Champion trainer Charles Laird and Singapore-bound Basil Marcus both purchased “exactly what they came for” at the three-day Emperors Palace National Two-Year-Old Sale, which drew to a close at the TBA Sales Complex at Gosforth Park Aug. 16.
Laird’s acquisition of the strong bay colt Hollywood Ridge (Lot 179, R550,000; approximately $68,400 in U.S. funds) topped the auction, with Marcus’s purchases of colts Montechino (Lot 381, R500,000; $62,200) and Al Roberto (Lot 212, R425,000; $52,900) second and third highest, respectively. This helped to ensure an excellent sale aggregate of R30,270,00 ($3.7 million), which was 13% up on last year’s figure.
In Laird’s view, Hollywood Ridge, by Tiger Ridge from a highly rated Fort Wood mare, was the best horse on the sale and he said: “I trained a very good filly from his second dam who never raced due to injury. He was bought for Marcus and Ingrid Jooste.’’
An excited Marcus said: “I bought five horses I liked, all are completely different types of thoroughbreds and I am very chuffed. I didn’t specifically set out to buy progeny of Captain Al, but as it happened I was impressed by both Montechino and Al Roberto.’’
He added: “While Montechino is a very late foal, he is a beautiful walker, already an impressive specimen. Al Roberto is a rangy horse with a lot of scope. I am looking forward to training them.’’
Bloodstock South Africa’s chief executive Jan Naude was very pleased with the outcome and said "the sale kept up its early momentum, and although we had more horses to sell, the clearance rate of 92% was well up on last year with fewer lots passing through the ring unsold. This was a good event for buyers and vendors, certainly most encouraging for the sales that lie ahead.’’
BSA’s sales manager Caroline Simpson echoed this and said “the results were much better than expected. The breeders let their stock go at realistic prices and smaller trainers could also participate and buy some stock.
“I didn’t expect a top price of R550 000, but I must say that Hollywood Ridge is a truly magnificent young horse who well deserves that price tag.’’
Klipdrif Stud was the top vendor by aggregate, selling 24 lots for R2.8 million (348,000), while Dominic Zaki topped the buyers’ list with eights lots bought for R1.5 million ($186,600).