Stud News – Page 4

Three colts set for Emperor’s Sale

Visit our sales page on this site to see more about the three colts (2 Oratorios and a Var) who are set for the first of the big Gauteng sales at Emperor’s Palace on 21 April.

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.

Buy yourself a Var yearling this March!

If you’ve always been in the market for a Var (and who isn’t!), check out the yearling draft from Avontuur Estate for this year’s Cape Premier Sale at  Durbanville Race Course on 18 and 19 March.

Three Var’s feature in the group, including a physically imposing colt out of Oasis Song called Gallagher and two fillies,  Au Revoir out of Timetogoby and  Bouvier out of Jackie O. 

“Gallagher is one of the most amazing-looking yearlings we’ve ever produced,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.  “Not only is he gorgeous, he’s also the colt we’ve been waiting for from this well bred mare – and he’s a beauty!” 

According to Pippa Bouvier is a pretty pocket rocket and although a first foal, she looks like a quick return on investment whilst Au Revoir is the second foal from the proven cross of Stormcat on Damascus.  “She is classy with a lot of scope to boot,” she said.

Tundra is by What a Winter out of an Avontuur stalwart mare, Lena. What a Winter has had a promising start to his stud career with some good 2 yo’s coming to the fore.  This is Lena’s last foal and we believe he’ll add to the glory of his famous sire and highly rated dam over time.

Make sure to pop in beforehand at the farm to see the yearlings or visit us at the Sale.  We look forward to sharing our yearlings with you!  For an appointment, contact Pippa at


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


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.







Cape Premier Sale Yearling Photographs on Show.

We’re loving the “action shots” of the nine yearlings set for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale on 21 and 22 January 2017, at the glamorous CTICC.  Thanks to Liesl King’s highly rated equine photographic skills, our yearlings are shown having a great time in the paddocks at the farm.  Click here to see more….


Oratorio Opens SA Account

Oratorio (IRE), who stands alongside sensational sire Var (USA) at Avontuur Thoroughbreds, has wasted no time in making his mark on South African horseracing. His first runner in this country Sacred Oration made his debut a winning one under jockey Luyolo Mxothwa for trainer Grant Paddock in a maiden juvenile plate over 800m at Fairview on Friday. The colt showed good pace throughout and won very easily. Sacred Oration is out of Sacred Causeway (AUS) by Giant’s Causeway (USA) and he was bred by Patricia Devine Investments who owned one of the most legendary stallions in the history of racehorse breeding in South Africa the one and only Jet Master. It will be interesting to see whether or not the colt kicks on from here, but all things including talent aside this is a very exciting moment for the South African racing and breeding industry, as Oratorio has had success as a stallion all around the world.

Oratorio is a son of Danehill who in turn is a son of Danzig who was sired by Northern Dancer, this is one of the strongest male lines in horse racing today; all of his sire, grand sire and great grand sire will forever have a place in the halls of racehorse breeding history. The female side of his family is not as impressive, but his dam Marah by Vaguely Noble is from the direct family of 1980 Preakness winner Codex, who sired Badger Land who was a very influential sire and broodmare sire in South Africa. Oratorio won 6 of his 15 starts from 2 – 3 years of age, from 1200m – 2000m. He was one of the best racehorses of his generation, being a dual champion with a Time Form Rating of 119 at 2 and 128 at 3.

It may very well pay to follow the Oratorio’s as the season wears on, as they will more than likely resemble their outstanding sire who was honest and genuine. Oratorio has justified the obsession of breeders, owners  and trainers alike.

Article courtesy of