Var – Page 2

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.


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.







3 Avontuur-bred runners in KZN Gr1

With 3 Avontuur-bred runners in Saturday’s Sprint extravaganza at Scottsville in Durban, it’s no wonder we’re totally confused about who to cheer for in the exciting R600 000 Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion.

First up is Rivarine, who is flush with success after being awarded champion 2 yo colt at the recent Highveld Future Season Awards.

Good friend Dennis Drier has high hopes for 2015 Durbanville Yearling Sales purchase, Horse Guards and he is an expert on this race,so not many will be betting against him and his team bringing home the accolades again.


Stunning son of Var Paper Writer is the last Avontuur-bred entrant and with his speedster genes, should be a worthy contender for first place.

What a day’s racing it will be for us and we wish all participants and their connections the best of luck.




Emperor’s Select Sale a triumph for Avontuur

Although believing that an outstanding draft of five colts was put up for auction for their first outing at the Emperor’s Palace Select Yearling Sale, Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh could still barely believe the results of Friday, 15 April 2016!

The top prices of the Sale were achieved by three Avontuur yearlings, and all five went at an extraordinary average of R1 965 000,  with an aggregate achieved of R9 825 000.

The two magnificent Oratorio colts, Mardi Gras and Graduate (Cover pic with two grooms) were joint sales-toppers at R3,2 million and the demand for the internationally proven son of Danehill’s progeny is expected to continue at the National Yearling Sale at the end of the month, where 15 more Oratorio’s are offered.  The third highest priced lot is the R3 million paid by Mayfair Speculators for Talk Of The Town, a son of Var out of a Street Cry mare – a fellow with a stallion pedigree if ever we have seen one.

Mardi Gras in the paddocks at Avontuur

Mardi Gras in the paddocks at Avontuur


The results are hardly surprising given Avontuur’s time honoured philosophy of sending the best to the best, world-class farm management and providing the pastoral environmental platform for the launch of their fine wines and fast horses.

“Selling racehorses is not unlike training them. The fundamentals have to be in place and the stock is important. Programming and placement at sales is also key. Pushing horses that are not ready can only put you on the back foot. I think the stars were simply aligned on Friday and everything fell so neatly into place,” Pippa explained when asked about her thoughts after the Sale.

With eight yearlings ready for the National Yearling Sale at month-end, Pippa is moving across to the TBA Sales Complex for the next challenge.  Five Var’s, and Oratorio a Jay Peg and Lot 398, a stunning colt by Gimmethegreenlight out of Valeta named Keyboogie are on their way up to Gauteng this week.

The Avontuur Hospitality Lounge will be open for viewings from Thursday, and Pippa and her team look forward to welcoming you there.

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