Stud News

Spring has sprung with foals galore

August and September are when most of our gorgeous foals are born, and Pippa and her team have been kept so busy with these arrivals, it’s hard to keep up!

We regularly update the new progeny  with pics on our Stud page – visit http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/blood-stock/foals-2017/ to see more. 

Pretty soon they will have grown enough to show off in the paddocks close to the winery, and equine lovers are then welcome to visit and enjoy!  For now they’re sticking close to their dams, and getting more independent and active daily.

 

Legal Eagle soars at Equus Awards 2017

South Africa’s national racing and breeding awards were held at the Convention Centre at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.

Champion Legal Eagle – top of the pops

The Equus Awards are dubbed Horseracings ‘Oscars’ and acknowledge excellence in a variety of equine and human categories.

Legal Eagle, the Avontuur-bred Greys Inn gelding was a popular choice as Horse Of The Year for the second consecutive season. The Sean Tarry trained 6yo gelding achieved back-to-back wins in the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes. He also won the Gr2 Green Point Stakes and ran second in the Gr1 Sun Met and Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge. He also clinched the awards of Champion Miler and Champion Older Male.

To continue the “Avontuur” theme, one of our sponsored jockeys Lyle Hewitson was crowned Champion Apprentice Jockey of the Year – which was just the cherry on top!

EQUUS AWARDS 2016-2017

HORSE OF THE YEAR
Legal Eagle

CHAMPION 2YO COLT:
Mustaaqeem

CHAMPION 2YO FILLY:
Lady In Black

CHAMPION 3YO COLT:
Edict Of Nantes

CHAMPION 3YO FILLY:
Just Sensual

CHAMPION OLDER MALE:
Legal Eagle

CHAMPION OLDER FILLY/MARE:
Carry On Alice

CHAMPION SPRINTER (1000 – 1200m; age/gender immaterial):
Carry On Alice

CHAMPION MILER (1400 – 1600; age/gender immaterial):
Legal Eagle

CHAMPION MIDDLE DISTANCE (1800 – 2200; age/gender immaterial):
Whisky Baron

CHAMPION STAYER (2400m and up; age/gender immaterial):
Hermoso Mundo

Story courtesy of Sporting Post

Legal Eagle makes it a treble at Breeders Awards

Last night’s glamorous affair near Stellenbosch was a fantastic event for the Avontuur team as Avontuur-bred Legal Eagle was awarded three top spots in the awards list.

He was the Cape Breeders winner in the Middle Distance category, the Older Male category and the Horse of the Year category!

What an achievement for this fantastic athlete and congratulations to all involved, including our own Stud Farm team who bred him.

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 supports Festival of Racing in KZN

Avontuur Estate, the winery and thoroughbred stud farm between Stellenbosch and Somerset West is proud to be associated with what we believe will become one of the most exciting events on the KZN racing calender, The Gold Cup Festival of Racing which takes place over the month-end weekend of July in Durban.

Not only is the brand the sponsor of two races on the day, the award-winning wine range from this family-owned Helderberg site, will also be on show at the various events and dining outlets at the race course.

“We believe in reinvesting back into the sport and we are thrilled to be part of this unique event.  Our sponsorship of the two races, the Gr 3 Avontuur Umkhomazi Stakes and the Listed Avontuur Darley Arabian will give us the exposure on the race days and on the course.  Our wine sponsorship of the Gala Dinner on Thursday, 27 July as well as the fact that a good selection of our wines will be for sale in the various restaurants on site during the event, will give visitors the perfect overview of why we believe we are the home of fine wines and fast horses,” says Pippa Mickleburgh, GM of the Estate.

“We hope to get involved in further events of this nature on a national basis, but look forward to a great long weekend of fantastic racing, glamorous outfits and award-winning wine at this first-ever Festival of Racing,” she concluded.

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.

 

 

 

Oratorio’s 2 year olds show early class

“I am pleasantly surprised with the seemingly effortless win by 2Yo Ancestry (Oratorio x A Daughter’s Legacy) this past Saturday at Scottsville as my mantra regarding Oratorio’s offspring is ‘Give them Time and they will Shine’,” says Avontuur Estate GM Pippa Mickleburgh.   “As if Ancestry’s performance wasn’t enough, we also celebrated Mrs O’s win on debut at Turffontein, so it looks like their worth is being proven even earlier than expected.” 

See the video here of Ancestry’s incredible race!

https://www.facebook.com/TBredSANews/videos/271050706696226/

 

Oratorio is currently the second leading first season sire by % winners to runners at 25% with 8 winners from 11 races and a total Stakes of R829 925.  

“Although we’re extremely happy with these performances, we expect that as his progeny matures, their ongoing achievements will prove why Avontuur brought this globally rated sire to South Africa a few years ago.” 

Pippa referred to his many talented offspring waiting in the wings to strut their stuff and mentioned that there are five Oratorio’s on the KZN Yearling Sale coming up soon.

“Although none of them are Avontuur-bred we look forward to seeing the results when Lot numbers 29, 133, 159, 224 and 259 appear in the ring.  Personally I like Lot 29 Catharsis, as he is a half-brother to Gr 2 winner Hard Day’s Night as well as being from the family of Major Bluff, Silver Bluff and Key Castle, who are all multiple winners.  Another good looking Oratorio is Carlita, Lot no 159, the only filly in the group.  She is a classic filly with the pedigree to back it up, being from the female line of champion Argentinian filly Southern Spring. She should be a good purchase,” Pippa says.

Oratorio still has some services available at R80 000, so do not be caught napping! Contact Pippa Mickleburgh at stud@avontuurestate.co.za for more info or to arrange a service. 

 

NYS17 – Introducing Avontuur’s draft: Video

When chatting to Pippa Mickleburgh a week or so ago, just before the yearlings left for Johannesburg, she had this to say about the nine horses on offer at Gosforth Park’s TBA Sales Complex:

The Oratorio’s are featuring well in this Sale and with recent wins by his progeny, should be exciting to see.  Lot 90, Cloud Break by Oratorio (IRE) is the first foal of talented race mare Pan Amm. She is powerful and very athletic – a neat filly.  Caesura (Lot 469) by Oratorio (IRE) out of Jeter is a lovely colt who looks like he’s got the X-factor! Making Waves (Lot 159) is one of those fillies who operate under the radar, a hidden gem so to speak!  She is a well-related classy filly out of Sea of Calm (USA).

Our stalwart Var once again puts on  a good showing.  The two Var fillies are Lot 324, Laduree out of Candy Vous (ARG) and Miss International (Lot 386) out of Europe to Africa (AUS).  Laduree is a big filly with typical Var moves where Miss International is a precocious speedball and should be a good return on investment.  Lot 298 is a colt called Jardin out of Azabu Park (AUS).  He is racy, tall and a good-looking youngster.

We end off with 2 colts and a filly and Pippa’s comments are:  “Ladies first and we start off with Lot 490, On the Double by Twice Over (GB) out of Kitco.  She is a first foal and will have great paddock value as she’s a strong, classy filly.  Lot 327 is a big, strong, imposing colt called Rags to Riches by Dynasty out of Captured Time. He is a full blood brother to champion race mare Beach Beauty and although he will take a bit of time, will be well worth the wait.  Lot 91, a colt called El Sereno is the first living foal out of a high quality mare called Paradise Square.  He is a good walker and seems to have lots of scope.”