The recently concluded National Yearling Sale has shown that no matter how tough the economic climate is, buyers will pay top money for quality bloodstock. Despite the ravages of Covid on the South African economy, there was lively bidding on several lots, giving hope that racing and breeding can survive the tough economic times we are living in. Although buyers and agents tended to stick with the Cape-based stallions on the whole, there was interest in KZN stallions New Predator, Act Of War, Willow Magic as well as champion two time winner, Rabada, whose small offering of two lots went for R100 000.
It was the Cape-based stallions though who garnered most of the buyer’s interest, and this was reflected in the prices and aggregates with the top ten stallions all getting over R200 000 for their progeny. The top two colts of the sale were by Maine Chance stallions, Lot 211, a colt named Celtic Chief, consigned by Mauritzfontein, by Vercingetorix out of Tamdiid (an unraced daughter of Horse Chestnut) went to Sabine Plattner Farming for R3 million, and the colt Lot 226, Forest God, by the late stalwart champion Maine Chance sire Silvano, from the Group placed Touch The Sky, herself a half-sister to champions Rabiya and Bela Bela, went to Form Bloodstock.
Recently acquired Maine Chance stallion Erupt (by Dubawi) out of a top class Group winning, and multiple Gr1 performing, race mare Mare Nostrum, herself a daughter of the late, former world-leading broodmare sire Caerleon, proved popular with buyers with 13 lots sold for an average of R246.586 and an overall average of R3 205.000.
Perennially popular stallion Querari, already the Champion Sire of 2YO’s in 2018/2019 and with ten of his yearlings making more than R500 000 in the sales ring in recent times, he once again proved popular with at the sales, with his progeny averaging R324.286.00.
However, it was Maine Chance Champion Vercingetorix who once proved just why he is such a potent stallion, both on the track and in the sales ring. Second only to Gimmethegreenlight, he averaged an impressive R623293 and averaged R25 555 000. It was a “red letter” weekend for Vercingetorix as his progeny gave him two Group wins on Champions day at Turffontein when his son, the gelding Astrix beat out a top field, including Group winners KommedtIeding, MK’s Pride and Sparkling Water to take thePremier Champions Challenge (Gr.1). Then Nebraas took out The Citizen Gold Bowl over 3200m, proving once again just how potent Vercingetorix is when it comes to getting winners over a variety of distances.
It’s still a bit early to categorically state that a revival is underway, but the portents are encouraging, and its hoped that the National Yearling Sale will be the catalyst to reviving South Africa’s breeding and racing scene.