News – Page 4

An affordable Var is a possibility!

If you would love to acquire a Var for your racing stable, here is your chance!  See you this weekend in Durbanville!

Cape Yearling Sale video – Watch now

Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh chats about the 4 yearlings set for the Cape Sale this coming weekend.


Oratorio’s 6yo son wins Gr 1 in Saudi

Former Zimbabwean and South African-based trainer Neil Bruss won Saturday’s Gr 1 SR250,000 King Abdulaziz Racetrack Champion Cup over 2000m on sand with the six-year-old Oratorio colt Gods Speed, who was ridden by Luis Morales.

Jumping from gate 7 in a ten horse field, the Abdulelah Abdul Aziz Almousa-owned horse had cover throughout and travelled well.

Morales made his move around the final turn and entering the 400m straight just had to overtake the pacemaker on his inside.

The good looking bay then surged into the lead and managed to held on from the charging pair Smoking Sun (Smart Strike) and Ibn Alnafees (Premium Tap).

Bruss’ latest stint in Saudi Arabia began last September and in 100 runs he has had 14 winners.

The veteran trainer is an outstanding horseman and has successfully raided Dubai with his Saudi Arabian-trained horses before.

In 2009 he sent out former Port Elizabeth horse Paris Perfect and the Argentinian-bred Muller to run third and fourth respectively in the Dubai World Cup.

Oratorio currently stands at Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm in Stellenbosch.  “Winning this race at 6 years old once again just proves the longevity of his offspring and bodes well for his supporters in South Africa too,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.

Oratorio’s son maintains unbeaten record


Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm’s exciting sire Oratorio looks to have an above average sort on his hands in the form of Sacred Oration, who made it two wins from as many outings when landing a juvenile plate convincingly over 1000m at Fairview.

Trained by Grant Paddock, the Patricia Devine bred colt had previously won on debut when scoring by three parts of a length over 800m -in the process, Sacred Oration became the first winner produced in Oratorio’s first South African crop of runners.

Out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Scarlet Causeway, Sacred Oration was a bargain R125 000 buy from last year’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

To date, Oratorio (whose offspring have earned over $50 million in stakes) has been represented by four first crop runners who have either won or finished in the money, and, with a number of really well bred runners yet to make their debuts, this number should rise substantially over the coming months.

The sire of 47 stakes winners (and more than 80 black type performers in total), Oratorio (whose offspring include 7 G1 winners) is well represented on the two upcoming yearling sales.
He has one yearling on offer at the Cape Yearling Sale at the Mistico Equestrian Centre next month – a half-sister to G3 Tony Ruffel Stakes winner Fantastic Mr Fox, and to Fort Winter, who ran fourth on debut recently (Lot 122).

Danehill’s champion son also has seven lots at the 2017 March Yearling Sale –including a colt out of an El Prado mare from the family of US G1 winner Wekiva Springs (Lot 7), a colt out of a 3 time winning daughter of Jet Master and G1 Cape Fillies Guineas winner Sport’s Chestnut (Lot 18), a filly out of a stakes winning daughter of Captain Al and G1 winner Roxanne (Lot 128), and a filly (intensely inbred to Danehill) out of a Danehill Dancer ½ sister to G2 Merchants winner Super Profit (Lot 212).

Alternative contact numbers for the Restaurant

The joy’s of farm life is that we sometimes have our cables stolen.

Please note our alternative contact numbers should you require them:

0836925601 OR 0765923351 OR 0835081525

It’s harvest time in the Boland

Harvest 2017 started off in January with the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir being harvested for our Methode Cap Classique Sparkling wine.  The team is currently bringing in Sauvignon Blanc and the cellar is in full swing.

Our tasting room offers visitors the chance to taste some of the ripe grapes, so when you are at the farm, make a point of trying those!

Harvest time in the tasting room

Good luck for vintage 2017.  We hope it will be a good one.


CPYS 17 Round-up

With this year’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale now behind us and our planning already in full swing for the next event in Durbanville,  we’d like to say a huge big thank you to our loyal supporters, trainers and owners who ensure that we finished up 6th on the vendor’s list this time.

Var once again did very well ending up 4th on the Sires list with an average of R670 000 and Oratorio, who still needs a few winners on SA soil, was at R275 000 on average.

According to Pippa Mickleburgh the top end of the Sale was buoyant with international buyers quite active.  “We sold all nine in a tough middle market which we’re extremely happy with,” she said.

Official records show that buyers came from 8 different countries, which is a reflection of how international racing is becoming in South Africa, despite continued export problems.  The auction showed results up just over 14% from 2015 which bodes well for the future.

“We’re looking forward to the next Sales for the year, and plan to present some excellent quality yearlings at those too,” Pippa commented.

First Frankel to run on SA soil this weekend.

As if the upcoming Cape Premier Yearling Sales isn’t enough excitement for one week, we’re also thrilled to announce that Miss Frankel (Frankel x Val de Ra) will be taking to the Kenilworth track on Saturday in her first race ever!

It’s also the first time a Frankel is participating in South Africa, so everyone is very keen to see her perform.  She is carded for the 1000m at 13h30 under jockey Sean Veale’s capable direction and we’re hoping for a wonderful performance!

Here’s a video of an interview with her trainer Dennis Drier this week, with the cheeky Miss stealing the show in the background as always!

Miss Frankel portrait January 2017


New wine packaging launched

Avontuur Estate is proud to start off the New Year with a brand-new look for the Estate Range which can be seen for the first time on the newly released  Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2016,currently only available from the Estate tasting room.

The project was started in mid-2016 by brothers and co-owners Michael and Philip Taberer, who drove the process throughout with input from various experts in the field.

The   new livery sees the brand name taking centre stage with the wine information conveyed clearly and simply. The prominent horse icon commemorates the important Thoroughbred Stud business side of the Estate.

“We did a lot of research and it’s amazing how much work needs to be done to create clear communication and simplicity. I feel we’ve accomplished a great look, which highlights our brand and quality positioning,” says Michael Taberer.  “The distinctive diamond shaped label will stand out amongst the crowd and we hope that it will soon become iconic for the Avontuur Estate wine brand,” Philip added.

Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2016 styled square

Designers “The Mark Studio” comments on their creative thinking; “If we had to summarize the process into one word it would be ‘refining’.  It was taking from what the current labels had and modernizing it, giving the elements a bit more breathing room on the label. We also increased the real estate of the label as the previous labels were visually too small for the bottle.”

The rich history in equine breeding was unique and therefore it was leveraged and showcased. Hence the iconography of the race horse, its proud pose and that it is foiled.

“The goal of the label was to appeal to both new and established wine drinkers.  The foil colour was changed from gold to copper as it felt more approachable, whilst still holding classic wine cues,” the design team concluded.

After the Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2016, the Cabernet/Merlot 2014 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 will follow.

Nine Yearlings Fly our Flag at CPYS 17

On Monday, 16 January nine yearlings will take a big step into the limelight and leave their home for the bright lights of the Cape Town Convention Centre and the annual Cape Premier Yearling Sale,  which takes place on 21 and 22 January 2017.

“Nine of our Yearlings were selected for the Sale and although the draft is particularly good this year, I feel that Lot 129 Carioca (Var x Miss Epanema) is an outstanding high-quality filly who oozes class and a great attitude,” comments Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.   “Amongst the colts I really like Lot 210 Montego Bay (Var x Torra Bay) as he is a good size for a first foal and has a great international pedigree.”

Montego Bay

Montego Bay

We kick off the action at this international event on Day 1,  as the first yearling up for sale is our own “Little Sparrow”, an attractive and athletic filly by speedster sire Var out of Bambina Stripes (ARG).  Our second yearling up for sale on the first day is Lot 24, a filly called Counter Fate from the first crop of Master of my Fate.   Pippa describes her as a tall flashy sort who is a really good advert for her sire.   The last filly in the draft is Lot 218, Operetta (Oratorio x Varsity Queen) who is a tough powerful mover.

Lot 224 Euphoric (Oratorio x Without Malice) is last up in the Sale on Day 2 for Avontuur and according to Pippa he is powerful and athletic with great speed.

The excellent draft is completed by three Var colts.  Lot 133, Provocateur is out of Model IQ and he is big, powerful and upstanding – typical of the family.  Lot 146 Whitehaven (Var x Paradise Beach), is the first living foal out of a superbly bred mare and is a speedy, robust and attractive colt.  Last but not least is Barista (Var x Mochachino) who is a typically precocious Var type with an athletic workmanlike attitude.

Please visit us at our Hospitality Lounge in Hall 3 from Wednesday 18 January right through the Sale until Sunday, the 22nd.  We’ve got great Avontuur wine or soft drinks and view the great yearlings on offer at your leisure.   If you want to visit the Farm for a private viewing before the Sale, contact Pippa on to book a slot.