Var

Two trusted sires keep on delivering the winners!

Avontuur Estate is proud to be the home of two of South Africa’s highest-rated sires with the ever-green Var currently at the top of the sire’s list by stakes and  the leading sire of 3 yo’s,  as well as being the 2017/2018 reigning champion for 2 year olds.  Oratorio, who is a more recent addition to the Avontuur stud business has also proved his worth over the years and is holding his own on the current general sire’s lists after an excellent 2017/2018 performance.

Var had a brilliant win yesterday with Rivarine (Var x River Jetez) who came out fresh and fighting after a 44 week break to win the R150 000 listed Golden Loom Handicap at Turffontein.  The gelding has now won 6 races with 6 places from 20 starts and looks set for an excellent return to form. “We are thrilled to present his full sister Delta Queen at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in January 2019,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. 

Earlier a stunning debut win by Vardy got the excitement going in the Marcus stable, and we hope for much more from this handsome son of Var.  He looks like a champ already!

Oratorio didn’t stand back either with two wins this weekend, Tubular Bells in PE over 2000 m on Friday and Supreme Orator, ridden by Anton Marcus over 1600 m at Greyville in KZN. 

“With both stallions back in fine form and doing well,  we’ve opened up a few more spots on the book for Var for this season and Oratorio has some space left too.  If you are looking for future winners, contact me at stud@avontuurestate.co.za to book asap,” Pippa said.

Var successes offer breeding opportunities

With the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship coming up this Saturday at Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town,  all eyes are on brilliant debut winner Varsity Lover who is representing Var, the current SA Stakes leader as well as being the current 3yo Sire’s list leader, in this prestigious event.

According to Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh he is working well at the moment which has led to his book being opened for a few more mares this year.  “We were keeping his covers quite low initially,   only offering his services to stakeholders, but he is holding up so well that we are keen to add a few more visits,” she says. She can be contacted at stud@avontuurestate.co.za to book your mare.

His ongoing success was proven again by last weekend’s wins in three different countries.

Var’s treble was highlighted by his daughter Mia Finola’s impressive score in the ZRP Fillies Mile at Borrowdale on Sunday.  Trained by Bridget Stidolph, the 3 yo made it win number four from just eight outings when recording a length and a quarter win in Sunday’s Listed race.

Mia Finola, who has now reeled off three wins in a row, was bred by the Piemonte Stud. The filly, who is out of the Wolfhound mare Basilica, had previously tasted feature race success when landing the Champagne Stakes back in July and also finished third in last season’s Champion Juvenile Stakes.

She is one of a number of high class 3 yo’s representing Var this season, with others including SA Nursery winner William The Silent, G2 filly Ghaalla, Sophomore Sprint third Top Of The Class and Varsity Lover.

Var also enjoyed success in both South Africa and Mauritius over the weekend, with his son Lucius Fox shedding his maiden over 2000m at Greyville on Friday night, and another son, Varside, scoring at Champ de Mars on Saturday.

Info courtesy of Cape Breeders Club.

Var and Oratorio – 8 Gr 1’s each!

April yearling sales prove international support is growing

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!

 

April yearling sales info now available.

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 stud@avontuurestate.co.za. 

 

 

Cape Yearling Sale coming up in January

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!

Var is Champion sire for 2 year olds!

The first of August was an auspicious day for Avontuur Stud Farm as the great news arrived that Var is the SA Champion Sire of two year olds for the season 2016/17.

As GM Pippa Mickleburgh says:  “We have never ever had a stallion win this title on Avontuur before so it is a testament to everyone’s belief that our boy would eventually do it for us.” She also commented on the late owner, Tony Taberer’s confidence that the stallion would come through for the farm and SA, and that he had the foresight to purchase this incredible horse all those years ago.

The cherry on top is that Avontuur’s second stallion Oratorio finished up as the leading first season sire on % winners to runners, which is an awesome start to the big O’s South African career after  such an outstanding record overseas. 

Everyone was enjoying a glass or two of Avontuur’s own MCC earlier today and revelling in the good news with the Stud team.  But, as Pippa says wryly, “ We’re all absolutely thrilled with the news and it deserves a party but today also marks the start of the next racing season; all statistics begin again!”

We believe our two outstanding sires will keep on delivering the good stats and we wish everyone well for the next season.

 

Avontuur sires in the running for top spots!

The 2016-2017 season is fast drawing to a close in the Southern Hemisphere, and champion sires will soon be crowned.  Both Var and Oratorio are in the running and we are holding thumbs for good results.

Var has enjoyed a remarkable run with his 2yos and the son of Forest Wildcat looks on course to end Captain Al’s eight year reign. Var, whose juveniles have earned R2.45 million, has been represented by 20 individual juvenile winners thus far, headed by Gr2 Durban Golden Horseshoe winner, Purple Diamond, and Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion runner up, Varallo.

With two major 2yo races yet to be run, the first crop sires title appears to lie among What A Winter, Oratorio, and Twice Over. What A Winter is the leading first crop sire by stakes winners (3) and by prize money, with Oratorio and What A Winter being joint leading first crop sires by individual winners –the pair have eight apiece.

 

Story courtesy of Sporting Post.

Var and Oratorio start July off with a bang!

What a fantastic weekend we had in Durban last weekend, with Purple Diamond (Var) and Ancestry (Oratorio) going head-to-head in the Golden Horseshoe and two Var’s coming in in fourth and fifth place respectively. This has led to Var now sitting at the top of 2yo sire’s lists which is always a thrill for any breeder.

 

She’s a Giver ran a brilliant second to Bella Bella in the Gr 1 Garden Province Stakes and Chantyman did us proud as well! 

 

What a start to July 2017!

July weekend looking good for Avontuur!

The first weekend in July in South Africa is all about racing, stunning thoroughbreds, glamorous celebs and the general public enjoying the balmy winter weather in Durban.

The TBA KZN Yearling Sale starts off the programme on Thursday the 29th, and this year there are five Oratorio’s and three Var’s in the catalogue which we are looking forward to supporting. With 2Yo Ancestry’s (Oratorio x A Daughter’s Legacy) win recently, and the ongoing excellent performances of the Var’s, this crop should keep the buyers lining up,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. 

On Saturday 1 July the biggest race day in the country will take place and although Avontuur does not have a runner in the big one, we do have lots of interest in most of the action taking place. In the main race, our Avontuur-sponsored jockeys will be showing off their talent with MJ Byleveld on Master Sabina, Lyle Hewittson on French Navy for the in-form Tarry yard and Callan Murray jetting in from the East to steer last year’s winner, The Conglomerate for the Ramsden yard.

In the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe over 1400m we’re looking forward to seeing Ancestry up against Varallo and Varimas. In the 8th race it’s Isca, Our Destiny, Horse Guards, Varbration and Attenborough taking on each other, making this race of only 12 contestants, nearly half-filled with horses linked in some way with Avontuur.  In the Grade 1 Garden Province Stakes over a mile, Avontuur-bred She’s a Giver will be strutting her stuff. 

All in all a full and exciting weekend ahead and we wish all the owners, breeders, jockeys, horses and punters a successful one!

Caption:   Ancestry as a yearling at Avontuur in the paddocks.