Var – Page 2

NYS Hospitality Lounge now open for viewings

After the success of Avontuur’s first foray into the Emperor’s Palace Select Yearling Sale earlier this month, Pippa and the team from Avontuur is ready for visitors, viewings and general hospitality at the TBA Sales Complex in Germiston.

The National Yearling Sale  offers 8 yearlings, and is a mixed bag with Var’s ruling the roost, although an excellent Oratorio and some exciting new blood in the form of sire Gimmethegreenlight and the in-the-news Jay Peg should tickle the buyers’ fancy.

Ladies first, and with four fillies getting ready for the event Avontuur is especially excited about Lot 422 Kindavar, who is the first foal of the Jet Master mare Without Malice,  an 8 times race winner herself.  “She is tall, a good walker and my pick of the fillies,” Pippa says.

The rest of the Var fillies include Lot 21 Sweet Treat who is correct and athletic and a half-sister to Vous et Var and Lot 163, the first foal from Jeter, who is a real speedball, and closely related to Le Clos, currently proving his class on course.  The last filly (Lot 227)  is by upcoming sire Jay Peg, a tall racy sort who is the close family of Varbration and Captain’s Lullabye.

The only Oratorio on this Sale is Lot 314 Chantyman out of Sea of Calm (USA),  a high quality colt who is a good mover and halfbrother to Balkan  and Princess Katrina.  Pippa commented especially on Lot 398 Keyboogie (Gimmethegreenlight x Valeta) and said he is a very flashy, good looking  colt, who is a half-brother to the exciting 3yo Val et Al and should attract a lot of attention.

Duffield (Lot 452) is a precocious full brother to Twitter (Var x Avian Talk), and is a flashy speed machine.   Hampton Court (Lot 192) by Var is a classy, attractive medium-sized colt who is a nice trainer’s horse out of London Belle, now retired as a brood mare.

“I believe Sweet Treat and Kindavar are outstanding on the fillies side, and the three colts which get my pick are Chantyman, Duffield and Keyboogie. The Avontuur Stud Lounge Hospitality area is open for viewings and socialising from 21 April and we look forward to welcoming all interested parties from then,” Pippa concluded.


Weekend full of winners for Var!

What an incredible weekend it’s been for our sire Var and all his supporters and fans!

Mike Azzie and his crew are celebrating a fantastic race win for Var mare Easy Game who made it look easy in the listed R150 000 Bauhinia Handicap, whilst the Sean Tarry trained Var filly Exquisite Touch won in the R150 000 Listed Ruffian Stakes, both in Joburg.

 Exqiusite-Touch-Ruffian-StakesExquisite Touch.

One of our recently sold yearlings Rivarine, did us and his sire proud too, when he came a close second in the Colts feature.

CPYS 2015 Rivarine running (250x158)Rivarine as a yearling at Avontuur.

And as if all of this is not enough, the 3yo gelding Val Et Al by Captain Al, out of Var’s daughter Valeta and trained by Geoff Woodruff, finished off the Egoli Mile in fine style.

What a weekend it was, and we are all so proud and grateful for all the support we, and Var is experiencing.


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)



Var Two-Year-Olds Star

Avontuur’s outstanding sire Var enjoyed a truly remarkable weekend of juvenile success.

The son of Forest Wildcat was represented by a pair of two-year-old feature race winners, and had no fewer than three impressive individual “baby winners”.

In the process, Var was represented by his 31st and 32nd stakes winners respectively.

Var’s feature race domination commenced in Saturday’s Listed Somerset 1200m at Kenilworth, where his sons, Tar Heel and Western Storm ran first and second in this R125 000.

The third consecutive winner of this race for trainer Joey Ramsden Tar Heel scored by one and three quarter lengths over paternal half brother Western Storm.

The latter was not disgraced, however, as was giving Tar Heel 2 kgs and finished less than two lengths off the winner.

Tar Heel, who was bred by Professor Ian Sanne, has now won two of four outings for owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste and he looks likely to contest a few graded features later this season.

Second of the Var feature race winners this weekend came in the form of the very impressive looking colt Juan Two Three.

The latter, bred by Haras Del Carmo Close Corporation, made it three wins in just four outings when bolting up to win Sunday’s Listed Epol Dahlia Plate by three and a quarter lengths over talented East Cape Nursery hero Captain Swarovski.

Juan Two Three, trained by Alan Greeff for the Scribante family, has now won three races by an aggregate of more than 11 lengths and he looks yet another exceptional juvenile sired by Var.

The latter is also the sire of the Fred Crabbia owned Cup Cake, who made a smart winning debut on the same card as the Dahlia Plate to give Var his 13th individual juvenile winner for the 2014-2015 season.

Var’s juveniles have truly been carrying all before them this season and they also include talented Listed Storm Bird Stakes hero Isca and classy filly Varumba, third in the G2 SA Fillies Nursery.

Story courtesy of Sarah Whitelaw @

Trotting 1

Cracker of a weekend for both Avontuur and VAR

We are proud to record that it was another cracking winning weekend for Avontuur and our superstar Var, with feature successes in the Cape at Kenilworth and at Fairview on East Cape Derby Day, as well as some sparkling performances at Greyville in KZN.

In the Listed Somerset 1200 at Kenilworth on Saturday, Var’s two progressive sons Tar Heel and Western Storm dominated the finish of the Listed Somerset 1200.

In the end it was the Joey Ramsden-trained Tar Heel, who got the better of Glen Puller’s two-time winner Western Storm. With ten smart 2yo’s trailing in their wake, both look to go on and win plenty of races.

At Fairview on Sunday, Var’s smashing good looker Juan Two Three made it three wins from four starts, when scoring a runaway win in the Listed Dahlia Stakes in the hands of Avontuur sponsored jockey Greg Cheyne, who is chasing the SA jockey championship title this term.

Tuned to the minute by trainer Alan Greeff, Juan Two Three looks well on track for a tilt at the Eastern Cape Champion Juvenile title.

It was a great Sunday for Avontuur- breds too with Dean Kannemeyer conditioned Mambo Mime (Mambo In Seattle – Murmuration) winning his second start for Fieldspring Racing in the first race at Greyville, and then Zavaroni (National Emblem – Lena) running a cracker after a tardy start to, fly up for second cheque in the third. She won’t be long in winning!

Congratulations to all of the connections, our loyal supporters, Var and the entire Avontuur team!

Tar Heel winning at Kenilworth

Tar Heel winning at Kenilworth

Top sires in sales list for month-end

Some of the best sires in South Africa form the backbone of Avontuur’s draft of five yearlings going off to the 2nd book of the Cape Yearling Sales at Durbanville later this month.


Durbanville sale 2015 Advert Muambo in Seattle

Visit us in Block B during the sale, and have a look at the pedigrees on our Stud Sales pages on this website.

Exciting youngsters keep Var flag flying

Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm’s outstanding sire Var is well known as one of South Africa’s greatest sources of juvenile talent.

The son of Forest Wildcat has sired juveniles to either win or place in such prestigious South African 2yo races as the Gold Medallion, SA Nursery, Umkhomazi Stakes, Allan Robertson Fillies Championship, and the Golden Slipper.

Var has also sired the likes of Normanz, Twitter and Villandry – all of whom won the Gr3 Godolphin Barb Stakes at two.

Now, Var looks to have another potential Grade 1 juvenile on his hands in the form of Isca.

The latter made a stunning debut at Turffontein on Saturday when running off to claim the Listed Storm Bird Stakes in a canter.

Trained by Gavin Van Zyl, the flashy grey colt flew home to place two and a half lengths between himself and runner up Bazuca.

Isca, who was following in the footsteps of former Equus Champion Soft Falling Rain by winning the Storm Bird, was certainly a most fitting winner of the race – as his paternal great great grandsire is Storm Bird himself.

He looks a colt with the potential to go all the way to the top and is yet another top class prospect for his sire.

Var has made a stunning start with his juveniles in 2014-2015 and at the time of writing currently sits atop of South Africa’s 2yo sires list.

Other smart juveniles representing Var this season include the brilliant Juan Two Three, who is unbeaten in two outings and is another Var colt whose future looks to be in feature races.

Var, himself a former Champion Sprinter, is strongly represented at both the March Yearling Sale and National Yearling Sale.

At this month’s March Sale, Var has a draft of eight yearlings, which includes a filly out of the well bred stakes winner Toga (Lot 78) and a half sister to Gr2 Sceptre Stakes winner Reflective Image (Lot 88).

Var’s 31 strong draft on the National Sale includes a few gems, namely colts out of such well performed mares as Arcola, Classique Story, Gorongosa, Jet Trail and On Her Toes, and fillies out of the likes of Smangaliso and Wise Dame.

He is also the sire of lot 422 – a half brother to Gr1 Fillies Guineas winners Captain’s Lover and Ebony Flyer and a son of former Broodmare Of The Year Sunshine Lover.

Isca is the 29th stakes winner for his sire, who had a 2014 stud fee of R150 000.


Story courtesy of Gavelhouse

Photograph by Sporting Post

Val de Ra and Miss Frankel arrive “home”

The team at Avontuur Estate were ecstatic last week when one time SA champion Sprinter Val de Ra arrived home safely with her super Frankel foal in tow, from the Quarantine Facility at Drakenstein where she spent the last month. Mom and little Miss Frankel are now settling in happily with other mares and foals in the paddocks at this Helderberg Stud Farm.

With her maternal instincts proven beyond any doubt after giving birth in the UK in 2013 to a strong filly by another of the world’s top sires, Oasis Dream, and after being covered by Frankel she took on the long trip home to SA with her first foal at foot earlier this year.

“She is looking well and the filly is a real character. We had a fantastic visit by Val de Ra’s racing days trainer Dennis Drier and his wife Gill earlier this week, and we all agreed that this foal has that something special,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. “Val de Ra was recently covered by Oratorio and we are now waiting to see if she is with foal again, but in the meantime she’s enjoying a well-deserved routine and is getting lots of pampering by all of us.”

Dennis Drier meets Miss Frankel with Val de Ra in the background.

Dennis Drier meets Miss Frankel with Val de Ra in the background.

Val de Ra (Var x Minelli) had a blazing career in South Africa and was crowned the Equus Champion Sprinter for the 2010-11 season with her greatest moment arguably when she beat What A Winter in the 2012 Cape Flying Championship.


A special thanks to Liesl King for the stunning pics of Val de Ra and her foal.

Var colt tops Ready to Run Sale

Lot 76, a Var colt who is the spitting image of his sire, topped the CTS Ready to Run Sale in Johannesburg when he was bought by Mayfair Speculators for R1.6 million. He will be trained by Joey Ramsden, best known for his incredible success with another Var champion,Variety Club.


The colt was a favourite to do well from the start of the sale and is out of the Kabool (GB) mare Egyptian Reign (SAF),  and a half brother to G2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Go Indigo.


This inaugural sale at the Inanda Club in Joburg, had 145 lots which went through at an aggregate of R24 680 000 in total.

First Frankel foal born in SA to Val de Ra

Avontuur Estate is happy to announce the delivery this morning of a healthy, strong filly by one of the world’s top-ranked race horses and super star sire Frankel, out of Avontuur owned mare and SA champion sprint filly, Val de Ra.

Val de Ra (Var x Minelli) had a blazing career in South Africa and was crowned the Equus Champion Sprinter for the 2010-11 season with her greatest moment arguably when she beat What A Winter in the 2012 Cape Flying Championship.

With her maternal instincts proven without any doubt after giving birth in the UK in 2013 to a strong filly by another of the world’s top sires, Oasis Dream, and after being covered by Frankel she took on the long trip home to SA with her first foal at foot earlier this year.

Settled in comfortably at the Drakenstein Quarantine Facility where she has to stay for another month till all the necessary tests have been done, the birth went well and GM Ross Fuller says the new-born is strong, flashy and well-balanced and both mom and baby are doing well.

Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh explained that words can’t describe the excitement at Avontuur this morning! “She was only due on the 26th but the little one clearly couldn’t wait. We are so grateful to the team at Drakenstein for looking after her so well and she has once again impressed everyone with her presence of mind, endurance – or good old “vasbyt” as it’s known in Afrikaans – and is looking well and happy! This is a historic moment for SA thoroughbred breeding and as it might be our one and only chance for a SA born Frankel foal, the moment is just huge for the team at Avontuur,” she commented.

Val De Ra won 11 of her 13 starts, including four Group Ones: the 2011 Computaform Sprint, the SA Fillies (twice in consecutive years 2010 and 2011) and the Cape Flying Championships. In total she earned approximately R1 848140.

Her first foal is now a yearling and based at Avontuur Estate in the Helderberg between Stellenbosch and Somerset West where she is being prepared for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in January.

“I can’t wait to get Val de Ra back to her real home at Avontuur,” Pippa says. “She will have a wonderful few months relaxing with her new foal and will eventually visit Oratorio, one of the resident stallions at the Estate and himself one of the world’s greats!

Frankel in the winners enclosure after his last win.

Frankel in the winners enclosure after his last win.