(Photo : Greig Muir)
“One of the better young generations of
emerging stallions we’ve known”
There’s a lot being written at the moment in the financial press about the role of emerging countries as the only hope for the world’s ailing economy. While the South African stallion scene is far from lacking in its established stars, there’s real hope among what could turn out to be one of the better young generations of emerging stallions we’ve known. Reports from the physical inspection for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale speak highly of the progeny of A.P. Arrow, Admire Main, Argonaut, Jay Peg and Kildonan, while the foaling crew at Summerhill will tell you that the Brave Tin Soldiers are up there with anything we’ve seen. They’re big, strongly made, and they all carry the magnificent head which was obviously an element of what made Demi O’Byrne part with $3million for him as a foal of just a few months. Besides “big”, you can count on the rest as well. Brave, and brilliant.
Encouraging too, was the money investors were willing to pay for the first crops of Mullins Bay and Stronghold at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale. While it was to be expected that they would have their admirers when they went through the ring, following the healthy endorsement they received from the gallops inspection panellists, few would’ve anticipated the Mullins Bays would average alongside Kahal and Muhtafal, and that Stronghold would come away with a top price of R330,000, in this climate. Equally pleasing though, is the fact that this sale elicits healthy bidding for a horse, no matter his origins. The Ready To Run is designed for buyers to draw their conclusions from what they see, not what they think they see, and the gallop in the end, is the ultimate test.
Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Gold Cup hero, Cereus, R8million earner, Imbongi, and Jo’burg’s “love-child”, Pierre Jourdan, all by unfashionable sires, attract a healthy proportion of bids simply because they could run.
While they’re quietly off the commercial boil at the moment, Solskjaer and Way West are another pair who still seem to have a bit of puff in their sails. Solskjaer’s top price was R225,000 for Battle Of Hastings, while Way West justifiably averaged R90,000 (with two “centurions”), given that he’s had two Group One performing fillies in his first two small crops, and that Extra Zero put up such a grand performance in the R2 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup the day before.