South African Sale Gross, Average Rise

Toreador colt is most expensive horse sold in first session.

(Edited Bloodstock South Africa press release)

Trainer Dominic Zaki and his patrons were the keenest buyers Aug. 14 during a surprisingly lively first session of the Emperors Palace national sale of 2-year-olds held in South Africa the TBA Sales Complex in Gosforth Park. Zaki secured the two top lots, helping to boost the gross revenue to  R8.37 million ($1,044,519 in U.S. funds), an increases from last year’s R8.2 million. The average price of R82,871 ($10,342) was up 3% from 2008.

Zaki purchased a Toreador colt consigned by Hemel ‘n Aarde Stud for the session’s top price of R380,000 ($47,421). The colt will race Danie Durant, Greg Blank, and Larry Nestadt.

“He’s a very well balanced colt that stands over ground,’’ said Zaki of the yearling, which was well-behaved and gentle when he was taken out of his stable for photos late at night.

Zaki’s high regard for his recent debut winner Massimiliano led him to The Alchemy Stud, at which Massimiliano’s half-brother Metro Man stood waiting. Durant, Leon van der Walt, Riaan Strydom, Julie Meyer, and breeder George Kahan put together R325,000 ($40,558) to purchase the colt.

 “This went against the worldwide trend of dropping figures,” said Bloodstock South Africa’s chief executive Jan Naude. “We did remarkably well, and if we stay on an even keel for two more days we’d be delighted.’’