News

Winemaker’s knowledge informs Chardonnay event

The third of our winter series of tutored tastings by winemaker Jan van Rooyen will investigate the maturation potential of our most popular and highest rated white wine, Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve. 

With the 2017 vintage set to be released this Winter, an in-depth look at this intriguing wine which traditionally shows off upfront nuances of orange peel, ginger and white peach, will make for a fascinating exploration of the older vintages from Jan’s vinoteque.

As we only have 20 seats available, jump in quickly to get your spot. Date: Saturday, 14 July.  Cost:  R130 pp (Includes welcome drink, tutored tasting, light meal and coffee).  Bookings essential at winery@avontuurestate.co.za or +27 21 855-3450.

Var and Oratorio – 8 Gr 1’s each!

Oratorio grabs his first SA Gr 1 in style!

Avontuur Thoroughbred Stud is celebrating one of the highlights of international stakes producing stallion Oratorio’s stay in South Africa; last weekend’s first and second place in the R750 000 Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion at Scottsville. 

In this exciting race he opened his South African Gr1 account with a top two finish in the prestigious 2yo 1200m feature, when Van Halen beat Cue the Music by seconds!

The triple Gr1 winning  son of Danehill, imported with a view to producing classic, Met and July winners, has set the country alight and stamped his class with his 2yo’s showing precocity and speed and enjoying a terrific season.

The sire of fifty plus stakes winners worldwide had three runners in a typically high-class renewal of the Gold Medallion, and even though Van Halen and the previously unbeaten stakes winner Cue The Music may have finished in the ‘wrong order’ for many punters, it was a notable afternoon for the Cape breeders.

For us at the farm, the Candiese Marnewick photograph of the two Oratorio’s crossing the finish line within milli-seconds of each other, just sums it all up and is a justification of our belief in Oratorio, who is having a wonderful season.

The weekend started off in style when Oratorio showed off his class at the Stallion Parade at Highlands Stud in Robertson on Friday night.  “I wanted him there with his peers so that everyone could see he is healthy and fully back in the game,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. “He is in good shape and keen to perform and we look forward to an excellent season for him, especially after this weekend’s spectacular performance.”

As if the Oratorio win isn’t enough, we could only cheer again when the high-class Var filly Sommerlied stormed to a well-deserved success in the R750 000 Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint on Saturday too. 

What a weekend it’s been for the team at Avontuur!

Oratorio scores on two continents!

Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm’s successful sire Oratorio, who has enjoyed such a great season with his 2yos in 2017-2018, had another good weekend.

Danehill’s triple G1 winning son had a pair of South African winners to his name over the weekend, and is also broodmare sire of the very exciting Irish 2yo Servalan.

Oratorio

The latter (a first stakes winner for sire No Nay Never) won Sunday’s Listed Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes over 1200m at Naas for trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Seamie Heffernan.

Servalan, who is likely to be aimed at Royal Ascot following her maiden stakes win on Sunday, was produced by the winning Oratorio mare Catch The Eye.

However, Sunday’s feature race winner is not the first high class performer produced by an Oratorio daughter, with others including recent Australian G3 winner Paquirri, Viren’s Army (Dee Stakes) and G3 Athasi Stakes winner Dolce Strega.

Oratorio, a dual Champion Sire in Italy, also had a pair of winners in South Africa over the weekend. His Sacred Touch romped to an effortless 2.75 length 2200m maiden win on Friday for breeders Golden Touch Thoroughbred Services and trainer Grant Paddock.

Oratorio was also responsible for Divine Odyssey, who picked up his second career win, from six outings, when victorious over 1600m at Turffontein on Sunday. The 3yo, who was bred by Laurence Werners, was produced by the Dynasty mare Divine Right.

Oratorio will also be represented in Saturday’s G1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion by three sons – Cue The Music, DI Me and Val Halen, while his daughter Petra is a runner in the same day’s G1 Allan Robertson Championship.

The sire of 50 stakes winners, and counting, Oratorio will also be represented in next weekend’s Cape features by Ancestry (G3 Winter Classic) and Sequined (Listed Olympic Duel Stakes).

Editorial courtesy of Cape Breeders

Cabernet Franc Carnival set to be well-supported again!

The annual Cabernet Franc Carnival, presented by Avontuur Estate tomorrow on Saturday 19 May,  seems to be drawing in the fans again with the tutored tastings of the Top 6 Challenge 2018 wines fully booked already and general festival tickets also selling well.

The Estate will not be open for non-Carnival visitors tomorrow as we are expecting around 400 Cab Franc lovers to descend on the farm from 11-16h00 which will take up most of the public areas and facilities.

If you want to pop in to visit, you can still book tickets at R220 pp at www.plankton.mobi or at the Box Office at the event at R250 pp on the day.  This includes tastings from the 21 wineries exhibiting at the event, a branded tasting glass and a R50 food coupon. 

The Avontuur Restaurant is taking bookings for breakfast and lunch and visitors are welcome to contact them at openhand@polka.co.za or +27 21 855-4296 to book.

Oratorio results heartening for his supporters

The most recent sire rankings came out on 6 May with Oratorio in number two just behind Var in the Leading Sires of 2yo’s by Stakes earnings with R1007 850 off 22 runners.  This is a positive result especially looking back at a tough year health-wise for this trooper, who has recovered fully. 

“He produces classic horses and with them now getting better as they mature, he is firmly established as a sire to watch, in the more mature categories.  However his results again this year in the two year old ratings are most encouraging,  considering his classic bloodlines, “ says Avontuur Estate GM Pippa Mickleburgh,  where he stands at stud.

“We are looking forward to his participation in the Stallion Parade at Highlands Stud in Robertson on Friday 25 May where he will be sharing the limelight with some of SA’s highest rated sires and will not in any way come off other than at the top of this game,” she says.

His win this past month with Cue the Music in the Group race at Scottsville and after an excellent feature win recently with Carlita,  is setting the scene for even better performances with strong support expected at the Scottsville race day on 26 May.

Oratorio is ready for a full season and his bookings are open with the service fee to be announced early June.

Avontuur Presents the fourth Cab Franc Carnival

The 2018 Cabernet Franc Carnival will once again bring one of the most interesting wine varietals to an adoring public. 

On Saturday, 19 May 2018 from 11-4, the Carnival takes place at scenic Avontuur Estate between Stellenbosch and Somerset West where 21 wineries will be on hand to show off their 100% Cabernet Francs,  Cab Franc-led blends and in some cases even Cab Franc Rosé’s. 

The participating wineries are: Avontuur Estate, Chamonix, Delaire Graff, Doolhof Estate, Druk My Niet Wine Estate, Hermanuspietersfontein Wines, Holden Manz Wines,  Kunjani Wines, Morgenster Wine and Olive Estate,  My Wyn, Onderkloof Wine Estate, Oldenburg Vineyards, Ormonde Vineyards, Raats Family Wines, Rainbow’s End Wine Estate, Snow Mountain Wines – James McKenzie,  Spookfontein Wines, The Garajeest,  Vrede en Lust, Whalehaven, Zevenwacht.

Visitors can taste and buy the wines directly from the wineries.

The interactive tutored tastings of the 2018 Cab Franc Challenge Top 6 wines is an integral part of the Carnival and is often the only place to taste these winning wines due to small volumes produced.  The tastings are presented by convenor of the judging panel and Cape Wine Master, Christine Rudman. Tickets cost R100 pp extra and a limited number of seats per session is available.  Sessions:  11h30, 13h00 and 14h30.

The very popular public “vote” to choose the favourite wine of the day, will again take place which gives an interesting perspective on the differences between expert and amateur palates.  

In addition to the wine-related activities, food trucks, lawn games, background music and a multitude of delicious dining options courtesy of the popular Avontuur Estate Restaurant, keeps the crowds entertained.  Relaxing in the beautiful setting of this family-owned Wine and Thorougbred Stud farm adds to the experience of a unique day out.

Tickets are R220 pp on-line and R250 at the gate, which includes the tastings, a R50 discount coupon to spend on food and a tasting glass.  Tickets from   www.plankton.mobi

Follow us on Facebook at Cabernet Franc Carnival or on Twitter at @Cabfrancarnival . 

 

Oratorio leads the charge for NYS18

With all our yearlings and the thoroughbred stud team safely ensconced  at the TBA Sales complex, we are happy to share them with buyers, trainers and owners for the next few days.  Pop in for a viewing, a glass of wine and snack – we look forward to seeing you.

For more info about the selection, have a look below or visit our sales page at http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/stud/sales2018/.

It’s always wonderful to be proven right and in the case of our highly rated international sire, Oratorio, our policy of “give them time”, seem to be paying off as his progeny make waves on race courses country-wide.

Recently Carlita showed her class in the Listed Eastern Cape Fillies Nursery and a few weeks ago it was the turn of the beautiful grey, Mardi Gras out of Sarabande who won in fine style. We therefore have high hopes for the four Oratorio yearlings, making up the bulk of our crop set for the National Yearling Sale in Gosforth Park at the end of April.

Oratorio yearlings looking good…

We start off with the two colts. First up is Lot 58, Cassimbo out of Torra Bay (AUS) who is a powerful, very attractive horse from an internationally successful female line.  Lot 69 – Vivant – out of Viva is a strong, robust brother to Live Life and Cold as Ice.  “Viva is one of our foundation mares and she hasn’t thrown a colt in a long time, which makes this boy a wonderful surprise,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.

The two fillies are Lot 310 called Before the Dawn and she is a high quality first foal out of  the Var mare, Varikate.  Lot 327 is out of Without Malice, herself by Jet Master, and according to Pippa you can clearly see the Jet Master looks in this filly called Ode.

Var holding the fort too…

Two fillies and a colt make up our champion sire Var’s contingent.  Lot 98, called Serenity out of Gr 1 winning mare Bambina Stripes (ARG) is a beautiful young lady, whose name suits her perfectly.  The second filly is Lot 210 called Beautiful Mind out of Model IQ.  “She is out of the stalwart line of Wise Dame who has done very well for Avontuur over the years and as Model IQ has mostly thrown colts, it’s wonderful to have this gorgeous Var filly out of her,” Pippa says.  The Var colt is Lot 512 called Big Bay out of Paradise Beach (IRE). He is a racy, athletic bay colt, who looks like a typical speedy VAR.

Captain Al’s legacy lives on…

We’re happy to present Lot 206 Gabreira who is from the last full crop of Champion Sire Captain Al  out of stakes winning mare Miss Ipanema.  He is a big, strong, strapping colt and a half-brother to the talented two year old Carioca, so should do well.

One Captain of All follows, a colt called Candyman out of Candy Vous (ARG).  He is is smart, strong, powerful and full of beans and from a lovely imported female line.

Leading first season sire represented….

Master of my Fate is the current leading first season sire, and it would be amiss not to show off our classy high-quality colt out of Sea of Calm (USA). This is a great family and Lot 26, Seascape should not disappoint.

Lot 418 is a tall, dark and handsome colt called Double the Fun by Twice Over (GB) and out of the imported mare Gaiety Girl (USA). 

Cape Sale Yearlings highlight Avontuur sires.

With six excellent yearlings set for the mid-April CTS sale in Durbanville, Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm is happy with their draft.  See the Breeding to Win video here to find out more… https://youtu.be/Mjf-Wv5IX5c

Comments Pippa Mickleburgh, Avontuur’s GM:  “Five fillies and one colt mostly featuring our own Oratorio and Var with a few exciting sires thrown in, should give us the edge at this local sale.”

Check out their details here:  http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/stud/sales2018/

Three Oratorio’s start off the list with Lot 134, a medium-sized filly called Rockachino out of Mochachino showing off a very good bloodline and a racy build.  Lot 224, a filly out of Varsity Queen called Curious Mind is a robust, easy moving and powerful horse, who is the picture of her sire. The only Oratorio colt on this sale is Duet, Lot 148 out of Oasis Song.  He is a correct, very nice horse and according to Pippa, could be the surprise in the pack!

When we get to the Var’s, we have two fillies on offer. Lot 213 is called In Good Time out of Timetogoby and she is a good mover and a strong, athletic sort.  The second filly is Lot 287, Eurovar.  “She is a speed machine and a very attractive race horse out of Europe to Africa, and should do well,” Pippa says.

The last yearling set for Durbanville is Lot 272, a filly called Hot Money by Master of my Fate –  a hot new sire from a well-related family.

All in all, a group of yearlings to be proud of!  Pippa and the team will arrive at Durbanville on 10 April and look forward to welcoming clients, supporters and fans soon thereafter. Visit our Stud page http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/stud/sales2018/   to find out more about the pedigree of each yearling and have a look at their action shots, kindly taken by Liesl King.

 

Carlita – daughter of Oratorio shows her class!

The celebrations are ongoing at Avontuur Estate Thoroughbred Stud Farm between Stellenbosch and Somerset West as resident stallion Oratorio’s second year crop just keep on raking in the achievements.

Most recent was this weekend’s spectacular win by his daughter Carlita, ridden by Aldo Domeyer for trainer Alan Greeff, in the listed Eastern Cape Fillies Nursery  over 1200m.  This was his 50th individual black type winner and she looks capable of building on this triumph.

The Piemonte Stud-bred Carlita has now won three races from four starts for stakes of R214 375.

A bargain buy off the KZN Yearling Sale for R35 000, she is by the fast ascending Oratorio (Danehill) out of Auburn Annio (Point Given).

Oratorio has 15 lots on the CTS April Yearling Sale and a further 22 lots on the BSA National Yearling Sale. They should be in demand.

A sire imported to produce classic winners, and Met and July prospects, Oratorio’s 2yo’s have proven the cherry on top of expectations.

Media Release courtesy of Cape Breeders and Sporting Post.