to enjoy it with those as passionate as he is about horses.

“Being more involved in Syndications in the UK and here, I was looking for something different. When Bo – who I didn’t know from a bar of soap – was interviewed, I saw the passion in his eyes. I saw Bo as the right fit, for where I am at, to grow with, and I know that being a small stable, our horses will be treated as royalty,

with all the love, care and attention to detail.To support this man is an honour,” he added.

For Sandhiran Govender of Gauteng, whose association with racing goes way back to his youth when growing up near Clairwood Racecourse, where he attended many race meetings, it’s an exciting moment.

“I have been involved in the ownership of racehorses (he was a partner in Ali Bon Dubai which was trained by Geoff Woodruff) and also own TAB outlets. When I learned that Bo Ngcobo had only one horse, I asked myself how it was possible, and how I could help him, by doing something, and not just talking about it. I immediately contacted my friend Steven Kalunga for help, and he generously made Colorado Creek available without hesitation. This industry needs new blood, and new players, and I want to be a part of that

17 APRIL 2024 | 133 Colorado Creek has settled in nicely at Summerveld | Credit: Supplied

change. Many of us support transformation, and through this initiative, I hope we can not only contribute in some small way, but also demonstrate how easy it is to be a part of change.”

Pravesh Teja, a long-time Durban based racing fanatic, and partner in multiple horses over the

years, could not resist getting involved, and is delighted to be a part of this new journey. He is looking forward to a mutually beneficial journey.

Steven Kalunga of Joburg based Kalunga Brothers Racing, who has kept a majority share in Colorado Creek, says that the racing game is very tough for start-ups or small stables, and

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Legend Michael Roberts congratulates his colleague and fellow Summerveld resident Bo Ngcobo after his first winner | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

the partnership with Bo and the new owners is to just enjoy the sport, and see what the change in environment from the Highveld to KZN could do for Colorado Creek. And the options are there, as KZN has both poly and turf tracks.

“Bo has our full support and we wish to see his stable grow from strength to strength. Today it’s one filly. Hopefully tomorrow we might have more horses with Bo, and others will also come forward as well,” he added. Interviewed at Summerveld earlier this week, just a matter of days after receiving Colorado Creek, Bo said that when Lightning Jimmy won him his first ever race, the feeling was indescribable.

But, he adds, the emotion he experienced when Colorado Creek stood in front of him on Easter Sunday surpassed that of his first win, and he will never forget it.

He added that he was thrilled to have been given the opportunity of being sponsored by Hollywoodbets.

“The purple and yellow flag has flown proudly across the length and breadth of South Africa and I cannot express how thankful I am to have been welcomed into the Hollywoodbets family. It’s a big day for me and my team, and I hope it’s the start of brighter and better days ahead,” he added.

The Partners have made 15% shares available for anybody wishing to join.

Contact Bo Ngcobo on 063 281 4839 – he will also be attending the 2024 National Yearling Sale on 18 and 19 April.

Please like @FuzeBo Racing on Facebook

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Suzette Viljoen – excited about her first National sale under her own banner | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

Hopes And Dreams Stud, an exciting recent addition to the South African breeding industry, will be offering a small but select draft at this week’s National Yearling Sale.

Their six strong National Sale string is made up of yearlings sired by Act Of War, Danon Platina, Futura, Hawwaam and the hugely exciting One World.

The latter, currently South Africa’s Leading First Season Sire for 2023-2024, has made a cracking start with his first runners this season headed by Gr3 City Of Cape Town Cape Of Good Hope Nursery winner One Stripe and a plethora of other exciting prospects.

One World is represented here by a colt (Lot 314) out of a twice winning half-sister to dual Gr2 Merchants winner Search Party, with the latter, like One World, sired by Captain Al.

Act Of War, like Captain Al winner of the Gr1 Cape Guineas, has two lots on offer. Ivy (Lot 36), from the family of, among others, multiple Gr1 winning filly Arabian Lass, is a filly out of a half-sister to two stakes winners headed by Gr2 Colorado King Stakes winner Halve The Deficit, while Zacatoo (Lot 219) is a colt out of speedy Listed Bauhinia Handicap runner up Linear,

with Linear hailing from the immediate family of 2000 Guineas winner Shadeed.

Former Equus Champion, and National Sale graduate, Hawwaam, is represented in Hopes And Dreams’ draft by a half-sister (Lot 149) to the useful Life On Mars, while champion Futura’s sole offering to be found in this string is a colt (Lot 169) out of Dubawi’s dual Gr1 winning daughter Happy Archer.

Another popular stallion represented here is Japanese champion Danon Platina, with the son of Deep Impact responsible for a filly (Lot 26) whose twice winning dam is a half-sister to Yulong Prince, a Gr1 winner in both Australia and South Africa. This filly hails from the same female line as champion siblings and influential sires Kris and Diesis among many others.

Based in Wellington, Hopes And Dreams Stud is an emerging establishment, with the farm home to a growing band of top-class broodmares.

No doubt, plenty more will be heard of Hopes And Dreams in years to come!

The aforementioned draft can be found in Block A at the TBA Complex.


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Credit: Candiese Lenferna
the exhilaration of cheering your horse home across the finish line. join the passion
WHATSAPP LINE (063) 929-8630 JOIN THE CAPE TURF CLUB AT www.caperacing.co.za Experience


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Celtic Beauty (Richard Fourie) holds on well to beat Lucky Miss (Rachel Venniker) | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

Vercingetorix’s very progressive daughter Celtic Beauty became her sire’s 35th stakes winner when she won the R150 000 Listed World Sports Betting Scarlet Lady at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday.

The Tony Rivalland-trained three-year-old was given a superb ride by Richard Fourie in the 1750m contest as he tracked pacesetter Ballroom Bliss all the way around.

The pace was pedestrian early on, but Fourie had judged things well and he brought Celtic Beauty to lead at the 350m and she stayed on powerfully.

The 3yo Celtic Beauty started at 5-2 and held on well to beat the determined Lucky Miss (16-) by a neck in a time of 105,69 secs.

Barend Botes’ Ivy League (13-2) was a half length back in third.

Bred by Klawervlei Stud, Celtic Beauty has now won three of five starts with two places for stakes of R213 750.

The filly, who races in the familiar vieux rose, pink and green of veteran owner Mary Liley, is out of the Rip Van Winkle mare Killer Woman and was a R625 000 purchase from the 2022 KZN Yearling Sale

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The Adv Altus Joubert bred National Colour, South Africa’s Joint Horse Of The Year of 2005-2006, proved an outstanding broodmare in a short career at stud, and the champion daughter of National Assembly continues to make her presence felt across the globe.

National Colour’s Gr1 Computaform Sprint winning son Rafeef is one of South Africa’s leading active stallions, while the champion’s unraced Snitzel daughter Sarraqa is the dam of current star Australian three-year-old Celestial Legend.

The latter, victorious in February’s Gr2 Precise Air Hobartville Stakes, stamped himself as one of the leaders of his generation in Australian when he won the recent Gr1 The Agency Randwick Guineas, downing such Gr1 winners as Militarize and Tom Kitten. Past winners of the Randwick Guineas include a host of star gallopers, including Weekend Hussler, Dundeel, Dissident, and The Autumn Sun.

Riethuiskraal Stud, who bred and raised the unforgettable National Colour, will be 12 strong

at the National Yearling Sale on Thursday and Friday, and their string includes a very close relative of the aforementioned Celestial Legend.

National Bliss (Lot 90) is a What A Winter halfsister to two winners, including Gr3 Poinsettia Stakes winner Full Velocity. Her dam Circle Of Speed is a twice winning daughter of Sebring and National Colour. Safe to say, this filly is bred to be very speedy indeed!

Met winning champion One World has made a sensational start with his first two-year-olds this season, and the son of Captain Al is represented here by World Order (Lot 116), a half-brother to five winners, including Gr3 Strelitzia Stakes runner up Sabatini.

Other appealing lots on offer include Diogenes (Lot 76), the Hawwaam colt out of Gr3 Diana Stakes runner up Captainofmysoul, and Memphis (Lot 255), a daughter of The United States and useful racemare Mulher De Branco.

This draft can be viewed from Block B at the TBA Complex in Germiston.


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Credit: Candiese Lenferna
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Cape Eagle (Serino Moodley) storms home to beat One Way Traffic (Richard Fourie) in the Highland Night Cup at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

Considering that his progeny have notched up no less than three feature races in the space of a week, Maine Chance stallion Vercingetorix is enjoying a purple patch to say the least.

The quickfire treble was set up by six-yearold son Rascallion, who built on an excellent second in the Gr1 World Sports Betting Cape Town Met by claiming the Gr3 Variety Club Mile at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.

The gelding has been a faithful servant to trainer Vaughan Marhsall and owners Marsh Shirtliff and Bryn Ressell, having won last season’s Gr2 Premier Trophy and as a threeyear-old, he finished second in both the Gr1 Cape Derby and Gr1 Daily News 2000.

This past weekend, ultra-consistent son Cape Eagle ventured into unknown territory when asked to tackle 2400m for the first time in the World Sports Betting Highland

Night Cup at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.

He passed the test with flying colours, coming from stone last with a powerful run on the stand side to get up in the shadow of the post. Now that he has proven his staying ability, he will surely be targeted at the staying events during the KZN season.

Thirty five minutes later, Mary Liley’s threeyear-old filly Celtic Beauty put the seal on her sire’s excellent weekend with a maiden stakes success in the Listed World Sports Betting Scarlet Lady. Relatively unexposed, this was only her fifth career start and with few miles on the clock, she looks poised to continue her way up the black type ladder.

This was also the latest in a long line of stakes successes for veteran owner Mary Liley, whose Vieux rose, cream and green silks have been worn with distinction over the last five decades.

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Together with late husband John, the Grande Dame of KZN racing campaigned many a fine galloper. Who will forget the splendid New Zealand-bred trio Sun Monarch, Bold Monarch and Be Noble?

Celtic Beauty’s association with that country is a tangible one, as her dam, the Rip Van Winkle mare Killer Woman, also sports the NZ suffix behind her name. Like her daughter, she was trained by Tony Rivalland and scored three times in the Liley colours.

By the way, the day’s other feature, the Listed World Sports Betting Sledgehammer, is named in tribute of arguably the finest New Zealand-bred to have graced these shores and appropriately, it was won by Narina Trogon, who like Vercingetorix, is a son of Silvano.

One can safely say that Vercingetorix has filled the void left by his late great sire at Maine Chance Farms. Celtic Beauty is his 34th stakes winner, of which eight have

triumphed at the elite level.

Looking at Vercingetorix’s stud record so far, what sets him apart from other stallions is his enviable ratio of runners to winners.

In 2020, he led the way with 53.9%, superior to that season’s champion Gimmethegreenlight’s 50.2%.

It was also the season he made a spectacular breakthrough into the elite ranks by finishing in fourth place with just three crops at the track. Just as impressive, he sired no less than ten individual stakes winners, headed by Gr1 Gold Medallion winner Ambiorix and Nebraas, who annexed the Equus Award of Champion Stayer following his Gold Cup/Vase double.

Vercingetorix has since cemented his top five stallion position and came close to a first General Sires title in 2021/22, when only Silvano deprived him of that honour.

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Vercingetorix – top notch and overdue a Gr1 success this term | Credit: Gold Circle

Nevertheless, he again topped the log with 55.4% winners to runners. Pathfork had a higher percentage of 56.8%, but from only half the number of runners.

Third leading sire behind Gimmethegreenlight and What A Winter in 2022/23, he currently finds himself in a comfortable second place behind only old adversary Gimmethegreenlight.

While both have sired seven individual stakes winners to date, Vercingetorix has by far the better strike rate, 51.4% compared to the log leader’s 39.8%, Furthermore, there is preciously little difference between their respective AEPR’s of R88,914 and R86,719 respectively.

However, whereas Gimmethegreenlight has been represented by an exceptional duo in Sandringham Summit and Gimme A Nother, Vercingetorix has yet to sire a Gr1 winner this season.

That should come sooner rather than later, given that his three-year-old daughter Golden Sickle went down by a neck in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint, whilst progressive daughter Double Grand Slam blazed a trail when she sauntered to a five-length victory in the Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes.

She will have bigger and better fish to fry, as will juvenile daughter Little Ballerina, who

ended the undefeated streak of highly touted Almond Sea in the Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery. And then there is last season’s champion juvenile Mrs Geriatrix.

She returned from a dismal Cape summer season and showed a welcome glimpse of her true self when third in the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes recently.

A champion on the track, Vercingetorix has been immensely popular since his retirement and has enjoyed continued support from breeders to the extent that the demand for his services has far outstripped the number available.

Success has also brought with it a steady increase in his service fee, and while he was still available at R35,000 in 2019, that has steadily climbed from R50,000 in 2020, to last year’s R220,000.

His draft for this week’s Bloodstock South Africa National Yearling Sale is truly a reflection of the esteem in which he is held, and numbers no less than 43, amongst which siblings to Horse of the Year recipients Rainbow Bridge, Summer Pudding and Captain’s Ransom, as well as the champions Hawwaam, Tempting Fate and Good Traveller.


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Credit: Candiese Lenferna
Thunderstruck! Pippa Mickleburgh, Daniel Tarry, Richard Fourie, Sean Tarry, Jehan Malherbe and Mary Slack enjoy the Tarry 300th stakes winner milestone after the Computaform Sprint victory | Credit: Candiese Lenferna

When Sean Tarry started out at Randjesfontein in the early days of this century with just 16 horses, he was determined to break through in a tough game. After his 300th stakes winner arrived largely unheralded on Champions Day, he restated that he and his team have always been more focussed on their day-to-day goals than milestones.

“But I am very happy to celebrate that 300 stakes winner milestone with my team, a special horse and a leading owner. I’m very pleased for Richard Fourie, as this was his third Computaform Sprint title,” added the 55 year old

When the Avontuur-bred Rafeef flyer Thunderstruck won the Jonsson Workwear Gr1 Computaform Sprint he marked Sean Tarry’s fourth success in the speed showdown after Carry On Alice (2016), Mythical Flight (2007) and National Colour (2006).

That took him to over 70 Grade 1 wins, and throw in the multiple Horse of The Year accolades, and SA Champion Trainer titles, and his done superbly well!

This week Sean Tarry is at the TBA Sales Complex looking for the next Mrs Geriatrix, and some other big names that he has found over the years.

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An air of expectation was bound to surround Kikkuli on his second appearance at the racecourse where his legendary sibling made his name.

After finishing second on his debut on the Rowley Mile last November, the half-brother to equine superhero Frankel got off the mark in promising style in Tuesday’s Alex Scott Maiden Stakes.

The Racing Post reports that Kikkuli is the final foal from Juddmonte’s Kind, who died a few days after giving birth to him three years ago.

As Roger Charlton trained Kind to win six races up to Listed level, the owner-breeding operation decided that his Wiltshire stable, now operating for Charlton’s son Harry, should take charge of him.

By Kingman, he made decent progress through the pack under Ryan Moore and found a little more when challenged to hold favourite Creative Story by a neck.

As well as Frankel, the unbeaten champion sire who scorched along the Rowley Mile in the 2,000 Guineas and the Dewhurst, Kind also produced Champion Stakes winner Noble Mission and black-type winners Bullet Train and Joyeuse.

“Juddmonte have applied no pressure but it means a lot to the family and a lot to racing, so it’s important,” said Harry Charlton.

“We were pleased because he’s put on so much condition compared to last year, I think he came here something like 27 kilos heavier than when he was at Newmarket [last year], there was just that little fear of are we fit, are we not fit. Ryan thought he was fit enough but he’s just done very well.

“We’d never asked him to do that at home and he wasn’t asked to do it in his race last year, so that was him showing us that he has it in there.”

Charlton said there was no particular plan with Kikkuli but that he has an idea of his distance on pedigree. He won over seven furlongs on this occasion.

“Whenever Kind was mated to Sadler’s Wells [line], you got Frankel and Joyeuse was that Green Desert side, she was six furlongs,” he told Racing TV. “I guess Kingman on top of Kind, he probably wouldn’t stay much more than a mile.”


Credit: Candiese Lenferna

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SA OAKS (Gr 2) 2 450m

the third leg of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara.

Owner: Messrs D Chinsammy, GS Knowles, HP Sambor, Mrs Vanashree & Mr Anant Singh, Team Valor International (Nom: Mr B Irwin)

Trainer: Brett Crawford

Jockey: Kabelo Matsunyane

Breeder: Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein

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| Credit:
RIGHT! Kaidan Brewer partnered Woman’s World at Fairview last Friday for Kelly Mitchley
Pauline Herman

Johannesburg-based jockey Kaidan Brewer is the newest member of the Sporting Post sponsored jockey team.

The Pietermaritzburg-born Carter High graduate is one of South Africa’s promising young riding talents, and it’s evident in the two years since we last spoke to him, that the boy with stars in his eyes yesterday, has become a man on a mission today.

Kaidan, or ‘Brewski’, as some of us know him, comes of age on 21 June, and says that he is happy to have grown up in the last few years, and also taken on the routine suburban responsibilities of having bills to pay – like rent, car finance, insurance – and the rest!

“I loved my years at the SA Jockey Academy and enjoyed the camaraderie. But it is an obviously protected environment, so one has a slightly rosy view of the real world and related pressures. Living in my own place now, and having commitments, without apron strings to hang on to, is a refreshing motivator, and I’m loving life,” he adds maturely as he chatted to his new sponsors earlier this week.

Talk of apron strings naturally brings up the topic of family – an important focal zone for the Brewer clan. The talented rider has always said that he places a lot of the credit for his early success at the door of his parents.

“As I think we touched on when we spoke some years back, I have always known that I had no excuses not to succeed. My parents worked hard. We lived in good areas, and I had a quality education. My older sister Kiara and I were always encouraged to do well. It sure makes a difference and is a beneficial cushion as we pursue our careers.”

His Dad Andrew, a former owner and now his son’s proud Agent, works for SASSA. Mom Claudelle is an HR Manager for a large corporate.

We put it to Kaidan that he is a jockey who couldn’t ever fire his Agent!

“No question!” he laughs.

“But I would never want to. Dad is my number 1 supporter. We talk every day. We analyse every ride together. Even the winners. They are resident in Pietermaritzburg, so I am independent up here on the Highveld. I could never wish for a better mentor or role model.”

Kaidan observes that he has learnt, with Dad’s guidance in double quick time, that every jockey is effectively a business unit on his own.

“One has to give a lot of thought to finding a balance between growing organically at your home base, or travelling and increasing your work-rate, which comes with exposure and opportunities, if you are making the grade. There are economic considerations to balance against it – for example, air tickets are not cheap. And when one is out of province, workriding at regular yards needs to be sacrificed. I work constantly on my communication, and also apply my mind to trying to provide trainers with sensible feedback after work and raceriding,” he adds.

He says that he has been fortunate to enjoy support from the likes of veteran Alec Laird, Tony Peter, Robin Klaasen, and Lucky Houdalakis, out at the Vaal.

“I’d like to be racing down in KZN and Gqeberha regularly, as well as riding work seven days a week here in Gauteng! But one step at a time,” he laughs.

It’s been a winding road since Kaidan broke the ice on Monday 7 December 2020 in a modest Apprentice Handicap at Hollywoodbets Greyville, on the Foxwedge gelding Roy’s Magic for Kumaran Naidoo.

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Behind him there were names like Luke Ferraris, Kabelo Matsunyane and Kyle Strydom – all upwardly mobile young jockeys today, who are set to make their mark on the game.

We asked how Kaidan copes with the ups and downs of racing.

“I have found that setbacks and challenges make one stronger. And racing is the one sport, where as a jockey, for instance, you are losing far more than you are ever winning. For me, maintaining a 10% win strike-rate is a minimum goal. Simple mathematics means then that I am losing 90% of the time. In no sport on earth, is 90% losing, acceptable! But that’s why racing attracts unique sportsmen with tough mental outlooks.”

So does he make use of a sports psychologist?

“No. I have my family support, and my Dad, or Agent, to bounce things off. He is a wise owl. I stay in prime shape physically, and just go out to do my best on every horse I ride. So I can sleep well at night.”

And weight?

“My weight has actually stabilised as I have matured. I can ride at 54kgs, with sufficient

notice. I am fortunate to be in that position as I can’t imagine how tough dieting and wasting must be. I take my hat off to my colleagues who endure that,” he observes.

We ask about feature horses for the season.

“Every jockey is looking to link up with a few good horses, that will carry your feature winning aspirations for the season. I have ridden a few – maybe Mr Laird’s Rule Book, who I won the Caradoc Gold Cup with on Champions Day, is one. I have an idea that he may be headed for the Gold Bowl on the Championships Finale Day. He stays well!

And where does Kaidan Brewer see himself in the next few years?

“I am going to aim high and say Hong Kong would be where I’d like to be! I love their racing, and it’s just a great show. But for now, I need to build my brand, work hard and ride winners. I also want to make the Sporting Post proud and carry the banner with success. Thank you for welcoming me to join your team. It means a lot. Onwards and upwards!”

We wish Kaidan every success and look forward to supporting him on his ride to greater things.


Credit: Candiese Lenferna

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Tristan Godden gets low to hold off Imilenzeyokudududuma (Athandiwe Mgudlwa) as Narina Trogon stays on gamely Credit: Candiese Lenferna


A great advertisement for buying second hand on the BSA monthly online sales, the Drakenstein bred 4yo Narina Trogon made it two stakes feature victories on the trot when he benefitted from a superbly judged ride by Tristan Godden to win the R150 000 World Sports Betting Listed Sledgehammer at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday.

The Sporting Post- sponsored Godden played his five opponents on the break when he took the open-mouthed tightly held 4yo to the head of affairs as the field dawdled down the back straight, and then turned the 1750m contest into a sprint for home.

With the jockey aware that there was little pace evident, and the Miller team wary of the 1750m, Narina Trogon was expected to be dropped out, but at the 300m with the pack closing in, it was a sweetly judged outcome as the former Cape-based gelding dug deep to hold off the late finishing Imilenzeyokududuma (4-1) by a diminishing 0,30 lengths in a time of 109,12 secs.

This was an exacta for Sporting Postsponsored riders, with Athandiwe Mgudlwa coming withing a heartbeat of getting the Hollywoodbets runner home.

The winner was bred by Drakenstein Stud, who raced him in the Cape with Candice BassRobinson for the first part of his career, where he picked up 2 wins from 11 starts, including the 2023 non black-type Newlands Stakes.

He has now won 4 races with 5 places from 15 starts for stakes of R436 325.

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Drakenstein sold Narina Trogon on the BSA September 2023 online sale, where he was purchased by Pound Bloodstock on behalf of Morgan Govender for R390 000.

The winner is a son of late multiple champion

Silvano (Lomitas) out of the five-time winning champion Beach Beauty (Dynasty). This is the family of, amongst others, recently exported dual Gr1 winner Beach Bomb, Wild Coast, Rex Union and Amanzimtoti.


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Credit: Candiese Lenferna
17 APRIL 2024 | 215 KZN Breeders at Nationals ‘24 Lot 39 f. Futura -Alsflamingbeauty Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 200 c. Potala Palace - Kahula Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 292 c. William Longsword - Private Dancer Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 296 c. Danon Platina (JPN) - Rain Gal (AUS) Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 330 c. One World Silent Crusade Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 364 f. Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) - Strawberry Line Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 49 c. Act Of War - Arabian Empress Camargue Stud Lot 178 f. Querari (GER) - Hurricane Katrina Camargue Stud Lot 227 c. One World -Magic Penny Camargue Stud Lot 252 c. What A Winter -Monte Carlo Girl Camargue Stud Lot 365 c. Act Of War - Studio Blues Camargue Stud Lot 370 f. Legislate - Sunrise In Africa Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 393 c. Act Of War - Twice As Smart Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 82 c. Casper. Rafeef (AUS) - Cassie O’malley Bush Hill Stud Lot 213 f. Gunnery Sergeant. Act Of War - Lady Tatty Bush Hill Stud Lot 46 c. Erik The Red - Angel Witch Camargue Stud Lot 113. Cup Of George c. Act Of War -Demitasse (ZIM) Clifton Stud CC Lot 131. French War Lord c. Act Of War - Esterel Clifton Stud CC Lot 135. War Talk f. Act Of War - Fashion Talk Clifton Stud CC Lot 258. Mysterious Erik c. Erik The Red Mystic Rose Clifton Stud CC Lot 385. Red Amber f. Erik The Red Three Trees Clifton Stud CC Lot 99. Red Countess f. Erik The Red –Count To Ten Clilfon Stud as Agent Lot 183. 22ikati c. One World - Ikati Clilfon Stud as Agent Lot 309. Queen’s Pact f. Act Of War - Sameeha 309 E52 Clilfon Stud as Agent Lot 221. Cassandra f. Act Of War -Littleblacknumber Macrath as Agent Lot 304. f. Vercingetorix - Ruby Dancer Macrath as Agent Lot 392 c. Futura - Trip To Paris Camargue Stud Lot 5. Spanish Feud f. Act Of War - Valdovino Clifton Stud CC Lot 80. Fire Starter c. Fire Away (USA) Cascadia Clifton Stud CC Lot 102. Winter Warfare c. Act Of War - Covered In Snow Clifton Stud CC Lot 109. Titans Of War c. Act Of War - Dancing Queen Clifton Stud CC Lot 187. Civil War c. Act Of War - Indi Anna Summerview Stud Lot 271. Winter Wedding f. What A WinterOver The Anvil Summerview Stud Lot 283. Far Beyond f. Futura Polly’s Destiny Summerview Stud “Where Breeders And Owners Are Rewarded For Success!” Lot 42 f. Master Of My Fate - Amber Forever Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 95 c. New Predator (AUS) - Connect Me Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 120 c. New Predator (AUS) - Dusky Dancer Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Lot 185 f. Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) - Imperial Wish Blue Sky Thoroughbreds WITHDRAWN


Narina Trogon had his rating increased to 100 from 97 after winning the slowly run Listed World Sports Betting Sledgehammer over 1750m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday.

The Handicappers were of the view that second placed Imilenzeyokuduma made for the most suitable line horse here and he remained unchanged on a mark of 105.

There were no other rating increases in this race.

Pyromaniac was the only runner to receive a drop in ratings and is down to 100 from 101.

World Sports Betting Scarlet Lady (Listed)

The improving 3-year-old filly, Celtic Beauty has had her rating increased from 89 to 94 after winning the Listed World Sports Betting Scarlet Lady over 1750m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday.

Here it was third placed Ivy League who made for the most suitable line horse, and she remained on a mark of 98.

In rating the race this way Lucky Miss runs to her rating of 89, effectively making her a line horse as well.

No other runner receives a rating increase in the race.

Three runners received a drop in ratings, Kind Judy is down to 75 from 76, Sea Goddess goes to 82 from 83, and lastly Foreshore drops from 95 to 92.

East Cape Oaks (Listed)

Joy And Peace has had her rating adjusted to 97 from a rating of 92 after winning the Listed East Cape Oaks on the Fairview Polytrack over 2000m on Friday.

The Handicappers were of the view that third placed Public Benefit made for the most suitable line horse and she remained on a mark of 90.

The only other runner to receive a rating increase here was the runner-up Amazing Colours. She was rated to run last in this event off a pre-race rating of 76 and was adjusted to a rating of 92 for her 2nd place finish, beating the 90 rated line horse Public Benefit by 1.25 lengths at level weights.

There were no rating drops in the race.

Media Release by the NHA on Tuesday, 16 April 2024.

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I Am Maximus got the better of Delta Work to bag the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase for in-form combination, Paul Townend and Willie Mullins, at Aintree on Saturday.

Rachael Blackmore was in third on Minella Indo; Defending champion Corach Rambler fell at the first fence.

Speaking to ITV, I Am Maximus’ trainer Willie Mullins said : “I was more confident looking at Paul’s [Townend] body language. I thought he was a little bit far back and he was rubbing the fences, but Paul’s body language told me he’s happy. Aintree is the first race you see, it’s the first race everyone in racing wants to see. Fantastic stuff, you just couldn’t make it up.”

I Am Maximus was an emphatic winning 7/1

joint-favourite, storming clear of his rivals to give the all-conquering Mullins a second victory in the Aintree showpiece.

Successful with Hedgehunter 19 years ago, Mullins was responsible for eight of the 32 who headed to post in Liverpool, but I Am Maximus was well-touted to follow up last year’s success in the Irish Grand National.

An impressive tune-up in the Bobbyjo Chase saw punters latch onto the Grade One-winning eight-year-old and Paul Townend rode him with supreme confidence down the inner as I Am

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Paul Townend and I Am Maximus are big winners at Aintree on Saturday | Credit: HRI

Maximus showed no sign of previous jumping frailties.

In a race with early drama when defending champion Corach Rambler unshipped Derek Fox at the very first fence, there were a plethora still in contention heading down to two out, where I Am Maximus was inching into contention.

However, the complexion of the race would change at the elbow where I Am Maximus scooted clear of the Rachael Blackmoreridden Minella Indo and the staying-on Delta Work, who picked up second place in his third attempt at the famous race.

It was a first Grand National triumph for Townend, while owner JP McManus was striking at Aintree for the third time after Don’t Push It (2010) and Minella Times (2021).

McManus told ITV that he loves everything about the race.

“I love Liverpool, I love coming here. It’s a very special race amongst special people,” he added.

I Am Maximus jockey Paul Townend, speaking to ITV, said: “He got a little fright in the race, but he got his confidence back. I thought he’d pick up for me and he duly obliged. It was very special and he was very brave. It’s unique, it hasn’t really set in. It’s what every young boy with a pony wants to do.”

The Racing Post reported that no horse fell at the 30 fences and 21 of the 32-strong field completed the Grand National course, the highest number of finishers since 2005.

The last National to feature more than 21 finishers was in 1992, when it was won by Party Politics.

In October, Aintree and the Jockey Club announced a number of changes to the race, including a reduction in the number of runners to a maximum of 34 from 40, the movement of

the first fence 60 yards closer to the starting line and a standing start. For the first time in three runnings there were no fatalities.

Speaking on ITV, Ruby Walsh said: “It all looked to be a success. I know I enjoyed watching the race and it was a great showpiece for the sport. It’s how we advertise what we have and if that doesn’t convince people that it’s a wonderful sport, I’m not sure what will.”

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THE SALES Credit: Candiese Lenferna


The Grand National Festival got underway at Aintree on Thursday in memorable fashion for South African interests when the Hollywood Syndicate and Kieswetter family’s Barnane Stud owned grey Il Etait Temps stepped up in trip under Paul Townend and strolled in to win the Close Brothers Manifesto Gr1 Novices’ Chase by a widening 9 lengths.

Labelled a ‘horse made of iron’ by his trainer, Il Etait Temps has been a model of consistency and was registering his second Gr1 success (and third overall) from 3 starts this year on ground that added to the demands on stamina.

Loping along behind the five strong field for much of the journey, Il Etait Temps started eating up the ground ahead of the final fence and left them for dead as he drew away impressively to beat Ginny’s Destiny and the favourite Grey Dawning, who were frankly in a different race.

While the blinkers are likely to be removed for his next start, Willie Mullins, who enjoyed a great start to the exciting three days, and is within striking distance of British Championship honours, said that he ‘loved the manner of Il Etait Temps’ win.’

“I was really taken with how he walked around the parade ring beforehand. I haven’t seen him as loose for a while, and I just thought if he could run like he walked, he was going to run a big race,” he added.

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| Credit: Supplied
Now this is power – Il Etait Temps

But even the mild-mannered veteran conditioner conceded that he was worried about Il Etait Temps’ almost lackadaisical saunter behind the field for the first circuit of the 4000m event.

“He just seemed very behind himself – I don’t think he’s going to need his hood in future. But he warmed to his task and jumped well later in the race, and just kept galloping. I think going out in trip is more important than track. He did win over two miles, but his performance here over two and a half was fantastic.”

He observed that horses do get tired at this end of the season and Il Etait Temps had taken a bit of time to warm up but was happy that his charge was going to improve as he goes further out in trip and gets older.

“He’s a fine horse, he’s not your big, 16.3 (hands) chaser, but he turns up for every fight and is made of iron. He turns up and there’s never an issue with him,” said Mullins.

Barnane Stud’s Craig Kieswetter was understandably thrilled with the outcome!

“Once again the little grey puts together a huge performance with grit, determination, and a whole lot of heart. We were slightly concerned with how he was travelling during the first circuit but he clearly found some rhythm and definitely enjoyed the step up in trip. It’s bizarre to thing

that Il Etait Temps has now won three Grade 1 races (and placed in more) – he is giving the whole team one heck of a ride! As things stand he has an entry in the Punchestown Festival at the beginning of May but we will have a chat with Willie to see if he runs. As always, we are delighted to be involved with the Heffer Family and a big well done to Peter, Anna, and Ross Doyle,” said Craig Kieswetter

The partnership between the Kieswetter and Heffer families has gone front strength to strength in South Africa and the UK, and they also have Karia Des Blaises entered in the Champion 4yo Hurdle on the Ballymore Festival Family Day, which brings the curtain down on the Punchestown Festival on 4 May.

The Hollywood Syndicate’s Devin Heffer congratulated their partners Barnane Stud and trainer Willie Mullins’ team and labelled it ‘an incredible day’.

“This little grey with the big heart is such a character and so special to all of us. He is improving all the time, and with three Gr1 victories under his belt, it’s really exciting to think that his very best days are likely still ahead of him!’ added Devin Heffer.

A gelded son of Jukebox Jury, Il Etait Temps is out of Une Des Source and was bred in France by Emmanuel Clayeux.


Credit: Candiese Lenferna

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The unthinkable is now almost inevitable, as Willie Mullins looks set to be crowned champion trainer in both the UK and Ireland this season.

The prospect of emulating the legendary Vincent O’Brien has loomed large ever since Mullins once again commanded the Cheltenham Festival, winning both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup.

The 17-time Irish champion though, played down the prospect, with one proviso – unless he won the £1 million Grand National.

I Am Maximus was sent off the 7-1 favourite under Paul Townend, one of eight runners for Mullins, and he didn’t disappoint storming home, eight-lengths clear at the line.

Victory with I Am Maximus put Mullins £52,807 clear of Skelton, who is in turn £75,259 ahead of Nicholls in the title race.

Willie Mullins may now have taken the lead, but Dan Skelton forecast on Sunday the race for the UK trainers’ championship would go to Sandown on the 27th of April, the last day of the jumps season.

“We’ll have to go for it now. We needed to have a really good National and we have. It’s game on now, isn’t it. You can expect to see us at Sandown, Ayr and wherever!” said Mullins.

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Willie Mullins – all set for victory! | Credit: Supplied

“I’d love to win the championship. Vincent O’Brien has done it in the 1950s and it is something different to do.”

“JP McManus (owner of I Am Maximus) has been telling me for the past couple of years to have a real go, but I always think just mind yourself at home rather than spread yourself too thin and leave yourself wide open to have a bad season at home.”

He took the pre-emptive action last week of putting horses in Saturday’s Coral Scottish Grand National and the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown. Now it’s full steam ahead. The Irish supremo has nominated runners in all eight carded events at Ayr and will surely have do the same for the final meeting at Sandown.

His six-year-old Macdermott is favourite for the Coral Scottish Grand National which has a first prize of £112,540. That would provide an unassailable lead.

A winner at Fairyhouse two weeks ago, Macdermott is one of ten entries for Mullins and would be bidding to give the trainer a maiden success in the 4m handicap chase.

On the final day of the jumps season at Sandown, the Closutton stable have 13 entered in the bet365 Gold Cup led by Irish Grand National seventh Nick Rockett.

A really interesting and exciting ending to the UK jumps season of 2024.

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Excited ahead of a FWD Champions Day reunion with champion Golden Sixty on 28 April, Vincent Ho gained vital confidence and fitness with his first double in almost three months at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Side-lined after a fall on 24 January, Ho returned to race riding at Happy Valley on Wednesday and, following a couple of luckless rides, was elated after successfully joining forces with long-time ally Francis Lui aboard Baby Crystal in the Class 3 Dongsinan Handicap and Holy Lake in the Class 3 Dongcheng District Handicap.

Determined to rebuild the momentum that delivered 25 wins before he was injured, Ho’s focus immediately shifted to Golden Sixty’s pursuit of a record-extending fourth HK$22

million Gr1 FWD Champions Mile victory in two weeks.

“It’s great to be back. It’s been three months and I’ve slowly been building my confidence back up,” Ho, a four-time winner of the Tony Cruz Award as Hong Kong’s leading homegrown jockey, said.

“I’ll keep going and keep building up for Champions Day. That is the big day. Hopefully everything goes well up to then and I’m just excited to be back.

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Vincent Ho seals a double aboard Holy Lake at Sha Tin | Credit: HKJC

I’ve got a nice horse (Golden Sixty) to be back on.

“There’s a few good horses from Hong Kong and Japan, in the FWD Champions Mile, so it will be exciting. I’m looking forward to it and we’ll be ready by then.

“Thanks to Mr Lui and Mr Fownes for keeping me on horses with good chances. I’ve been trying to win since I came back to Happy Valley, I need to thank Mr Lui and Mr Fownes for their support – it’s not easy, but I’m getting my confidence back.

“I’ve just got to keep riding better and better.”

Lui also scored with King Miles in the Class 4 Beijing Clubhouse Anniversary Cup Handicap to commence his treble and reduce Pierre Ng’s lead in the 2023/24 Hong Kong trainers’ championship to five – 55 to 50 – and fan hopes of a first title for the veteran horseman.

“I was looking for some winners and I will keep trying my best,” Lui said.

Jockey Hugh Bowman was impressed by King Miles – a son of Exceed And Excel – who broke through for his first win at his third start.

“I like the horse – I’ve had a bit to do with him. He disappointed me last start, he had the perfect gate, but he just ran away with me and finished accordingly.

“The pace was pretty solid today and there was a bit of drama as well, with riderless Lucky Quality, but he withstood all that and I think you’ll see a better horse when he gets over further but he’s not ready for that yet. He’s still learning his trade and today was a step in the right direction.”

Armed with fresh talent, Jimmy Ting enjoyed his best day of the season with a double through Thunder Blink and Lo Pan Spirit.

234 | 17 APRIL 2024
Jimmy Ting celebrates a double | Credit: HKJC

Thunder Blink claimed the first Griffin race of the season when the Ribchester colt finished powerfully under Jerry Chau to claim the Wangfujing Plate, clocking 56.42s to down Toronado two-year-old La Forza by a length.

“I think the horse needs longer distances, so to get this win, I’m very happy,” Ting said. “The fast pace suited him. Later I think 1400m will be more suitable for him. Hopefully he can win one more time, in Griffin races.”

Ting then combined with Harry Bentley and Charm Spirit three-year-old Lo Pan Spirit, to clinch the Class 4 Hong Kong Lions Cup Handicap.

David Hayes continued a strong season with a brace through Metro Warrior and Lucky Encounter. Derek Leung drove Metro Warrior to victory in the Class 4 Dongzhimen Handicap. A seven-year-old, Metro Warrior has scored all four of his Hong Kong wins down Sha Tin’s straight 1000m course.

Lucky Encounter earned a HK$1 million PPG Bonus for an all-the-way triumph in the Class 2

Jinbao Street Handicap under Andrea Atzeni, who completed a superb weekend after riding Circle Of Fire to victory in the Gr1 Sydney Cup at Royal Randwick in Australia on Saturday.

Hayes has 37 wins for the campaign, his best haul since the dual champion trainer returned to Hong Kong for the 2020/21 season.

Cody Mo-trained Urban Triumph broke through at his 10th attempt, winning the Class 5 Dengshikou Handicap for Derek Leung before Brazen Beau three-year-old Winning Gold’s easy victory in the second section of the Class 4 Chaoyangmen Handicap for Chris So and Keagan De Melo.

So, made it two wins for the afternoon when Owners’ Praise triumphed under Lyle Hewitson in the first section of the Class 4 Chaoyangmen Handicap.

After seven top-three finishes this season, Beauty Fit finally got his reward with victory in the Class 3 Jianguomen Handicap under Antoine Hamelin for trainer John Size.

17 APRIL 2024 | 235
Presentation for the Beijing Clubhouse Anniversary Cup | Credit: HKJC
17 APRIL 2024 | 237 results up to: 2024-04-17 TRAINERS Name Other Places Place % Win Stake (R) Total Stakes (R) Runs Wins Win% 2nd 3rd Mr S J Snaith 761 85 11.2 87 88 138 313 41.1 9,740,819 14,845,600 Mr M F de Kock 429 56 13.1 64 49 80 193 45.0 6,025,938 11,403,813 Mr S G Tarry 495 60 12.1 55 63 131 249 50.3 6,168,750 11,270,388 Mrs C L Bass-Robinson 502 65 12.9 60 56 117 233 46.4 7,392,188 11,048,613 Mr B J Crawford 669 82 12.3 86 71 114 271 40.5 6,483,506 10,907,213 JOCKEYS Name Other Places Place % Win Stake (R) Total Stakes (R) Runs Wins Win% 2nd 3rd Mr R D Fourie 1147 254 22.1 188 131 251 570 49.7 17,368,000 26,581,844 Mr M A Yeni 1102 146 13.2 159 131 255 545 49.5 12,973,125 19,057,250 Mr G J Lerena 601 119 19.8 102 95 112 309 51.4 9,797,063 14,178,838 Mr C J Habib 882 106 12.0 87 107 174 368 41.7 8,312,188 12,620,650 Mr C Zackey 947 96 10.1 123 104 204 431 45.5 8,537,500 13,888,856 BREEDERS Name Places B.T. Winrs B.T. Wins Total Stakes (R) Runrs Runs AEPR Wnrs Wins Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein 305 1584 76,140 130 197 42.6 672 12 17 23,222,550 Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert) 185 856 118,644 77 125 41.6 382 16 22 21,949,144 Varsfontein Stud 156 821 89,967 65 91 41.7 348 10 13 14,034,894 Klawervlei Stud 234 1207 50,270 86 111 36.8 481 2 2 11,763,275 Ridgemont Highlands 138 683 69,138 61 88 44.2 297 1 1 9,540,994 Wnrs/ Rnrs% SIRES Name Places B.T. Winrs B.T. Wins Total Stakes (R) Runrs Runs AEPR Wnrs Wins Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) 216 1039 88,922 86 121 39.8 447 7 13 19,207,188 Vercingetorix 185 884 87,037 96 140 51.9 375 7 8 16,101,888 Querari (GER) 173 908 64,440 73 97 42.2 395 7 8 11,148,100 Master Of My Fate 179 913 61,042 73 108 40.8 381 4 4 10,926,600 Rafeef (AUS) 124 577 80,953 48 74 38.7 258 7 9 10,038,163 Wnrs/ Rnrs% See all the detailed standings - Click here

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