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Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale 2014


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JohannesburgJohannesburg - Home of NYS 2014
(Photo : SA Live)

TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa
27 - 28 April 2014

Ringsider: During the two days of the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sales in Germiston (on Sunday and Monday), the busiest place at the TBA complex is reception, with the ladies fielding all sorts of varied requests.

There could be an unusual one this year. “Quick, ladies, find us an interpreter ASAP.”

When asked about possible foreign interest at the sale, back came this reply from Bloodstock SA CEO Tom Callaghan: “We’re expecting buyers from Germany, Sweden, America, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the United Kingdom.

The exploits of SA-breds in Dubai must surely have woken up the most sleepy bloodstock agents and - as Mick Goss once pointed out - “we’re selling First World horses at Third World prices”.

One of the great attractions at this annual sale is New Zealand auctioneer Steve Davis, who has been as loyal to this event as Ryan Giggs is to Manchester United.

If you want to be entertained, just spend half an hour in the sales ring when Steve is on the rostrum. He stands no nonsense. You might hear a response like this towards a buyer taking ages over every bid: “Don’t you worry sir, I can wait till Christmas, but I’m not sure everyone else can.”

This is Davis’s seventh sale of 2014 and he says, “It got off to a real bang with the Magic Millions (in Australia) when there was an outstanding clearance rate of 90%. I remember that from lots 525 to 580 just one yearling was passed out.

“I will again open this year’s sale and I believe there is much to look forward to - especially given the continued success of SA-bred horses on the international stage.”

Davis’s mention of the clearance rate is interesting as these details of last year’s sale clearly show.

Aggregate: R122,533,000 Average: R295,260 Highest price: R3.6 million Lots catalogued: 537 Lots Not Sold or Withdrawn: 81 Lots Vendors buy-back: 46

So, more than 20% of the yearlings catalogued were either not sold, withdrawn or bought back. The aim for Bloodstock SA this year must be to reduce this figure significantly.

Callaghan has an aggregate figure of R130-million in his sights and that looks on the conservative side given that the sale has 23 full and half siblings to Grade 1 winners.

There are 59 sires from buyers to choose from and it would be no surprise if one of the last of Western Winter’s progeny (12 colts and 9 fillies) made top price.

Champion sire Silvano has 40 yearlings (17 colts and 23 fillies), Captain Al 31 yearlings (17 colts and 14 fillies), Kahal 30 (17 colts and 13 fillies), Trippi 29 (15 colts and 14 fillies) and Var 29 (14 colts and 15 fillies) as well as excting prospects Brave Tin Soldier 6 (3 colts and 3 fillies) and Visionaire 16 (10 colts and 6 fillies).

Buyers are really going to have to do their homework and there are bargains to be found as a look back at previous sales confirms. In 2011 recent Empress Club Stakes heroine Along Came Polly was sold for just R60,000 while Forest Indigo was knocked down for R160,000.

One can also make a case for buying at the top of the market. In 2010 Master Of My Fate was sold for R3-million, Capetown Noir for R1-million and All Is Secret for R800,000. We have yet to see the best of Master Of My Fate, but both Capetown Noir and All Is Secret are now household names.

Also in 2010, Geoff Woodruff, one of the best judges of horseflesh in the country, picked out Tellina and got the son of Silvano for just R210,000. The five-times champion trainer needs to put a padlock on his catalogue!

What about another of Silvano’s sons from the same year? I refer to a certain thoroughbred named Vercingetorix, bought for R1.4-million. He’ll probably earn that amount for just being placed in Hong Kong this weekend.

One can also argue that some purchases have been good news for the breeder, but not the buyer.

The year 2009 is a perfect example, with Potala Palace sold for R3.6-million and E-Jet for R1.4-million. That’s the glorious uncertainty of the bloodstock market because - in the same year - Vodacom Durban July winner Heavy Metal was purchased for just R250,000.

Despite the huge financial rewards in Dubai, if you ask the majority of buyers at this weekend’s sale what they are aiming for the reply will be “a horse that can win the July”.

In our enforced cocoon, glory at Greyville remains the No 1 target. Fortunately, our champion trainer Mike de Kock can say “Been there, done that” and now has his sights set on races such as the Investec Derby in the UK and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France.

Nevertheless, his team will be putting their hands up at Germiston this weekend, which is an endorsement of the sale in itself.

De Kock continues to bang the drum for South Africa with every overseas victory. Every vendor owes him at least a case of French champagne!

Extract from Tab News



School Of Management ExcellenceSchool Of Management Excellence Theatre
(Photo : Summerhill Archives)


The world is a very competitive place; it’s never been more so.
Education is the key.
The School of Equine Management Excellence, with the support of CATHSSETA,
the Cape Breeders Club, Team Valor, N3TC and breeders from all around South Africa,
are offering scholarships to deserving candidates.

School of Equine Management Excellence
Summerhill Stud, South Africa

School Of Management Excellence, South Africa

Heather Morkel +27 (0) 33 263 1081
or email



uncle tommy - highveld sand challengeUncle Tommy - Highveld Sand Challenge (L) / JC Photos (p)

Vaal, Sand, 1600m
22 April 2014

The evergreen Kahal gelding Uncle Tommy handed a galloping lesson to South Africa’s top rated sand horse Pylon, when he produced a superior finish to win the R200,000 Listed Highveld Sand Challenge at the Vaal on Tuesday afternoon. Cape jockey Richard Fourie rode a determined race over the sand mile for trainer Weiho Marwing and owner Hassen Adams.

His recent unplaced effort in the Gr1 Horse Chestnut 1600 aside, the little chestnut warrior just does not know how to run a bad race and he clocked up a superb eleventh win by gunning the 11 to 10 favourite Pylon down inside the final stages of what had always looked a competitive race. Uncle Tommy went off at 8 to 1. The merit of the win is further underlined by the fact that the top two carried level weights with the bay Pylon (121) outstripping the Marwing runner (rated 113) in terms of the stature of his frame and his stride.

The Mouseketeer was slightly slow away again as Tiger Play led One Man’s Dream with Pylon well placed in third. Turning for home, One Man’s Dream took over from Tiger Play with Pylon galloping comfortably on the inside. With One Man’s Dream fading out Robbie Fradd took Pylon up at the 400m and the son of Fort Wood glided across the sand with Uncle Tommy trying to match strides a half length back down the inside. The two drew away with Uncle Tommy going on too powerfully as he overtook Pylon at the 300m marker to draw clear and win by 1,25 lengths in a time of 99,18 secs.

The top two were well clear and outclassed the rest with The Mouseketeer edging into third place and some 16 lengths behind the winner.

Richard Fourie said that Uncle Tommy was usually sluggish out of the gates but that he had shown enthusiasm as he cut to the inside and found a match winning rails position from his 7 draw. “It was a great effort and he found the position down the inside on his own. He is a lovely horse. Pylon wasn’t going as comfortably as one would have expected when I moved up to him and Uncle Tommy kept finding all the way,” he enthused.

Bred by Summerhill Stud, Uncle Tommy is by Kahal out of the prolific one time winning Badger Land mare, Cousin Linda. That makes him a half brother to the brilliant sprinter and sire, Rebel King. Originally a R2,4 million National Yearling Sale graduate, Uncle Tommy was sold out of the estate of the late tycoon and leading owner and breeder, Graham Beck. His current owner Hassen Adams went to R170,000 to acquire Uncle Tommy on the Graham Beck Dispersal Sale in January 2011, when he was just a  maiden winner.

The son of Kahal was originally trained by Mike Bass and then Darryl Hodgson, and he has subsequently won a further ten races for Hassen Adams. A winner of 11 of his 45 starts with 19 places, Uncle Tommy took his stake earnings to R1,067,515. He ran third in the 2013 Emerald Cup (Grade 2) and could be back to have another bash this year based on his enthusiasm.

What a lovely horse to own.

Extract from Sporting Post



TBA Sales Complex, Gosforth Park, South Africa
27 - 28 April 2014

mick gossMick Goss
Summerhill CEO
We all know the mantra: good “manners maketh a man”, and in the context of the world we live in, it’s equally true that good “men” maketh a stud farm. By “men” we mean stallions of course, and the search for that elusive beast with speed, substance and superior genes, is never-ending.

There is an exuberance to stallions which I can’t explain. I know the five senses well, but there is nothing to match the thrill of knowing you’ve got your hands on a gem. When Senor Santa, Another Minstrel, Northern Princess, Rip Curl, Mystery Guest and Gentleman Jones announced the “arrival” of Northern Guest, it was like the angels had come down from the heavens. Hot Guard, Taban and First City heralded the “second coming” of Home Guard, then National Emblem and Fard topped the Juvenile Sires’ table with their first crops. Kahal and Muhtafal were slower to get out of the starting blocks, but both were commendable sires with distinguished careers.

You can get up in the mornings for men like these, as we’ve done religiously for the past 35 years, and this week gave us a new reason to do so. If you haven’t already been there, “clock” the piece “Salute The Brave”, penned on Thursday following the victories of Split The Breeze and Flying Cross, and you’ll understand. It wasn’t the fact that they were winning for the first time, it was the style of their victories that mattered, reminding us of the first progeny of the Northern Guests, the Home Guards and the National Emblems. When they win like this, they generally have more to come; that’s the hallmark of the good racehorse.

So when Iwo Jima blasted home at Turffontein on Saturday, it was like the moment the stranger steps through the saloon doors and the plinky-plunk piano dies. The sheriff looms in the rush. Now it’s flying fists, smashed whisky bottles, and the newcomer smashes through the plate glass window. This movie obviously hasn’t reached its final reel.

As they hit the “400”, the youngster delivered a withering sprint and with fully a furlong to run, the chequered flag was out, his place booked for the Premiers’ Champion Juvenile (Gr.1) on “July” Day. The grapevine tells us Split The Breeze and Flying Cross are headed in the same direction, for the Golden Medallion (Gr.1) and the Golden Slipper (Gr.1) respectively. In common of course, they have Brave Tin Soldier as their sire. Now you know why there’s a new spring in our early morning steps.

We need a new impetus in our sire ranks in KwaZulu-Natal though; the proven brigade are an aging lot, and one swallow isn’t going to bring back the summer. That’s why we’re so elated with the early returns of another young star on the Summerhill firmament, Visionaire, whose first local crop debuts at the Emperors Palace National Yearling sale this weekend. Our American readers will obviously remember him as one of the better performed members of his Classic generation, and for the expectations they held after his coming-from-the-clouds victory in the race that launched the three-year-old careers of Secretariat, Gone West, Seeking The Gold, Gulch and Easy Goer, the Gotham Stakes.

But the race that finally defined his class was what has become America’s greatest “stallion-maker”, the King’s Bishop (Gr.1) at historic Saratoga, where he delivered one of the greatest stretch runs in the great race’s history. Have a “deck” at the video above, and you’ll see what we mean: you’ll never forget it.

Visionaire left just a handful of foals in the States before his hurried embarkation on the flight to South Africa. Already eight of them have won, five have chalked up multiple victories, one is a Stakes-winner, and another has earned his Black-type brackets. Now you know why we’re beginning to get that old familiar feeling again.

Barry Irwin is nothing if he is not one of the shrewdest judges in world racing. He’s bred them, he’s raced them, and importantly, he has written about them. As the pioneering pace-setter in the “internationalization” of the South African racehorse, he knows our racing and he knows what’s good for it. When he talks, we tend to listen. “I’ve always wanted to breed my South African mares to this type of horse. Visionaire ticks all my boxes”. Looking at the draft sent to Jo’burg last Thursday, we’d say he’s got it right again.

And it helps that it’s the sire line that’s given the world the current American champion stallion, Speightstown, Elusive Quality, Zafonic, Mr Greeley and Zamindar, and to South Africa, Western Winter and the astonishingly promising Sail From Seattle, the new signature sire at Ashley and Bev Parker’s Ascot Stud.

Enough of this propaganda: you be the judge!

(Go to and click on Emperors Palace National Yearling sale to see the Brave Tin Soldier’s (Lots 13, 24, 317, 347, 402, 520) and the Visionaire’s (Lots 12, 17, 71, 79, 86, 89, 96, 108, 129, 209, 230, 243, 259, 306, 325, 345, 350, 366, 434, 499).

summerhill stud

Enquiries :
Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982
or email



dundeel stallionDundeel / Arrowfield Stud (p)

High Chaparral - Stareel

Saturday’s Group 1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes victor It’s A Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral - Stareel, by Zabeel) has been retired to John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud to begin his stud career, it was announced Monday. The attractive bay will be known by his New Zealand registered name of Dundeel (NZ) and will stand for a fee of A$27,500.

“Dundeel was a racehorse of the highest class, effective at Group 1 level from 1600 to 2400 meters, with immense natural athleticism, a high cruising speed and a devastating turn of foot,” said Messara. “These attributes, combined with his undaunted toughness and courage, make him this year’s most exciting stallion prospect. We are delighted to offer him to Australian and New Zealand breeders.” added Messara.

Dundeel raced from ages two to four and collected six victories at the highest level in addition to the ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes while carrying Arrowfield silks, including the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes, Group 1 Randwick Guineas, Group 1 Rosehill Guineas, Group 1 Australian Derby as a 3-year-old and the G1 MRC Underwood Stakes last spring. Dundeel tallied 10 wins in 19 starts and over A$5.3 million in earnings.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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