Buoyed by a wave of positivity permeating every corner of local racing, coupled with the pulsating victory of Sean Tarry’s 2022 graduate Tail Of The Comet in the associated sales race on Saturday, the second Cape Racing Sales Ready To Run & Unbroken 2yo Sale broke new ground on a sundrenched afternoon at its traditional Hollywoodbets Durbanville home on Sunday.
While all the talk was of Tail Of The Comet’s eyecatching win in the R600 000 CRS Ready To Run Stakes at the same venue on Saturday – and let’s not underestimate the impact of the Springboks’ great escape against England less than 24 hours earlier – there was inspired bidding after some outstanding gallops early on Sunday morning.
Described by one buyer as a tangible show of a ‘new level of professionalism and commitment’, with impressive attention to detail to the hospitality aspect that included catering and the top-class marquee, the sale was a feather-in-the cap for Justin Vermaak and his team, and an encouraging precursor to the CRS Cape Premier Yearling Sale on 25 January 2024 in WSB Cape Town Met week.
After hastily convening last year’s equivalent sale at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth, following the sudden closure of Cape Thoroughbred Sales, the Cape Racing Sales team saw that the introduction of their various attractive incentives and initiatives in the ensuing year, coupled with the inspiring local ‘Racing Renaissance’, provided the momentum for a next-level step-up and a record-breaking afternoon that saw the year-on-year aggregate up 10,7% to R18 670 000, with similar numbers through the ring.
Sunday’s average of R222 262 was up 13,4% on 2022, while the median of R165 000 most encouragingly showed a 43% increase on 12 months ago.
The recent adverse weather led to the unfortunate withdrawal of Nadeson Park’s draft of 13 horses, and of the 112 originally catalogued, 89 went through the ring with 84 of them finding a buyer.
Veteran Milnerton trainer Vaughan Marshall signed for the top-selling lot (#48) when he went to R1,4 million (last year topseller was R1,1 million) to acquire a handsome son of his 2020 Met winner One World (Captain Al) out of a Spook Express Handicap-winning sister to the Gr3 Winter Derby winner, Gifted For Glory.
The smashing colt was consigned by Julia Pilbeam’s Soetendal Estate, who have really and truly established themselves as the market leaders in prepping horses for this category of sale.
Julia Pilbeam told the Sporting Post that that they could not have done it without their outstanding staff, her loyal clients, and the professional support of the CRS Team.
“I can say without hesitation that the entire show was a step-up from 2022 and we are proud to have consigned both the top colt and top filly! To Vaughan Marshall and Sandy Arundel, congratulations – they are two really smart horses and we will be following their progress with great interest. To all the buyers and underbidders, our sincere thanks. You all made the sale a massive success,” added an exhausted Julia.
Owner Sandy Arundel and her husband Eugene have become a force to be reckoned with in the ‘relatively newbie’ owner ranks, and they added to their powerful string when acquiring the topselling filly (#64), a daughter of reigning champion sire Gimmethegreelight out of the well-related Varsity Girl (Var), for R800 00 (last year female topseller was R750 000).
She was also consigned, as mentioned, as agent by Soetendal Estate.
With the power of numbers, Soetendal unsurprisingly led the vendor charts, selling 29 lots at a gross R6 920 000 and averaging R238 621.
The Ridgemont team brought genuine quality to the table, and their 10 grossed R2 125 000, at an average of R212 500.
The ever-reliable Klawervlei were right on their heels, with their 8 lots banking R1 520 000 at an average of R190 000.
Six buyers were responsible for 26 lots, led by Tony Peter, who saddles the exciting Main Defender in the Betway Graeme Beck Stakes on Charity Mile day this coming Saturday. The Turffontein trainer took home a basket of 6, spending R890 000 at an average of R148 333.
The Hollywood Syndicate picked up 5 lots for a shade under a million, averaging R198 000 each.
Sandy Arundel, Glen Kotzen Racing and Bass Racing bought a quartet apiece, while Vaughan Marshall topped the averages, with his trio costing R1 670 000 – a healthy average of R556 667.
Drakenstein’s multiple Gr1 winning Captain Al stallion One World was the top grossing sire, with his quintet grossing R2 030 000 at a R406 000 average.
SA champion Gimmethegreenlight topped the averages with his trio averaging R575 000 at a gross of R1 725 000.
Other stallions in demand were The United States, Canford Cliffs, Fire Away, What A Winter, and the Maine Chance duo of Vercingetorix and Querari, while the top-class Trippi’s sole representative sold for R375 000.