Avontuur Thoroughbred Stud is celebrating one of the highlights of international stakes producing stallion Oratorio’s stay in South Africa; last weekend’s first and second place in the R750 000 Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion at Scottsville.
In this exciting race he opened his South African Gr1 account with a top two finish in the prestigious 2yo 1200m feature, when Van Halen beat Cue the Music by seconds!
The triple Gr1 winning son of Danehill, imported with a view to producing classic, Met and July winners, has set the country alight and stamped his class with his 2yo’s showing precocity and speed and enjoying a terrific season.
The sire of fifty plus stakes winners worldwide had three runners in a typically high-class renewal of the Gold Medallion, and even though Van Halen and the previously unbeaten stakes winner Cue The Music may have finished in the ‘wrong order’ for many punters, it was a notable afternoon for the Cape breeders.
For us at the farm, the Candiese Marnewick photograph of the two Oratorio’s crossing the finish line within milli-seconds of each other, just sums it all up and is a justification of our belief in Oratorio, who is having a wonderful season.
The weekend started off in style when Oratorio showed off his class at the Stallion Parade at Highlands Stud in Robertson on Friday night. “I wanted him there with his peers so that everyone could see he is healthy and fully back in the game,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. “He is in good shape and keen to perform and we look forward to an excellent season for him, especially after this weekend’s spectacular performance.”
As if the Oratorio win isn’t enough, we could only cheer again when the high-class Var filly Sommerlied stormed to a well-deserved success in the R750 000 Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint on Saturday too.
What a weekend it’s been for the team at Avontuur!
Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm’s successful sire Oratorio, who has enjoyed such a great season with his 2yos in 2017-2018, had another good weekend.
Danehill’s triple G1 winning son had a pair of South African winners to his name over the weekend, and is also broodmare sire of the very exciting Irish 2yo Servalan.
The latter (a first stakes winner for sire No Nay Never) won Sunday’s Listed Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes over 1200m at Naas for trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Seamie Heffernan.
Servalan, who is likely to be aimed at Royal Ascot following her maiden stakes win on Sunday, was produced by the winning Oratorio mare Catch The Eye.
However, Sunday’s feature race winner is not the first high class performer produced by an Oratorio daughter, with others including recent Australian G3 winner Paquirri, Viren’s Army (Dee Stakes) and G3 Athasi Stakes winner Dolce Strega.
Oratorio, a dual Champion Sire in Italy, also had a pair of winners in South Africa over the weekend. His Sacred Touch romped to an effortless 2.75 length 2200m maiden win on Friday for breeders Golden Touch Thoroughbred Services and trainer Grant Paddock.
Oratorio was also responsible for Divine Odyssey, who picked up his second career win, from six outings, when victorious over 1600m at Turffontein on Sunday. The 3yo, who was bred by Laurence Werners, was produced by the Dynasty mare Divine Right.
Oratorio will also be represented in Saturday’s G1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion by three sons – Cue The Music, DI Me and Val Halen, while his daughter Petra is a runner in the same day’s G1 Allan Robertson Championship.
The sire of 50 stakes winners, and counting, Oratorio will also be represented in next weekend’s Cape features by Ancestry (G3 Winter Classic) and Sequined (Listed Olympic Duel Stakes).
Editorial courtesy of Cape Breeders
The most recent sire rankings came out on 6 May with Oratorio in number two just behind Var in the Leading Sires of 2yo’s by Stakes earnings with R1007 850 off 22 runners. This is a positive result especially looking back at a tough year health-wise for this trooper, who has recovered fully.
“He produces classic horses and with them now getting better as they mature, he is firmly established as a sire to watch, in the more mature categories. However his results again this year in the two year old ratings are most encouraging, considering his classic bloodlines, “ says Avontuur Estate GM Pippa Mickleburgh, where he stands at stud.
“We are looking forward to his participation in the Stallion Parade at Highlands Stud in Robertson on Friday 25 May where he will be sharing the limelight with some of SA’s highest rated sires and will not in any way come off other than at the top of this game,” she says.
His win this past month with Cue the Music in the Group race at Scottsville and after an excellent feature win recently with Carlita, is setting the scene for even better performances with strong support expected at the Scottsville race day on 26 May.
Oratorio is ready for a full season and his bookings are open with the service fee to be announced early June.
After a very busy April with two major yearling sales taking place, Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh takes a few minutes to reflect on the past month’s activities: “The industry is adjusting and re-aligning after the many changes recently and at Avontuur we are staying focussed and riding out the changes by being positive and doing what we do best – breed quality race horses!”
According to Pippa the CTS Sale was tough with too many sales close together but Avontuur sold the whole draft and wish all the buyers well with their new purchases. The TBA sales showed a solid top end with an improved middle market but trading conditions were once again tough. “However there was plenty of international support which really bodes well for the future. Once we improve our export protocol, which everyone is working hard on, our horses will be much sought-after, in the East in particular,” Pippa comments.
Once again Avontuur sold the whole draft with the top price of R1 000 000 achieved for Double the Fun, sold to Jack Mitchell and Nick Johnson, to be trained by Justin Snaith. Two colts were also sold to overseas clients with one going to Singapore and another to France, which is good news for us.
As always, without our buyers, trainers and supporters, we would not be able to run our business, so once again we wish everyone well with their new purchases and hope to see fireworks on track soon!
The celebrations are ongoing at Avontuur Estate Thoroughbred Stud Farm between Stellenbosch and Somerset West as resident stallion Oratorio’s second year crop just keep on raking in the achievements.
Most recent was this weekend’s spectacular win by his daughter Carlita, ridden by Aldo Domeyer for trainer Alan Greeff, in the listed Eastern Cape Fillies Nursery over 1200m. This was his 50th individual black type winner and she looks capable of building on this triumph.
The Piemonte Stud-bred Carlita has now won three races from four starts for stakes of R214 375.
A bargain buy off the KZN Yearling Sale for R35 000, she is by the fast ascending Oratorio (Danehill) out of Auburn Annio (Point Given).
Oratorio has 15 lots on the CTS April Yearling Sale and a further 22 lots on the BSA National Yearling Sale. They should be in demand.
A sire imported to produce classic winners, and Met and July prospects, Oratorio’s 2yo’s have proven the cherry on top of expectations.
Media Release courtesy of Cape Breeders and Sporting Post.
Two very important sales are coming up for us in April, and we’re inviting all interested parties to have a look at our sales pages to find out more about the stunning yearlings available at those events.
First up is the Durbanville Sale which takes place on 13 & 14 April. We have five fillies and two colts on offer, made up of three Oratorio’s, two Var’s and one Philantropist and Master of my Fate respectively.
Later in April, Pippa and her team will once again take on the long road north with 15 yearlings set for the National Yearling Sale at the TBA complex in Gauteng, which takes place on 24, 25 and 26 April.
Here we have five fillies and 10 colts with a nice crop from our own sires, Var and Oratorio as well as some stunning yearlings by top stallions Captain Al (See pic of Gabriera – Captain Al x Miss Ipanema as a foal) and Dynasty. To make up the full group we have one Master of my Fate, one Twice Over and two Captains of All.
For a private viewing and more info, contact Pippa at email@example.com.
The first important 2018 Yearling event coming up for Avontuur is the Cape Premier Yearling Sale 2018 which takes place on 20 and 21 January at the CTICC in Cape Town.
With five colts and five fillies lined up for the Sale, the Avontuur team is hopeful that this prestigious event will set the bar for the rest of 2018. More about each yearling in January!
It was with a big sigh of relief that we announced the return to full health of our international stakes winner producing sire Oratorio recently. He was given the green light to commence full coverings after a bout of laminitis saw him out of action in September.
A pleased Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh said that she was very excited to have written to the Oratorio shareholders to inform them of the great news.
“It has been a trying time but the big boy showed that it will take more than a bit of laminitis to get him down. We are playing catch up now, but he is a true professional. I must again say a huge word of thanks to our Vet Martin Denkhaus, with the support of Baker McVeigh, and farrier Robbie Miller, who have been wonderful. I have already gone on record saying that their care and attention made all the difference to get O back to health so quickly.”
Pippa extended an invitation to all breeders who were still finalising the covering season and said Avontuur will be happy to accommodate mares and assist where possible as Oratorio has some free slots in his schedule.
With the KZN breeders stats featuring Oratorio 2nd from the top as reported on 15/11/17, it’s a good news story through and through.
|WHAT A WINTER b.s 10y 2007||50||111||20173||11||11||22.0%||0.0%||60||1008625|
|ORATORIO (IRE) b.s 16y 2002||49||134||20478||12||12||24.5%||0.0%||55||1003400|
|TWICE OVER (GB) b. or br.s 13y 2005||40||97||21909||13||13||32.5%||0.0%||43||876350|
|CRUSADE (USA) b. or br.s 9y 2009||42||123||20845||11||11||26.2%||0.0%||56||875500|
It’s been a stressful month for all at Avontuur as Oratorio was slowly but surely nursed back to health! But he has now shown an encouraging recovery from a bout of laminitis diagnosed last month, and commenced covering mares recently.
A thrilled Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh said that ‘O’, as the triple Gr1 winning son of Danehill is affectionately known, was ‘back on the job’ and looking, and obviously feeling, a lot better.
“The shock of his illness is now behind us and we are all pleased that the big guy is on the road to recovery – although he is confined to his box when not working and on a restricted diet. He is also under Veterinary and Farrier care,” said the relieved stud manager.
Pippa confirmed that mares belonging to shareholders would be covered, and then only at the rate of one a day.
“We are not putting him under any pressure. He covered Minelli, Val De Ra’s Mom yesterday, and is due to visit A Daughter’s Legacy, dam of classic contender Ancestry, tomorrow. We are thrilled as we were prepared to write this season off initially. We are just so thankful for the chance to get through some mares,” she added.
Pippa said that Oratorio had shown the indomitable fighting spirit and heart of the top-class racehorse and sire that he is, in recovering from an illness that can prove fatal. He had also received world-class medical attention. She said that she was thankful for the support provided by their professionals.
“Our Vet Martin Denkhaus, with the support of Baker McVeigh, and farrier Robbie Miller have been wonderful. Their care and attention made all the difference to get O back on the road to recovery so quickly.”