Ever thought about the thrill of shopping with a blank cheque at the CTICC for the next big horse?
Do you aim for the Trippi filly with the pedigree with no peer or the Vardy half-brother. Or simply buy up all the Rafeef progeny on offer? Or even go for a liquorice all-sorts bundle of diversity?
Shuffled to a new time slot out of Met week, but neatly placed in the box seat between the Magic Millions Sale in Australia and Karaka in New Zealand, the Cape Premier Yearling Sale looks likely to again boast a mixed buying bench of globetrotters and locals.
While an undoubted promotional banner for hosts CTS and our hard-pressed breeders, the announcement of the impending EU audit and the possible washing away of our export protocol nightmare will be a boon for international buyers – and it’s an unquestionable sweetener for locals looking at a lifechanger, too.
Leading South African stallion manager and bloodstock consultant John Freeman says that he feels it is something of a misnomer that the international bench are focussed purely on export.
“My experience is that the overseas buyer on average loves to race here in South Africa. The experience of what the Cape has to offer, and the quality of our bloodstock, make it a winner for them. If one looks at the fact that 30% of the buyers at the National Yearling Sale were international, and yet only 3 or 4 horses have been exported, underlines that fact,” he added.
Another man who has been in the bloodstock game for longer than he cares to remember is Lynton Ryan, once described by a senior trainer as ‘a keen purchaser of fine bloodstock for decades and an under-utilised jewel of the industry’.
We asked Lynton what he would do with a blank cheque next Thursday.
“A horse is the sum of all its parts, defined by pedigree, physical attributes, demeanour and locomotion. I have only seen most of them on paper, so at this point I can only deal with pedigree – that is with the exception of #174, a half-brother to the exciting L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate runner Vardy, which I have had the pleasure of seeing. Then #99 is a Silvano colt from the same family, and # 219, a colt by Dynasty out of Hellaborous Blue. They would probably top my dream purchases list with your blank cheque!”
He said that if these ticked the conformation and general movement boxes, he felt that they would unquestionably be top of many buyer’s shortlists.
Lynton said that if one was considering purchasing a filly, we would have to factor both her racing and paddock career into the decision.
“The buyer would have to ensure that he was dealing with a top broodmare sire as a start. We have no more Captain Al’s, so I have moved focus to the globally-acclaimed Trippi. And we need look no further than #120. A daughter of Var’s Equus champion and multiple Gr1 winner, Val De Ra, she has no peer in the catalogue!”
A newer generation and, with respect, a more youthful version of his longer established counterparts, Chris Santos of EIB said that if we handed him the blank cheque, he’d keep it simple and purchase all the progeny of Ridgemont Highlands first- season sire, Rafeef.
“I was lucky enough to see him in the flesh about two months back and he didn’t disappoint. He has the class of a classic horse, yet he was a Gr1 sprinter! His page doesn’t disappoint either. There will be plenty of demand for the ‘Thunder From Down Under’!”
Chris said the majority of his clientele are looking for horses that they can export at some stage, and he felt the likes of #106 fitted the bill.
“Zoffany is a stallion in demand. We purchased this mare’s Uncle Mo colt at the sale last year but unfortunately lost him in a freak accident. He was maturing into a really nice individual and the mare has thrown a Gr1 winner. Then you’d be forgiven if you thought #118 was at Magic Millions! He is by a Redoute’s Choice stallion out of a More Than Ready mare.”
Chris added that one ‘did not find better bloodlines’ than #136 – a Klawervlei Twice Over filly out of a Galileo mare.
Of the ‘not so international’ pedigrees, he sided (no conspiracy as we spoke to them independently!) with Lynton Ryan on Vardy’s half-brother, #174.
“He is a must for the shortlist. The mare has proven herself and she has a foal that is a contender for Gr1 glory this Cape summer season. The page is full of black type and Gimmethegreenlight is fashionable. He will cost a bit, I’d think – but that’s not an issue with the blank cheque you have offered me!” he laughed.
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