Stud News

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!

 

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). 

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.

Avontuur’s NYS draft – another Legal Eagle waiting?

Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm once again look to have an outstanding draft of yearlings on offer at the 2018 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale next month.

The farm, whose past National Sale graduates include dual Horse Of The Year Legal Eagle, will be represented 15 top class yearlings at the April sale.

A possible standout could well be Watershed (Lot 13) –with this bay colt being a son of the great sire Dynasty and out of champion Pocket Power’s G1 J&B Met winning own sister River Jetez. The latter has already left her mark at stud as the dam of G3 winner Rivarine.

Avontuur’s resident sire Var, SA’s Leading Sire Of 2YOs in 2016-2017, has four lots in the draft. Among them is Serenity (Lot 98) –a bay daughter of G1 SA Fillies Classic winner Bambina Stripes, and Beautiful Mind (Lot 210) –a full-sister to brilliant filly Schiffer.

Standing alongside Var at Avontuur is European champion and proven G1 sire Oratorio. The latter has five yearlings in the draft, headed by Cassimbo (Lot 58) a colt out of a stakes winning daughter of the outstanding sire Cape Cross, Valetorio (Lot 62) –a half-brother to 4 winners including G3 winner She’s A Giver, and Vivant (Lot 69) –a half-brother to five winners including the brilliant G2 winners Cold As Ice (also a winner in Britain) and Live Life. The latter has earned over R4.6 million in stakes thus far!

Oratorio also has fillies out of the smart race mares Varikate (winner of the G2 Merchants) and Without Malice, in the forms of Before The Dawn (Lot 310) and Ode (Lot 327) respectively.

Jet Master’s son Master Of My Fate has made a smashing start to his stud career and the big bay is the sire of Sea Scape(Lot 26) –a grandson of G2 Prix Robert Papin winner Ocean Ridge, while former champion sprinter Captain Of All has two in the Avontuur draft- including Aye Aye (Lot 498) –a beautifully bred half-sister to 7 winners, headed by G3 Byerley Turk hero, and big race contender, Mambo Mime.

Captain Of All’s late, champion sire Captain Al is the sire of Gabreira (Lot 206) –a colt out of G3 placed daughter of outstanding Australian sprinter and top class sire General Nediym.

Four time G1 winning European champion Twice Over has made an explosive start to his stud career and he is the sire of Double The Fun (Lot 418). The latter is a half-brother to four winners, headed by smart stakes winner Milady.

 

April yearling sales info now available.

Two very important sales are coming up for us in April, and we’re inviting all interested parties to have a look at our sales pages to find out more about the stunning yearlings available at those events.

First up is the Durbanville Sale which takes place on 13 & 14 April. We have five fillies and two colts on offer, made up of three Oratorio’s, two Var’s and one Philantropist and Master of my Fate respectively.

Later in April, Pippa and her team will once again take on the long road north with 15 yearlings set for the National Yearling Sale at the TBA complex in Gauteng, which takes place on 24, 25 and 26 April.  

Here we have five fillies and 10 colts with a nice crop from our own sires, Var and Oratorio as well as some stunning yearlings by top stallions Captain Al (See pic of Gabriera – Captain Al x Miss Ipanema as a foal) and Dynasty.  To make up the full group we have one Master of my Fate, one Twice Over and two Captains of All.

For a private viewing and more info, contact Pippa at stud@avontuurestate.co.za. 

 

 

Avontuur grateful for Sale support

The 2018 CTS Cape Premier Yearling Sale yielded an overall aggregate of R110,95-million after the completion of Day Two at CTICC in Cape Town. The average price was R506,621 and the median came to R300,000.

According to Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh, the Sale was solid and it was great to see the international support for our horses, for which we are very grateful.  Purchases of our fillies by other breeders were a huge boost and we can only thank everyone who showed their trust in our quality. “Let’s hope this is the beginning of a good 2018, and we believe it will improve as the year goes on,” she said.

While the turnover was markedly down on previous Premier Sales, the diversity of the buyers’ bench was impressive, featuring a host of newcomers. Owners and bloodstock consultants from the US, UK, Hong Kong, Ireland, Argentina, Australia and elsewhere came to support the sale and this was undoubtedly the most encouraging aspect to take forward.

There were critics who expected the sale to collapse, but there was an excellent general turnout over the weekend. “Our sale stood up very well despite the negatives and we can say with pride that we can look to the future positively. The Hong Kong Jockey Club, for example, bought from us for the first time, they were the third biggest buyer spending over R6-million.”

Team Valor’s Barry Irwin made a welcome return too, buying seven lots for R3,2-million, while Angus Gold of Shadwell invested R3,4-million buying three lots.

The Avontuur team is now starting to prepare for the National Yearling Sale in Gauteng in April and with a spectacular crop waiting to be presented to the buyers, we believe it will just continue to improve!

Editorial courtesy of Turf Talk