Stud News

Two trusted sires keep on delivering the winners!

Avontuur Estate is proud to be the home of two of South Africa’s highest-rated sires with the ever-green Var currently at the top of the sire’s list by stakes and  the leading sire of 3 yo’s,  as well as being the 2017/2018 reigning champion for 2 year olds.  Oratorio, who is a more recent addition to the Avontuur stud business has also proved his worth over the years and is holding his own on the current general sire’s lists after an excellent 2017/2018 performance.

Var had a brilliant win yesterday with Rivarine (Var x River Jetez) who came out fresh and fighting after a 44 week break to win the R150 000 listed Golden Loom Handicap at Turffontein.  The gelding has now won 6 races with 6 places from 20 starts and looks set for an excellent return to form. “We are thrilled to present his full sister Delta Queen at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in January 2019,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. 

Earlier a stunning debut win by Vardy got the excitement going in the Marcus stable, and we hope for much more from this handsome son of Var.  He looks like a champ already!

Oratorio didn’t stand back either with two wins this weekend, Tubular Bells in PE over 2000 m on Friday and Supreme Orator, ridden by Anton Marcus over 1600 m at Greyville in KZN. 

“With both stallions back in fine form and doing well,  we’ve opened up a few more spots on the book for Var for this season and Oratorio has some space left too.  If you are looking for future winners, contact me at stud@avontuurestate.co.za to book asap,” Pippa said.

Var successes offer breeding opportunities

With the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship coming up this Saturday at Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town,  all eyes are on brilliant debut winner Varsity Lover who is representing Var, the current SA Stakes leader as well as being the current 3yo Sire’s list leader, in this prestigious event.

According to Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh he is working well at the moment which has led to his book being opened for a few more mares this year.  “We were keeping his covers quite low initially,   only offering his services to stakeholders, but he is holding up so well that we are keen to add a few more visits,” she says. She can be contacted at stud@avontuurestate.co.za to book your mare.

His ongoing success was proven again by last weekend’s wins in three different countries.

Var’s treble was highlighted by his daughter Mia Finola’s impressive score in the ZRP Fillies Mile at Borrowdale on Sunday.  Trained by Bridget Stidolph, the 3 yo made it win number four from just eight outings when recording a length and a quarter win in Sunday’s Listed race.

Mia Finola, who has now reeled off three wins in a row, was bred by the Piemonte Stud. The filly, who is out of the Wolfhound mare Basilica, had previously tasted feature race success when landing the Champagne Stakes back in July and also finished third in last season’s Champion Juvenile Stakes.

She is one of a number of high class 3 yo’s representing Var this season, with others including SA Nursery winner William The Silent, G2 filly Ghaalla, Sophomore Sprint third Top Of The Class and Varsity Lover.

Var also enjoyed success in both South Africa and Mauritius over the weekend, with his son Lucius Fox shedding his maiden over 2000m at Greyville on Friday night, and another son, Varside, scoring at Champ de Mars on Saturday.

Info courtesy of Cape Breeders Club.

Memorable week for proven sire Oratorio

Last week was a hugely successful one for Oratorio,  the globally proven sire standing at Avontuur Estate.  

“It’s been a terrific week for Oratorio. Miravar and Van Halen won at Turffontein on Thursday, Euphoric won at Greyville on Friday evening,  and over the weekend Sequined won Race 4 at Durbanville!” said an elated Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.

She said that there were still opportunities for an Oratorio cover and invited mare owners to call her on 083 658 4404 or email stud@avontuurestate.co.za

A treble Gr1 winning champion in France and Ireland, there is no question that Oratorio has added a classic dimension to the options offered by the evergreen Avontuur superstar Var, who coincidentally heads the SA national sires logs on stakes earned.

Twice Champion Sire in Italy, Oratorio has produced 93 stakes horses  internationally and it’s common knowledge that the son of Danehill was imported with a view to producing classic horses and a Met or July winner. So his performance with early horses has been a bonus!

In only his second crop he sired the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion exacta and his Listed East Cape Fillies Nursery winner Carlita recently made a pleasing return to racing when romping home to an easy win over 1200m in her first start as a 3yo. The Piemonte Stud bred 3yo has now won four of just six starts.

Below is van Halen as a winner at Scotsville earlier this year.

 

Foals 2018 – a Gallery of beauties

With around 16 foals born to date, Pippa and her team are waiting for the last few newcomers. It’s been a successful and largely stressfree season and we can only hope it continues like that!  To enjoy some pics of these gorgeous babies,  visit our pages at http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/blood-stock/foals-2018/

Enjoy!

 

It’s foals galore at Avontuur this month!

By the end of August, 12 brand-new foals had made their appearance at the farm,  and many more will follow.   With the season starting on Spring Day for our two highly rated stallions, Var and Oratorio as well,  it’s no wonder the stud team are starting to look a bit frayed around the edges!

“It’s late nights and early mornings,  but we love this time of the year,” says GM Pippa Mickleburgh. “I’m so excited about the quality of the foals to date and we look forward to some more newcomers by such well-known race mares as River Jetez who is in foal to Silvano, and La Normandie, the dam of Gr 1 winner Normanz, due to new speed king Rafeef.”

Looking at the foals already safely delivered,  Pippa commented on some the new arrivals:

“I am really impressed with the first foal out of Easy Game by Soft Falling Rain. She was a good race mare by Var and this filly is a very attractive high quality foal.   A special colt is by Legislate out of Jackie O, as he had to stop covering due to poor fertility,  and this makes this robust boy a credit to his champion race horse of a sire.  There’s also an amazingly strong and gorgeous filly by Gimmethegreenlight x Muambo and another filly who looks great, is by Master of my Fate x Menorah.  Model IQ delivered the goods again with a stunning filly by Var,  who is a full sister to Schiffer.  A serious looker is the filly by Var x Sarabande, who once again will attract lots of attention with her awesome grey colouring.”

Pippa also highlighted the Oratorio x Madam Justice colt who is smashing, big and rangy out of a mare who is the full sister to Champion racehorse Legislate. The last colt to be mentioned for now, is one by Futura out of Miss October.  According to Pippa he is flashy and leggy and his mom by Var was a proper racehorse, which makes him one to look out for.

Last but not least there is the magnificent filly by Trippi out of Val de Ra, who is growing beautifully and seems set to be an attention grabber in future.

We look forward to the rest of the season, and hope to show off the newcomers in the public paddocks soon!

 

 

 

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

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.

April yearling sales prove international support is growing

After a very busy April with two major yearling sales taking place, Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh takes a few minutes to reflect on the past month’s activities: “The industry is adjusting and re-aligning after the many changes recently and at Avontuur we are staying focussed and riding out the changes by being positive and doing what we do best – breed quality race horses!”

According to Pippa the CTS Sale was tough with too many sales close together but Avontuur sold the whole draft and wish all the buyers well with their new purchases.  The TBA sales showed a solid top end with an improved middle market but trading conditions were once again tough. “However there was plenty of international support which really bodes well for the future.  Once we improve our export protocol, which everyone is working hard on, our horses will be much sought-after, in the East in particular,” Pippa comments.

Once again Avontuur sold the whole draft with the top price of R1 000 000 achieved for Double the Fun, sold to Jack Mitchell and Nick Johnson, to be trained by Justin Snaith.   Two colts were also sold to overseas clients with one going to Singapore and another to France, which is good news for us.

As always, without our buyers, trainers and supporters,  we would not be able to run our business,  so once again we wish everyone well with their new purchases and hope to see fireworks on track soon!