The post-covid exponential growth curve and revival of the South African thoroughbred sales market continued as the curtain came down on the 2023 BSA August 2yo Sale at the TBA Sales Complex in Johannesburg on Sunday, after two days of spirited bidding on some genuinely high-quality youngsters.
The numbers always tell a story, and the R59 690 000 aggregate showed an encouraging 23% increase on the 2022 gross, with a similar amount catalogued, but with 22 more lots sold this year.
The average was up from R220 608 in 2022 to R244 631, an increase of just over 10%, while the median increased 14% year on year from R140 000 to R160 000.
Top-seller honours went to Maine Chance Farms, who celebrated an Equus Horse Of The Year award last Wednesday evening with Princess Calla, and showcased lot 235 named Lucrative, on Sunday.
The well-named daughter of Vercingetorix out of the Querari mare La Colossa fetched R1,4million. She is well-related and hails from the Lomitas family.
In fact, it was a happy sale for the Maine Chance team, with their Dubawi stallion Erupt’s son Corrupt (#241) selling for R1,2 million to Laurence Wernars’ Triple 8 Clothing.
Described as a high-quality sort and a great mover, he was bred by Wynand Nel at Wilgerbosdrift, and is out of the Windrush mare Lil’ Bacio, dam of Gr1 SA Derby winner Out Of Your League.
Far End Farm’s Jane Thomas signed the chit for the sale chart-topping Vercingetorix filly, and the KZN horsewoman was again the buyer of the second highest lot – Boland Stud’s Gimmethegreenlight filly out of the Jet Master daughter Jet Princess, who fetched R1,3 million.
Jane was the third top buyer overall, with her ten strong basket grossing R4 190 000 at an average of R419 000.
She told the Sporting Post that both of the two chart-topping fillies would be raced by longstanding supporter of SA racing, Fred Crabbia. It is heartening and encouraging to hear that a well respected owner is making something of a comeback to our shores!
“Fred (Crabbia)bought five horses in total. I thought it was a very competitive two days, but we are thrilled with what we secured,” said Jane, who is also a key member of the Form Bloodstock team.
Leading owner Laurence Wernars’ Triple 8 Clothing was top purchaser, buying ten 2yo’s for R5 930 000, while Jonathan Snaith ranked second, his 11 costing R4 565 000 for an average of R415 000.
Jono Snaith’s trolley included the Day 1 top-ranker, a really handsome Wilgerbosdrift-bred Rafeef colt (#113) out of Gr1 winner Athina, for R1 million.
“We purchased this cracking colt for an international owner who races most of his horses in Cape Town,” he told the Sporting Post.
Top vendor was Wilgerbosdrift, who enjoyed a relative quiet year at Equus last week, but came out firing, with their 15 2yo’s selling for R8 410 000 at an average of R560 667.
Paarl-based nursery Varsfontein Stud sold 16 for a gross R6 815 000 at an average of R425 938.
Maine Chance flagbearer Vercingetorix (Silvano) topped the sire charts, with 12 of his 13 offspring selling at a gross R7,3 million, an average of R608 333.
SA champion sire Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) had 10 sell for R5 850 000, while Ridgemont’s fast ascending Rafeef (Redoute’s Choice) grossed R5 230 000 for his 10.
Comments from bidders canvassed by the Sporting Post, include the fact that the quality of the catalogue was extraordinarily high, and that Sunday’s action was particularly encouraging.
“It’s probably completely random, but Sunday was really packed with quality. And it’s likely a buyer state of mind, but once one gets to Day 2, you may get the feeling that you are also running out of time and need to start getting down to buying! Can I mention that the food and hospitality was good,” said the buyer, who preferred to remain unnamed.
Another buyer observed that the auditorium ‘felt emptier than last year’ but that the sale results countered that and confirmed the upward curve.
“Maybe buyers are just becoming more accustomed to bidding via the electronic platforms introduced during the covid years?” he said.