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Cape Racing’s 2023 Ready To Run and Unbroken Two-Year-Old Sale staged at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Sunday concluded with improved and satisfactory results on the back of an excellent turnout of buyers.

The day’s events started cheerfully with the R2R gallops, well-attended on a typically beautiful Cape summer’s morning. A host of eye-catching gallops provided the impetus for some spirited afternoon bidding, with Cape Racing’s sale incentives adding further motivation.

There was early praise for the progeny of freshman sire One World (Captain Al), represented by five lots, among which Lots 18 and 48 put up especially smashing breeze-ups. Not surprisingly, Lot 48, a colt by One World out of a Listed winning mare by Silvano, from the family of Badger’s Drift, broke through R500,000 within a minute or two and reached the R1-million mark in double-quick time. He was eventually knocked down for R1,4 million to Vaughan Marshall, who trained One World himself to 10 spectacular career wins, including the 2020 Sun Met.

“He is a lovely colt with good conformation, and he put up an excellent piece of work. We are very pleased to have secured him,” said Marshall.

Sandy Arundel bought Lot 64, a balanced, fast-actioned daughter of Gimmethegreenlight, for R800,000, the highest price paid for a filly at the sale.

Julia Pilbeam at Soetendal Estate presented the top colt and filly, who has set the standard for quality and preparation at this auction for the last several years. Pilbeam said: “They are two smart horses, and we’ll be following their progress with interest.”

Soetendal topped the vendor list with 29 lots sold for R6,920,000, averaging R238,621. Ridgemont, in second, sold ten lots for R2,125,000 at an average of R212,500 per lot.

The leading buyers, courtesy of their expensive acquisitions, were Marshall (3 lots for R1,670,000) and Arundel (4 lots for R1,565,000), with Glen Kotzen, Bass Racing and The Kommet Syndicate all prominent posting turnovers above R1-million.

One World was the top-grossing sire with a yield of R2,030,000 for his talked-about quintet, a performance that would have pleased his home base, Drakenstein Stud, ahead of the 2024 Cape Premier Sale on 25 January 2024.

Indeed, reported Sporting Post, Cape Racing itself will anticipate an excellent start to the New Year as the Ready To Run auction was said to have shown new levels of professionalism and commitment, with impressive attention to the hospitality aspect.

Justin Vermaak, Racing Operations and Bloodstock Executive for Cape Racing, said he was delighted with the overall aggregate of R18,670,000, an increase of 10,7% in 2022, supported by a terrific 43% increase in the median (R120,000 to R165,000), and a hike of 13,4% in the average price (R200,174 to R222,262).

Vermaak commented: “The median alone is an important figure for sales performance. It was heartwarming to see a diverse bench of buyers, which included the former stalwart Ebrahim Khan, whose brown-and-white silks were hugely prominent in the early 2000s with runners like Elusive Fort. He is back after a long absence and bought three nice lots.

“We are also pleased with the strong participation of the Cape’s leading trainers, including Justin Snaith, Candice Bass-Robinson, Glen Kotzen and Vaughan Marshall, while the smaller yards like Greg Ennion and Piet Steyn were also well supported via syndicate buys. Many of the two-year-olds purchased will stay in the Cape, which is great for us.”


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