Oratorio – Page 3

Oratorio colt tops sale on weekend

The champagne corks are popping at Avontuur this week after an excellent March Yearling Sale this weekend at Durbanville Race Course.

A son of our exciting sire Oratorio hit the overall top sales price and a Var filly did the same in her category.

Dbnville Sale 2016 Thank you ad (640x176)

Consigned by Sorrento Stud, the colt (who is from his triple G1 winning sire’s first South African crop) was knocked down to Kuda Insurance’s Wehann Smith for R650 000.

Catalogued as lot 209, the bay, already named Oravar, is out of the four time winning Var mare Miravar. His second dam, the Dr Fong matron Lake Alice, is a half sister to the stakes placed four time winner Ladonna.

The sales topper was former European champion Oratorio’s sole offering at the March Sale. Sire of 45 stakes winners worldwide, the champion son of Danehill has certainly made a pleasing start to his South African stud career, with his first local crop having fetched up to R1.1 million at January’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

Avontuur sires certainly fared well at the March Sale, with Oratorio’s stable mate Var responsible for the sales’ top priced filly. This was the Avontuur consigned Bank On It, who was sold to Mayfair Speculators for R650 000 –the joint second top price of the sale.

Bank On It, catalogued as lot 118, is a full sister to the useful Raconteur and is out of a winning daughter of champion sire Western Winter and stakes winning All Fired Up mare Shoot The Booze. She is from the same family as champions Jay Peg and Kochka, as well as recent G3 Final Fling Stakes winner Cat And The Moon and Var’s R4 000 000 son Moonrise Sensation.

Overall, prices were down on last year’s sale, with the top price paid dropping from R1.3 million to R650 000 in 2016. The aggregate, albeit with a small catalogue, fell noticeably from R28,235,000 to R21, 395,000 and average prices (from R118,138 to R107,512) and median (R90 000 to R70 000) also dropped.

Ten of the 240 horses catalogued to sell were withdrawn, and 199 horses of the remaining 230 lots were sold.

Now all eyes are on Gauteng where the Emperor’s Palace Yearling Sale and National Yearling Sale both feature a select group of Avontuur’s best!

Cape Yearling Sale a success for Avontuur.

Last week’s 2016 Cape Premier Yearling Sale was an important one for Avontuur and our internationally proven sire Oratorio, as it was the launch of his first SA-bred yearlings onto the local market.

And what a sale it was!  For us, for him and for our “main man” Var!

As Avontuur owner Michael Taberer commented:  ” We knew that we had a lot of support for Oratorio and Avontuur at the sale and not only do we want to thank the many buyers who made it such a success for us,  but also the under bidders who gave us their backing throughout.”

Avontuur ended up 5th on the vendor’s list, with an exciting sale to new international buyers The China Horse Club who’s first purchase was our stunning Var filly Rumbavar, who went for R1.9 million. (Picture shows her arriving on the podium at the Sale. )

Oratorio was well supported throughout too, and as GM Pippa Mickleburgh said, “He was the 5th leading sire in great company  and it was wonderful to see the support by international buyers who knew him, and obviously the South African crowd, who is keen to get his offspring onto the tracks in this country!”

Var ended up with an average of R633 333 for the 21 yearlings sold and Oratorio at R432 000 for 25 sold.

We are proud and happy to have sold all 9 our yearlings and want to thank the following supporters wholeheartedly:  Adriaan van Vuuren, Mike de Kock, Charles Laird, Mike Azzie, Alesh Naidoo, Johan Janse van Vuuren, Lawrence Werners, The China Horse Club, Joey Ramsden, Peter and Ross Doyle, Kit Kensley, Jaap van deVendel, Marcus Jooste, David and Dianne Nagel (who bred Oratorio and now own one of his SA progeny).

“We’re looking forward to another good response in April at the National Yearling Sale in Gauteng, and hope to see our friends and fellow horse lovers there again, ” says Michael.

Oratorio advert CPYS 2016 Parade magazine (800x524)



31 Oratorio Yearlings on sale at CPYS 16

CPYS 16 Oratorio advert Jan 2016 web 2

Yearling viewing bookings now open

With 31 Oratorio yearlings available for the first time in SA at the 2016 Cape Premier Yearling Sale in January, and Avontuur presenting quite a number of those at the Sale at the CTICC, we’d love to invite interested buyers to visit us at the Estate by making an appointment with Pippa Mickleburgh at stud@avontuurestate.co.za from 5 – 15 January.  (Viewings only by appointment!).

Oratorio CPYS 16 flyer ad smaller

Alternatively you are invited to pop in at our Stud Lounge from 19 January to see them on site.



Excitement for 1st SA Oratorio draft heats up!

Oratorio advert CPYS 2016 Parade magazine (800x524)

First SA Oratorio Yearlings debut at CPYS

We are excited and proud to present proven international sire Oratorio’s yearlings, on sale for the first time in South Africa, at the 2016 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, which takes place on 21 and 22 January at the CTICC.

With a total of 31 yearlings from this highly rated stallion in Book 1, and recent international Group wins by mature runners Mourinho and Military Attack, Avontuur Estate believes that his contribution to classic racing in this country will be immense. Oratorio has consistently been in the leading sires lists in Europe and with 7 international Group 1 winners to his name he is sure to be well received in SA as a proven sire of tough, sound, classic horses.

“We’ve had some exposure to him in this country with Ottimo, Orator’s Daughter and most recently Bella’s Empire strutting their stuff,” says GM Pippa Mickleburgh. “This sale is the culmination of a dream which started with his arrival at Avontuur in October 2013 and is now becoming reality. He was visited by an excellent calibre of mares in his first and second seasons and with the latest achievements by his international campaigners, has proven his longevity, consistency and toughness, which comes through in his progeny. “

From the Avontuur crop, Pippa is most excited about a muscular filly called Hot Chocolate out of excellent race mare Mochachino and the strong colt out of A Daughter’s Legacy called Ancestry. Another good looking colt is the half-brother to Contador out of Fine Wood, who is a racy attractive specimen.

Although much of the interest for this Sale is built around Oratorio, Avontuur is presenting some excellent Var’s as well with a well-grown flashy filly out of Baltic Beauty heading the list. “She is from the family of Mother Russia and has such a zest for life and lots of personality, I look forward to seeing more of her in future,” says Pippa. Rumbavar out of Muambo is another filly who is a full sister to multiple winner Varumba, and should be interesting to watch as well.

Interested buyers are welcome to make an appointment with Pippa at Avontuur Estate for a private viewing from 5 January to 15 January, or from the 19th at Avontuur’s Stud Lounge at the CTICC. Visit the Stud pages on www.avontuurestate.co.za for the full list of yearlings.

Feature image:   Hot Chocolate showing off the good looks and poise which makes her a stand-out for the Sale.

2016 CPYS Ancestry (450x292)Ancestry is a strong colt, here enjoying himself in the paddocks at Avontuur before the Cape Premier Sale in January.

Military Attack keeps Oratorio’s name high

The seven year old son of Oratorio and double Gr 1 winner, Military Attack, kept the flag flying for his highly rated international sire, on Saturday in Hong Kong when he achieved a narrow win in the Gr 2 Jockey Club Cup over 2000 m, which is seen as the main lead-up to the HK cup on 13 December.   After a few niggles over the last few months,  he now seems on track again  to give a good record of himself at that hugely important Gr1 event.

With Oratorio’s first crop up for sale at the 2016 CPYS, the stallion who stands at stud at Avontuur Estate seems set for an exciting career in South Africa.   For more about the yearlings on offer, visit the stud pages on this site, or contact Pippa Mickleburgh for a private viewing at the Estate in January.

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Son of Oratorio wins Gr 1

Son of Oratorio, 8 yo Mourinho, won the 1800m Gr 1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, seeing off the favourites and thrilling his fans!

This win is also significant for Avontuur Estate, where super sire Oratorio stands to stud,  and with his first SA Yearlings up for sale at the January 2016  Cape Premiere Yearling Sale,  Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh is looking forward to seeing them perform on tracks around the country soon thereafter.

Comments in the racing press highlight the fact that his offspring seem to produce the goods especially well around 2000m, which makes them exciting additions to the industry in this country.

A full book is keeping Oratorio busy at the moment, and Avontuur Estate is proud to be associated with this classy performer. Mourinho wins Gr 1 Underwood Stakes


Oratorio scores another stakes winner

Evergreen son of Oratorio Mourinho won the Gr 2 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield in Australia yesterday, adding to Oratorio’s impressive list of international stakes wins.  The 8yo gelding managed to pip the favourite to the post right at the end after chasing him down throughout the race.


According to jockey Vlad Duric, who also steered him to a Gr 2 win earlier this year, Mourinho is still improving and is getting better with age.

Oratorio in the paddocks at Avontuur

Oratorio in the paddocks at Avontuur

We at Avontuur are obviously thrilled with this result and look forward to soon seeing more of Oratorio’s offspring on SA tracks too!

Oratorio stallion day shows off quality crop

Around 150 guests braved a cold wintry day on Wednesday to view a selection of six of proven international sire Oratorio’s weanlings, at Avontuur Estate between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

Oratorio, who has sired over 70 individual northern hemisphere black-type performers and 6 international Grade 1 winners, has been standing at stud at Avontuur since early 2013. His first South African book included such illustrious mares Gr 1 winners as River Jetez, Sarabande, Bambina Stripes and Outcome, with Equus Sprinter of the Year Val de Ra included in the list for 2014.

Four colts,(Out of Fine Wood, Model IQ, Sea of Calm and Varsity Queen) and two fillies (Out of Mochachino and Viva La Belle) were paraded and were commended on their looks and also for being so well-behaved on this, their first public outing. They were led in by the popular Miss Frankel (Frankel x Val de Ra), who once again showed that her star quality by wowing the crowds with her personality and assurance.

Pippa Mickleburgh, Avontuur GM entertained everyone by telling the “hit-and-miss” story of Oratorio’s purchase and how quick action on the part of the local team ensured that this valuable sire could stand in South Africa and assist with improving SA’s stock.

Oratorio Day Weanlings parade 1 web

The weanling parade was preceded by a viewing of Avontuur’s highly regarded sire Var, and obviously Oratorio himself who was in fine fettle and a picture of contentment after a few years at the Thoroughbred Farm.

Avontuur Estate owner, Michael Taberer thanked the racing and breeding industry for their support over the years, and commented that he was very positive about the future of the “sport of kings” in South Africa as more and more of our horses and trainers were competing internationally and making a really good showing.

After the viewings guests retired to the Avontuur Restaurant for a farm feast and award-winning wines, and enjoyed socialising till late.