By Sarah Whitelaw
Brisk trading continued Jan. 25 in the concluding session of the two-day 2013 Cape Premier Yearling Sale taking place in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa.
This was just the third year that the sale has been held, and it continues to be popular with buyers and vendors alike. Ongoing success with such grade I winning graduates as Soft Falling Rain, War Horse, and The Hangman saw increasing focus placed on this boutique sale. International buyers, such as Kirkwood Stables, Ed Dunlop, Shadwell Stables, and Tina Rau, continued to pledge their support for the event.
The 2013 aggregate dropped from R107.835 million (US$11,979,862) to R98.335 million ($10,924,466), but considering that the sale offered 100 fewer horses this was hardly surprising.
An increasing demand for high-quality yearlings saw the sale's average rise from R402,369 ($44,700) to R484,408 ($53,815). The sales topper also increased from R2.8 million ($311,064) paid in 2012, to R3.25 million ($367,029) this year.
No fewer than 19 lots fetched at least R1 million ($111,094), and four yearlings fetched at least R2 million ($222,188).
Just 16 horses failed to find buyers; in 2012 49 lots failed to find new homes.
Mayfair Speculators were the leading buyers, purchasing 21 lots for R14.255 million ($1,583,650).
Leading vendors Klawervlei Stud sold 32 yearlings for an aggregate of R15.445 million ($1,715,852). Highlands Farm Stud were the leading vendors by average; their 18 lots to sell averaged an impressive R847,222 ($94,121).
Leading sire by aggregate was the Drakenstein Stud-based Trippi. The son of End Sweep sold 24 yearlings for a gross total of R15.13 million ($1,680,858).
Top sire by average, five or more sold, was the late, great Jet Master. South Africa's greatest homebred sire sold seven lots for an average price of R839,285 ($93,239).
The sale's topper came on the first day, when lot 27, was knocked down to Adriaan Van Vuurenn for R3.25 million ($367,029) on opening day. A Silvano colt, the bay named Racing Free was consigned by Maine Chance Farms. The colt, an own brother to the smart filly Romantic Moon, is a descendant of the prolific mare, Prayer Bell.
The sale's top priced filly was a daughter of Trippi consigned by Klawervlei Stud. Named Real Princess, the striking chestnut catalogued as lot 12, was bought by Form Bloodstock.
Day two saw a flashy gray son of two former South African champions top proceedings.
Lot 150, consigned by Highlands Farm, is a son of two former group I July Handicap winners, In Dynasty and Dancer's Daughter. The colt's famous dam, Dancer's Daughter, dead-heated with the legendary Pocket Power in the 2008 July Handicap, and is regarded as one of the better fillies to have competed locally since 2000. Named Imibala, the gray colt, who is his dam's second foal, was knocked down for R2,000,000 ($222,188).
Local bloodstock agent John Freeman, who signed for the session's sale topper, was thrilled with his purchase, commenting, "The colt resembles Dancer's Daughter more than his sire (Dynasty). I liked the idea of buying the progeny of two July winners. How often has that occurred?"
Robin Bruss, CEO of Cape Thoroughbred Sales, was delighted with the sales' results, saying, "This sale has really matured since its inception in 2011. The initial teething problems have been resolved, and this year saw the sale being run by a well co-ordinated team.
"It was decided to reduce the catalog to 240 horses this year, and this has clearly worked very well. The average is well up on last year's sale, and even the gross total is not far off last year's total, despite 100 fewer lots."
A full list of results are available online at www.capethoroughbresales.co.za.