The always innovative Pippa Mickleburgh of Avontuur Stud was at her famous hospitality lounge at 08h00 on Sunday morning to welcome the first viewers at the CTICC.
She chuckles at being asked, “what’s new at Avontuur” ahead of next week’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
She remarked: “Our recipe stays the same – peace, tranquillity and space for our horses. And our pastures are always green, we’ve had good fresh water management through the drought.”
Avontuur has an excellent, 11-yearling draft at CPYS and Mickleburgh provided notes on all of them.
They’re off the mark early with Lot 2, Bequest, by Oratorio and she said: “I normally like a later start, after the buyers have settled down, but Bequest does come up after Legal Eagle’s full-sister (Lot 1), so we’ll take our chances. She’s an athletic filly, quite feminine, should race early.”
Lot 31 is Southern Charm whose dam Count The Cash needed an upgrade on size and substance and to that end was sent to Flower Alley. “We got the foal we wanted, a strapping, high quality filly.”
Lot 88 is Pray For Rain, representing the sought after National Assembly/Storm Cat cross. He’s a smart colt by Soft Falling Rain and the VAR Mare Kitco, speed on speed from the immediate family of Princess Victoria, Princess Royal and Cup of Grace.
Tempting Fate (Lot 116), is described as “absolutely awesome”. He’s a son of Master Of My Fate and the speedy Gr3 Tommy Hotspur winner Miss October, who had few peers over 1000m when she was racing at her peak. “He’s good-boned, big and strong, wonderful to look at,” said Mickleburgh.
Silvano’s daughter Zanetto (Lot 119) was born from Muamba, a half-sister to Mambo Mime who has already produced two promising winners from three runners. “She’s a tall, scopy filly that will need a bit of time, but being by Silvano she’s an investment opportunity.”
Next up, Lot 133, the well-named colt Voyeur (VAR x Peep Show), the first foal of a decent, stakes-winning mare. “He has fantastic size and substance for a first foal, which must come from the Ideal World/Fort Wood cross in his female line.”
Lot 152 is Delta Queen, by VAR from the champion race mare and international performer River Jetez. “What can say about this one, it’s a question of picking your own adjectives. She’s beautiful with a kind temperament, she just has it all,” enthused Mickleburgh.
Storm Chaser (Lot 168) is a son of What A Winter and Sea Of Calm (Quiet American). “He’s a medium-sized colt, but he’s nice, we like him.”
Spree (Lot 214), is a daughter of Philanthropist and Valeta (VAR) a full-sister to the stakes winner She’s A Giver and grey, like her sister. “She gets the grey from her grandam, the top race mare Sarabande. We normally keep the fillies from that line so this is a rare commodity, an opportunity for owners and breeders.”
Lot 206 is a powerful, short-cannoned son of Var and Torra Bay named Camps Bay, who is, according to Mickleburgh, a splitting image of the farm’s hugely successful resident stallion.
There was an earlier report on Avenir (Lot 215), Mickleburgh’s entry into a competition for the best-looking Futura yearling last year and the one that closes the Avontuur draft. “He’s big and strong, looks like his dad, a smart colt!”