Stud News

Avontuur beats the odds at 1st 2020 yearling sale.

Avontuur’s “daughter of two champions”,  All that Jazz (Trippi x Val de Ra) was the top-selling filly at last week’s 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale and in another first, was also the first yearling to be bought for export to Australia via Mauritius and the UK. 

Another filly who did extremely well for the farm was Live My Life by Gimmethegreenlight out of Muamba.  She was sold for R1.1 million to European interests, but will be raced here first and do well we hope, before being exported.

Comments Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh, “Our horses looked amazing and I think the fact that they did, was our saving grace in a really hard market.  We had 10 different sires for all to choose from and due to that and our quality mares we had a good chance of doing well.”

The difficult economic situation was echoed by chief executive officer of Cape Thoroughbred Sales,  Wéhann Smith who said “Considering the economic climate, both macro and micro, we came into the sale with limited expectations. But all said and done, it’s still a significant amount of money (sales totalled R56,490,000) and we still see a R3-million colt and a R2.2-million colt and two fillies over R1 million, in trying times as positive. “

At this sale 232 lots were catalogued, after withdrawals 216 were offered and 173 were sold. The aggregate was R56,490,000, the average R326,531 and the median R250,000.  In Avontuur’s case, all 10 sold for an average of R585 000 which shows the quality of the group on offer.

Avontuur Estate would like to thank all buyers and trainers who supported us and we look forward to see them perform in future.  A special thanks to all the under bidders, without whom we would have fallen short.

The full low down on each CPYS 2020 Yearling!

“Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm has horses for every buyer at the 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale,” said Avontuur’s Estate General Manager Pippa Mickleburgh.

“Some time ago someone remarked to me that the so-called ‘small buyers’ don’t like to come to the major sales because the ‘big” buyers pick up all the best horses. But I’d like to counter that, because we always have yearlings in our draft that suits buyers of all budgets, and we value every client. Visit us at the Avontuur stand and see for yourself.”

The first Avontuur yearling to step into the ring at CPYS this year will be Lot 1, Master Of Law, a colt by Legislate from Jackie O. “He’s big strong and robust,” said Mickleburgh, who was happy to see a single Legislate runner in Gauteng finish second on debut just recently. Snooze and you lose!

Lot 16 is Mayenne, a filly by freshman stallion Rafeef from La Normandie, who has had four winners from four runners including Gr1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint winner Normanz. “She’s a big horse of high quality, if this is the type of filly Rafeef’s going to produce I’d be excited for his owners.”

Lot 29 is a filly sired by the well-performed Master Of Fate, named Call It Fate. She is from the family of Cold As Ice and Mickleburgh said: “She’s strong and correct, a good looking filly I’d place in the ‘smaller buyers’ league, she could be a value buy, well worth a look!”

Lot 32, Spielberg is a cleverly named colt, described as “hunky and good-looking”. He’s by Futura from the fast Gr3 winner Miss October, the sister to August Rush and dam of promising Spring Break. “We named him Spielberg after the famous movie director (of mostly futuristic films), and because in the Spielberg movie ‘Back To The Future’, they travelled to the month of October,” Mickleburgh explained. “Spielberg is an imposing third foal.”

Lot 37 is Live My Life, by Gimmethegreenlight from Muamba (Pure Prize), a five-time winning half-sister to 2016 Durban July runner Mambo Mime. “She’s a dark filly, athletic, highly attractive and from a winning Argentine pedigree. Our fillies are invariably excellent runners, and Gimmethegreenlight is a top stallion.”

Intrepid (Lot 46) is an eye-catching grey son of VAR and super broodmare sire Jet Master’s daughter Pan Amm, whose two foals so far are both stakes-placed. “He’s very pretty, a get-up-and-go type of horse who will run quick, he’s sound and precocious,” Mickleburgh said.

Lot 120 is the pride of Avontuur’s 2020 draft. Named All That Jazz, she is by Trippi from Champion sprinter Val De Ra, whose stakes-winning Frankel filly Miss Frankel was recently exported. “She’s big and scopy, she has her mother’s length, so to speak, and she’s no pushover. She’s big, with a nice barrel, and we all know how the Trippi fillies can run. We decided to put her on the sale, we believe we’ll get a good and deserving sales price for a yearling of this calibre, as we’ve done it successfully with similarly well-bred yearlings before.”

Quiz Master (Lot 123) is another likely to get the tongues wagging. He’s a son of the terrific Silvano and the VAR mare, Varsity Queen. Mickleburgh said this is “a proper horse”, one with the “wow” factor. “It’s hard to produce Silvano’s for the early sales. This one is medium-sized, his half-sister Operetta was bigger. But he ticks all the right boxes. He is strong and will develop into something special, a must-see!”

Stallion Captain Of All is doing the job, and his bay son Goodwill (Lot 131), like Lot 46, is from a Jet Master mare, this one Without Malice, who won eight races. “He’s an attractive, athletic colt with clean legs, another one I’d put in the ‘normal buyers’ league,” Mickleburgh said.

Lot 138 is the final Avontuur ‘baby’ through the ring. He’s West Point, an Oratorio full-brother to Gr1-placed Ancestry,  who was a first foal and Mickleburgh said: “He looks like Ancestry, but has more rib cage – a nice yearling from A Daughter’s Legacy, a good mare we expect to produce more good foals.”

Copy courtesy of Charl Pretorius.

Cape Premier Yearling Sale 2020 planning in full swing!

It’s the last few days before our group of 10 yearlings leave for the Cape Town International Convention Centre for the 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale which is set for Thursday,  16 January. 

Pippa and her team plus the stars of the show – our elegant and athletic yearlings – will be on hand and ready to receive visitors from around lunch time on Monday the 13th.  We look forward to welcoming buyers, trainers, owners and interested parties to our stand, not only to view this year’s crop, but also partake in quality wine and snacks, and just in general have a good time!

We’re happy to share our list of yearlings.  All the info you need to make a decision is available and we’ve also got some pics to enjoy on our Stud Sales pages.

Click here to have a look:  http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/stud/sales2020/

For more info or to arrange a private viewing at the Estate before the Sale,  contact Pippa at stud@avontuurestate.co.za

 

 

Stud Farm 2019: The year that was and future plans!

We’ve had a year filled with fantastic performances by offspring of our two sires Var and Oratorio,  experienced some very positive Yearling Sales support from loyal buyers and saw potential champions born on the farm.  

Chatting to Avontuur GM, Pippa Mickleburgh she mentioned that the high point for her this past year was the coming of age of Oratorio’s progeny, who are maturing successfully as expected and have kept him at the top spot for the past season.  

“I am also thrilled that Var is holding his own and although slowing down, he’s been covering well and is still producing the good-looking horses we’ve expected from him.  On the yearling sale side, the 2019 standout was the River Jetez filly called Delta Queen who was sold for a record price for Avontuur at the National Yearling Sale in April.  We look forward to further successes next year and after an extremely successful breeding season with most of our mares safely in foal to some champion sires, I am full of hope,” she says. 

It was a sad moment in September when it was announced that our champion race mare Sarabande was no more, but we like to  think of the beautiful progeny she’s produced and obviously also the award-winning Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve which carries her name forward on the wine side, and it reminds us of her achievements.   Saying goodbye to Miss Frankel, who is moving to her new home in Europe early in 2020 has been bitter-sweet.  We believe that her future in the wider world  looks bright, but on the other hand,  it’s sad to say goodbye to this Frankel daughter who’s given so many so much pleasure in watching her develop.  

When asked about her expectations for the new  year, Pippa said; “We’re looking forward to the first Yearling Sale of 2020 in Cape Town in mid-January and we have some stunning yearlings to offer.  But if I could have one wish for 2020, it’s that the lifting of the incredibly restrictive export protocols would be sorted out!  This one single event, will turn our industry around for ever in South Africa!”

Miss Frankel leaves SA for exciting future!

From the day we heard that our star speedster and double Equus Sprinter of the Year Val de Ra was in foal to the mighty Frankel after visiting him during her UK sojourn, we couldn’t wait to meet this new addition to our Estate.

And Miss Frankel didn’t disappoint!  Her distinctive facial markings and beautiful chestnut colour immediately made her stand out amongst the rest of the foals of her year.  She spent her youth being visited by many local and international celebrities who made their way to meet her in her paddock.

Her extrovert personality matched her looks and her personal face book page grew organically to nearly 2000 fans who followed her every move avidly.  

When she hit the race tracks under the capable training regime of Dennis Drier (who also trained her mom Val de Ra), she made us proud with 3 wins (One of which was a black type Listed race!) and some outstanding performances in other races after a bit of a health scare which took her off track for more than a year.

Miss Frankel will be leaving South Africa soon for her new home in Europe where she will be exposed to some of the world’s leading sires and we believe that this is the best for her as it opens up opportunities, which she would not have had in South Africa.

Hamba Gahle and farewell Miss Frankel, we will miss you at Avontuur!  However, we look forward to following your fortunes and that of the outstanding progeny you will surely have on tracks around the world in future.

 

Breeding season 2019 done and dusted!

The Avontuur team delivered 25 foals in 2019 with most of the mares already in foal again to an impressive group of sires which will ensure that Avontuur’s next crop are winners too. 

“I’m really happy with the Silvano filly out of champion race mare River Jetez as well as the outstanding filly by Oratorio out of new addition to the brood mare group, Starburst Galaxy.  She is already in foal again to Silvano so it looks like she is going to be a really good addition to the farm’s breeding stock,” Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh comments.

Other good-looking foals include a smart-looking colt by new stallion Erupt out of race mare A Daughter’s Legacy and a stunning Silvano colt out of champion speed queen Val de Ra.

It’s a wrap for breeding season this year and now it’s full-steam ahead to get the Yearling crop of 2020 ready for the important Sales coming up next year.

Oratorio tops the SA sires list!

We’re loving it that our globally proven sire Oratorio,  is top of the pops on the SA sire’s list!  What an achievement for this gentle giant who is lining up the stakes winners internationally and locally at the moment.

He still has some space in his book for this year’s season, so get hold of Pippa Mickleburgh right now at stud@avontuurestate.co.za to book your mare for a cover.

Son of Oratorio wins in Hong Kong!

The South African racing and breeding industry had reason to celebrate on Tuesday when the Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein bred Ezra saluted at Sha Tin racecourse for trainer Tony Millard, jockey Aldo Domeyer and owner William Mocatta.


Sent off the 27-10 favourite, four-year-old Ezra picked up his first Hong Kong win when he captured the Nanning Handicap over seven furlongs in emphatic style.

The gelding romped home to score by three and a quarter lengths, while drawing comfortably in the final furlong. Second twice previously in his brief Hong Kong stint, Ezra looks set for more Hong Kong success judging by the ease of his win on Tuesday.

What made Tuesday’s win all the more satisfying is that not only is Ezra bred in South Africa, but both his trainer and jockey hail from this country as well.

A R2 200 000 buy from the 2017 National Yearling Sale, Ezra is a son of the Avontuur based triple G1 winner Oratorio and the top-class race mare Emerald Beauty.

The latter, a daughter of Equalize and from the same family as champions Elusive Fort and Empress Club, won three times in South Africa and the UAE, with Emerald Beauty’s wins including a triumph in the 2003 G1 Cape Fillies Guineas where she accounted for subsequent Horse Of The Year, and multiple G1 winner, Ilha Da Vitoria.

Bloodstock South Africa would like to wish all the connections all the best going forward and may there be many more victories to come!  (Editorial courtesy of BSA)

An update on…. Oratorio

A lovely snippet about our sire Oratorio who’s progeny are now coming into their own!

 

https://youtu.be/bm_8QEg1LZA

 

New foals ring in the start of Spring

At Avontuur we love this time of the year when the brand-new foals start arriving nearly daily. 

Watching those first few wobbly steps, which incredibly quickly turn into cantering and jumping around, is a wonderful experience for everyone involved.

The stud team is running on adrenalin continuously and it doesn’t really stop until early December as the cover season also kicks off soon.

Check https://www.avontuurestate.co.za/blood-stock/foals-2019/  as we add pics of each new arrival as they join us at Avontuur!