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Winter Is Coming – But There is Hope on the Horizon

Four-Day Festival for Cape Course

CTS Cape Premier Sale

CTS Flagship Sale (hamishNIVENPhotography)

Since their inception in 2011, the Cape Thoroughbred Sales company has established itself as a firm fixture on the local sales and racing landscape. They started off as they meant to go on, famously choosing one of Cape Town’s statement venues to host the inauguration of their statement event, the 2012 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

The group has quickly expanded their repertoire to two yearling sales and a Ready To Run book, with their catalogues growing in strength and depth year on year. They have never been afraid to back either their events or the sale products, first adding their name to the prestigious Cape Guineas, before breaking new ground and establishing their own CTS incentive races, including the hotly anticipated first $1 million race in Africa scheduled for January 2016. Their big, bold initiatives, new sponsorship partnerships and statement events have added colour, excitement and very welcome supplementary stakes to the Cape racing calendar.

The historic Lanzerac Hotel & Spa joined forces with CTS and local racing, supplying a touch of elegance and history when they added their brand to the 2013 Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes at Kenilworth. On Tuesday, 27 May 2014 the beautiful Stellenbosch landmark was the setting for the formal announcement of the group’s latest initiative.

Clyde Basel was, as always, a polished and accomplished MC, welcoming the strong complement of breeders, trainers, owners and racing personalities as well as adding thanks on behalf of the Operators for the continued support and contributions by both CTS and The Lanzerac Hotel & Spa. There was an expectant hush as CTS COO Adrian Todd took to the mic to announce that negotiations with Western Cape Racing Association Chairman Vidrik Thurling had borne fruit in the creation of a new event on the Cape racing calendar. CTS and the Lanzerac have forged a partnership with local equine insurance group KUDA to create a four-day highlight to mark the beginning of spring as well as the kick off of the Cape summer racing season. The vision is for an inclusive event for breeders, trainers, investors and racing enthusiasts alike, set at our friendly country course in Durbanville.

New Initiative

Billed as a “complete thoroughbred racehorse experience” the four-day festival marries the excitement and anticipation of a sale with the promise of success of the finished product. It comprises the CTS Ready To Run breeze-ups at Durbanville Racecourse on Thursday, 2nd October, followed by viewings on Friday, 3rd October. The Gr3 Matchem Stakes has traditionally been regarded as the Cape season programme opener. The Kuda sponsorship has grown the country course race day into a fun and friendly event and slots neatly on Saturday, 4th October. The race has an impressive honour roll with South Africa’s darling on the international stage, Variety Club, just one of the illustrious names to grace the scroll.

Capetown Noir wins the Matchem Stakes

Capetown Noir (Karl Neisius) – an easy winner of the 2013 Matchem Stakes (Equine Edge)

The Lanzerac Hotel & Spa, who found their sponsorship of the 2013 Ready To Run Stakes ‘addictive’ announced that they are stepping in to partner Kuda in adding their brand to the Matchem’s fillies equivalent in the Gr3 Diana Stakes, to be held on the same day. The Diana Stakes has an equally illustrious history and honour roll, with recent winners including Ebony Flyer, Super Elegant and Comtesse Dubois. The collaboration provides a colts and fillies feature race double, which is sure to please racing fans as well as endorsing Durbanville with some well-deserved prestige and feature race kudos.

The day’s race card will be followed by the opening session of the Ready To Run sales, with the remainder of the catalogue going under the hammer on Sunday, 5th October.

Sponsors, operators and CTS are to be congratulated on an enterprising initiative. Racing focus may have moved to KZN while the Cape battens down the hatches for the winter months, but at least Cape fans have something new and exciting to look forward to in the forthcoming season.

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