Var – Page 4

3 Var Fillies make it 1,2,3 at Fairview

Our star sire Var once again drove the crowds wild at Fairview on Friday when three of his daughters passed the post in first, second and third place in the Listed Milkwood Stakes  over 1000m.

VAR  in the paddocks

VAR in the paddocks


Variety Star, trained by Justin Snaith came in as the overall winner, with Maties Wildekat in second and Vivalda in third!


Congratulations to all the connections, owners, trainers and jockeys who support us and our champion sire so loyally!

Double Gr 1 win for Var on Saturday

The many fans and supporters of our champion sire Var had a ball on Saturday when two of his offspring made history by winning two of the Gr 1 races at Scottsville in fine style.

Via Africa held on for a brave, nail-biting finish in the Gr 1 SA Fillies Sprint over 1200 m holding on to the honour for the second year in a row, making it 10 wins out of 16 starts for this super filly. With another Var, Varikate in 4th place, this seems like a slam dunk for our sire!

Normanz wins the Gr1 Golden Horse Sprint in May 2014

Normanz wins the Gr1 Golden Horse Sprint in May 2014

Son of Var,  Normanz ran an outstanding race from start to finish in the Gr 1 Golden Horse Sprint over 1200 m.  Bred by Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm (Var x La Normandie) and ridden by first-time Gr 1 jockey Athandiwe Mgudlwa, he made it a 5th win from 13 starts and looks at his best when he dictates from the front.


Well done to all the connections, jockeys, trainers and everyone who made this day possible!  We look forward to more of the same….

It’s a Var fest in PMB this weekend.

It’s All Star Horseracing at Scottsville this Saturday with four Gr 1’s and some of the country’s best horses lining up for a day of incredible racing as part of the three month long Champion’s Season Extravaganza in KZN!

For Avontuur and all the Var fans out there, the day is even better as we have an incredible number of Var’s progeny participating and as if that’s not enough, a substantial number of other Avontuur-bred horses as well.

Some of the well-known Var’s include Via Africa, Contador and Schiffer with up-and-coming participants like Varikate, Harry Lime and Rock me Var adding to the line-ups.

Via Afrika

Via Afrika

Other runners linked to Avontuur include Balkan, Normanz, Tevez, Miss October and Happy Forever, all of which have been making us proud over the last few years. 

See below for some of the race cards, featuring this incredible line-up:

Gr 1 Golden Horse Sprint, R750 000 (1200m)

 1  HERE COMES BILLY    60.0  112 (112)   14      

2  CONTADOR            59.5  111 (111)    7

 3  WHITELINE FEVER     59.0  110 (110)    9

 4  SNOWDON             58.5  109 (109)    2

 5  HAPPY FOREVER       57.5  107 (107)   16

 6  LAKE ARTHUR         57.0  106 (106)    4

 7  RED RAY             56.5  108 (105)   17

 8  TEVEZ               56.5  105 (105)   15      

9  CASTLETHORPE        55.5  103 (103)   12

10  BARBOSA             55.0  102 (102)    8

11  MR WHATEVER         54.5  101 (101)    3

12  READYTOGORIGHTNOW   54.5  101 (101)    1

13  CHEKILLI            53.5  102 ( 99)   10     

14  NORMANZ             53.0  101 ( 98)    6

15  PIANO MAN           52.5   97 ( 97)   11

16  REGAL EAGLE         52.5   97 ( 97)   18

Reserve Runners

17  RODEO DANDY         52.0   96 ( 96)   13

18  DEPARDIEU           52.0   95 ( 95)    5


Gr 1 Allan Robertson Championship.  R600 000.  (1200 m)

 1  ALBORAN SEA         58.0    0 (  0)    2      

2  ARRIA               58.0    0 (  0)   16

 3  BALKAN              58.0    0 (  0)    9

 4  COTTON CANDY        58.0    0 (  0)    4

 5  FLAME CAT           58.0    0 (  0)   13

 6  FLYING LOOT         58.0    0 (  0)   15

 7  LADY KY             58.0    0 (  0)   10

 8  MAJMU               58.0    0 (  0)    3

 9  MILLENIUM REIGN     58.0    0 (  0)   11

10  MISS ARGENTINA      58.0    0 (  0)   14

11  ONE FINE DAY        58.0    0 (  0)    1

12  RICH GIRL           58.0    0 (  0)   12

13  ROSIER              58.0    0 (  0)    8

14  SEVEN WHISPERS      58.0    0 (  0)    6

15  SHAHRASAL           58.0    0 (  0)    5

16  WHISTLING WONDER    58.0    0 (  0)    7

Gr 1 SA Fillies Sprint. R600 000 (1200m)

Sc# Horse               Mass   MR       Draw

1  VIA AFRICA          60.0  112 (112)    1

2  ALL IS SECRET       60.0  111 (111)    5

3  MISS OCTOBER        60.0  106 (106)    6

4  JET AGLOW           60.0  104 (104)   15

5  REFLECTIVE IMAGE    60.0  102 (102)   16

6  JET SUPREME         60.0  100 (100)   10

7  HONORINE            60.0   98 ( 98)   13

8  JACKODORE           60.0   97 ( 97)    9

 9  SCHIFFER            60.0   96 ( 96)   11

10  KING’S TEMPTRESS    60.0   95 ( 95)    3

11  CHOIR MAIDEN        60.0   94 ( 94)   12

12  KINEMATIC COUNTESS  60.0   94 ( 94)   14

13  FLY BY NIGHT        60.0   93 ( 93)    4

14  SHE’S A STUNNER     60.0   90 ( 90)    2

15  VARIKATE            60.0   88 ( 88)    7

16  TIGER QUEST         58.5  105 (102)    8

  Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Medallion, R600 000.  (1200 m)

   1  ANJAAL          58.0    0 (  0)   14

  2  ANTWERP         58.0    0 (  0)   16

  3  BANAADEER       58.0    0 (  0)   11

  4  BECKEDORF       58.0    0 (  0)    8

  5  BELONG TO ME    58.0    0 (  0)   18      

  6  CAPTAIN CLIPPER 58.0    0 (  0)    9

  7  DANTE’S LEGACY  58.0    0 (  0)    5

  8  GUINESS         58.0    0 (  0)    6

  9  HARRY LIME      58.0    0 (  0)   15

10  HARRY’S SON      58.0    0 (  0)    4

11  ISPHAN           58.0    0 (  0)    2

12  PRECURSOR        58.0    0 (  0)   12

13  PUNK ROCKER      58.0    0 (  0)   13

14  ROCK ME VAR      58.0    0 (  0)    1

15  SPLIT THE BREEZE 58.0    0 (  0)   10

16  CARRY ON ALICE   55.5    0 (  0)    3




Variety Club once again flies the SA flag in Hong Kong

Variety Club “gave a classy field a hiding” in Hong Kong yesterday when our dual Horse of the Year won the Champions Mile by 4 lengths.  Regular jocky Anton Marcus used his famous fast jump speed from the gate to ensure that he eliminated his bad 12 draw early on,  and then ran a comfortable second for most of the race .  When he took the first place  in the straight,  it was really a case of who comes second.

Variety Club wins the Champions Mile in Hong Kong 4 May 2014

Obviously we are all elated and it looks as if this 5yo son of Var can do no wrong, having been a winner now in 3 countries.  Congratulations to owners Marcus and Ingrid Jooste, trainer Mike de Kock, jocky Anton Marcus and everyone who is involved with keeping our champion happy and fit!


Variety Club set for Hong Kong Showdown

Officials at the Hong Kong Jockey Club have extended invitations to the connections of 10 local horses and four foreign-based competitors for the HK$12 million (US$1.55m) G1 Champions Mile on May 4 at Sha Tin Racecourse. 

No horse from outside of Hong Kong has been able to take down the Champions Mile, but G2 Godolphin Mile hero Variety Club (SAf) (Var) could be just what the doctor ordered as he makes his first start for the always-dangerous barn of trainer Mike de Kock in the Champions Mile. Previously conditioned by Joey Ramsden, Variety Club was his nation’s Horse of the Year in 2011/2012 with victories in the G1 Cape Guineas and the G1 Gold Challenge S. He also won the 2013 G1 LOrmarins Queens Plate over the 1600-meter distance and exits a front-running score from a wide draw in the Godolphin Mile Mar. 29.

The Champions Mile is ranked among the IFHA list of the worlds top 50 Group 1 races and the 2014 edition is yet another outstanding race,commented HKJC Executive Director of Racing Bill Nader. As befits a contest of global interest, we have four genuine contenders from overseas that will push this crop of exciting Hong Kong milers to their peak, and perhaps one from this quartet of international challengers has what it takes to end the local dominance.

Variety Club in action

Variety Club in action

Six Var’s line up for Computaform Sprint

We’re over the moon with excitement as six of our super sire Var’s progeny line up for the Gr1 R1 000 000 Computaform Sprint over 1000m at Turffontein tomorrow!

Although all of them are close to our hearts, we’re really hoping for great performances for undisputed South African sprint king Via Africa who should be in fine form under the capable hands of Kevin Shea,  whilst Contador, ridden by Anton Marcus and the Dennis Drier trained filly Schiffer, should be in the running too.

Via Afrika

Via Afrika

Whatever happens tomorrow, the race is of great importance for Var fans, and although his progeny have conclusively proved their mastery over longer distances too,  as evinced by the recent win in Dubai by Variety Club, the speed and excitement of Sprint racing, is one of the high points of the racing calender whenever it happens.

We wish everyone all of the best for this outing.

Normanz, by VAR wins at Clairwood

Normanz had a great race yesterday at Clairwood and won the 1100 listed In Full Flight Stakes in fine style!  Well done to all the connections and once again our champion sire shows his mettle. We look forward to more and more excitement as more of his progeny step into the racing arena.

Gallery now loaded for National Yearling Sale

Interested parties are welcome to have a look at our Stud pages on this website, click on Sales, and enjoy the official portraits of each of the exciting crop of 14 yearlings travelling up to Johannesburg for the 2014 Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sale.

On the home page  we show Gr 1 winning race mare A Daughter’s Legacy with her tiny Var foal in 2012,  and below you can see the same filly, now an appealing,  flashy and athletic sort  named “A Woman’s Will” (Lot no 153), ready for her great moment in the auction ring in Johannesburg.

A Woman's Will, Var x A Daughter's Legacy.

A Woman’s Will, Var x A Daughter’s Legacy.

Star siblings support Joburg Yearling Crop

A precocious group of fourteen yearlings will hit the long road north from Avontuur Estate in mid-April to represent the Thoroughbred farm at the Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sale on 27 and 28 April.

 They all carry impressive pedigrees from illustrious lines of sires and dams, which is proven by their highly rated siblings that read like a who’s who of racing over the last few years. 

Severino (Lot 440) is a strong workmanlike colt (Var x Minelli) and a full brother to Equus Sprinter of the Year Val de Ra, who is currently in foal to Frankel in the UK. We expect that he will attract loads of attention when viewing opens for buyers on Saturday, 19 April at the TBA sales complex in Gosforth Park. 

Val de Ra wins in the Tony Taberer Southern Cross Race on Fillies Day in 2011

Val de Ra wins in the Tony Taberer Southern Cross Race on Fillies Day in 2011

Another exciting youngster is (Lot 28) Amadeo (Dynasty x Sarabande)  who is a half brother to a list of impressive race winners which include Chesalon, La Volta and Valeta, and he should be right up there with the best.

Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh highlighted a half sister to multiple group 1 winner Via Africa as well.  “She is Elusive Enchantment (Lot 198) by Elusive Fort out of Bump & Grind and we believe that her sire has great potential as has been shown by the encouraging start to his stud career ” she says.

 Last among the “famous sibling” crop is a filly by champion sire Silvano out of Fine Wood called Charisma (Lot 294), who is a half-sister to Gr 1 winner Contador, by our own champion sire Var. 

 Other exciting yearlings include Lot 68 Matchmaker , and the first foal out Gr 3 winning race mare A Daughter’s Legacy called A Woman’s Way.  Comments Pippa:  “ I think Matchmaker (Dynasty x Sports Chestnut)  is one of the best yearlings we’ve ever had and he should be very well received in JHB.  We are also excited to present the next chapter of A Daughter’s Legacy’s career and her filly by Var is flashy and athletic and we look forward to seeing her perform in future”.

 Pippa and the team will be at the Avontuur Estate Stud Lounge at the Sales Complex  right through Easter weekend up to the Sale,  and everyone is  welcome to pop in for a glass of wine, some snacks and some of the best yearlings on offer this year!

Var Dominates Computaform Sprint

Avontuur’s red-hot sire Var dominates the entries for the Gr1 Computaform Sprint.
This R1 million feature will be run at Turffontein on April 26th, and has attracted 15 entries at this stage.

Remarkably, of these 15, no fewer than six are sired by Var!

South Africa’s king of speed’s runners include the Gr1 winners Contador and Via Africa, as well as recent Gr3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap winner Miss October.

Var, who was the leading sire at the 2014 March Yearling Sale, has enjoyed a tremendous run of success of late.

His feature race winners over the past weekend included Variety Club, a spectacular winner of the Gr2 Godolphin Mile on World Cup night, and Via Africa – who scored a repeat win in the Listed Kwa Zulu Natal Stakes.

– Courtesy of Sarah Whitelaw,