Click here to view this mail online:

Catalogues have arrived for the next round of sales. Mid-March is going to be a very busy time – two sales, two days apart. There are 142 lots at the BSA sale in Paarl on 16th March and another 256 lots at the CTS sale at Durbanville on the 18th and 19th. Given that we have just come off a big Premier sale there are bound to be some good bargains at these sales so let’s put a FEW clever racing teams together. We will be there so if you want to join our 2017 racing team please give me a call.

I had lunch with a stalwart of the industry on Friday. The question came up “with the older sires being almost inaccessible, who is the new rising star”. A hardy annual. I have said this many times before. There has never been a better time for new talent to sprout – the stats are very revealing. High AEPR and high win % strike rate tell you a lot. At this stage of the year you can’t read too much into black type results. Don’t look at the top end of the list to find the next champion sire! The older boys have numbers and huge support and will be hard to unseat for some time yet. Look lower down the ranks – lots of interesting material there.

The Computaform Express for last weekend covers 5 meetings; Fairview, Greyville, Turffontein, Kenilworth and another Greyville. Only Kenilworth has a 2yo race carded, for just 7 runners. Somebody has to help me make sense out of the 2yo racing program. I remember when 2yo races began in earnest in October and by the time we got to February there were separate two year old races for colts and fillies on every card and then not just for maidens. I am happy not to have the progeny of some of our classic sires pushed too early but we surely have enough precocious speed in our stud book for more baby races.

I have also been looking at NHRA stats on number of owners and racing partnerships. In the last 10 years we have 1000 fewer individual colour holders and 157 fewer registered breeders. Contrary to all of that, in the same 10 year cycle, there are only 600 fewer horses in training – spread that over all of the age groups and it suggests that we are producing around 200 fewer horses each year. NHRA cant verify the number; for some reason they don’t know how many mares there are at stud. The number of races in a 12 month period has remained fairly constant 3,855 in 2016 compared to 3,887 in 2006. Greater opportunity for those that are still in the game. Stakes paid in 2007 amounted to R230m compared to R400m in 2016 and the stakes available to sales incentives are now really very attractive.

The recent CTS Premier Sale turned over a record R155,225,000 which is 14.35% up on last year. The average price was R699,212, an increase of 16.9%. Looks like the South African racing industry is experiencing what the Australians are calling a market bubble. If that is the case, long may it continue.

In this edition:

  • Breeding To Win

  • Horses for Causes auction

  • Feature race double for Captain Al

  • Pathfork’s purple patch & another impressive debut

  • Trippi daughters continue to fire and grandson high on Free Handicap

  • Wylie Hall’s champion sibling vs Silent Witness and Black Caviar

  • Stats update


The stallion industry is always the target hit by the wonderful people who raise funds for good causes and this was the case again for the “Horses for Causes” Charity Fundraiser at Kenilworth on 11th February. The organisers opted for a ‘Rocking Red’ theme and there was lots to keep the entire family entertained including mini-cricket, soccer and rugby, music and dance performances mixed amongst food and craft stalls and the event was well supported.

The auction of stallion services raised R342,500. Three of the stallions in our portfolio were on offer. Pathfork, Twice Over and What A Winter. They were all well supported with the latter once again proving his popularity with a bid of R47,500 – his last season fee was R20,000. The auction was co-hosted by the Western Cape Equine Trust and the Horses for Causes project. The proceeds from the sale being split equally between the two.



Klawervlei reports on Captain Al’s recent feature race double: Former champion sire Captain Al, who is once again atop of the South African General Sires List, has enjoyed another magnificent season thus far in 2016-2017, and the son of Al Mufti was at it again this weekend, when he was responsible for a pair of local feature race winners.

First of the Captain Al sired runners to land a feature race was the talented Boland Stud bred filly The Merry Widow, who made it feature win number three when victorious in the Breeders’ Guineas Plate on Friday.

The small, but gutsy filly ran on powerful under jockey Gavin Lerena to score by three parts of a length for trainer Justin Snaith – one of Captain Al’s greatest fans, who also conditions Captain Al’s impressive 2yo winner Snowdance.

Owned by Drakenstein Stud, The Merry Widow was one of the best of her age group at two, when she reeled off wins in her first three starts, including the Listed Perfect Promise Sprint (where accounting for subsequent CTS Sprint winner Live Life) and Listed East Cape Fillies Nursery.

Captain Al’s second feature race win this past weekend came courtesy of his son Celtic Captain who picked up the umThombothi Stakes at Greyville on Sunday.

Bred by Patricia Devine, and racing for owner Brian Burnard, Celtic Captain duly justified favouritism in the 2000m by scoring a half length win, over G1 filly Persian Rug, for trainer Gareth Van Zyl and jockey Warren Kennedy. In the process, the gelding, who had previously won the Listed Michaelmas Handicap, made it career win number five –and a second win from his last three starts.

Eight times champion sire of 2yos, Captain Al was not only represented by two feature race winners this past weekend, but he is also damsire of the smart Kampala Campari, who made it two wins from just three outings when successful over 1600m. Captain Al is fast becoming a top class broodmare sire, with his daughters having already produced the G1 winners Gunner, Potent Power and Same Jurisdiction among others.

Sire of the recent G1 winners William Longsword and Carry On Alice, Captain Al has one lot on offer at the March Yearling Sale next month – a filly, from the same family as champions Jay Peg and Kochka, whose three time winning dam is a half-sister to a G1 sprinter (Lot 124).



With just 40 first crop runners Highlands’ exciting former Irish Champion Pathfork has fewer 3yo’s than any of the sires above him on the list but they are winning all over South Africa, every week. His 50% winners place him joint-2nd with Trippi on the 3yo Sires list between Captain Al and Gimmethegreenlight. Pathfork added another 9 winners in the first 18 days of this month levelling his score with Dynasty’s 31 three year old wins. Only six of his second crop have seen the track for a winner and 4 places – he has a strong 2nd crop of runners waiting in the wings – the best is yet to come.

The Ascot Stud-bred 2yo filly Holly’s Vision made an impressive winning debut over 1000m at Greyville on Wednesday 15th February. Closely inbred to Sadler’s Wells, she was a R440,000 purchase at last year’s National Yearling Sale. Owned by Brian Burnard, the filly is a half-sister to four winners including the stakes winner Silver Holly.

The son of US champion sire Distorted Humor’s recent winners include Danish Cross who prevailed for Duncan Howells at Greyville yesterday by 4.75 lengths as well as the smart filly Secret Star (a winner of three of her last four starts), South Side, and My Friend Lee, Master Shogun, Gunpowder Plot and Mungo Cherry.

Winner of the 2010 G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, Pathfork is currently 3rd on the General Sires List (sires with more than 20 runners) by percentage of winners. Pathfork, whose relatives include the top class sires El Gran Senor, Northern Guest, Redoute’s Choice and Gr1 Sun Met winner Whisky Baron’s sire Manhattan Rain, enjoyed success at the recent Cape Premier Yearling Sale; three of his yearlings realised R500,000 apiece.

Pathfork’s first crop included talented racers like Red Chesnut Road, Turbo and Elusive Path. He has 3 lots on offer at the upcoming BSA Cape Yearling Sale and 8 lots at the CTS March Yearling Sale. His BSA draft includes a colt from the family of Gr1 2yo Greenacre (Lot 60), and a colt from the famed Denise’s Joy family (Lot 67) and his eight lots on the CTS March Yearling Sale include a daughter of the stakes winner Markofdistinction (Lot 54), a filly out of Gr3 winning sprinter Mighty Doll (Lot 59), and a half-sister to Gr1 winning 2yo On Her Toes (Lot 105).



I am sharing an interesting item by Sarah Whitelaw posted by Cape Breeders last week about the daughters of Drakenstein Stud’s champion sire Trippi in which she writes that they continue to fire, both locally and internationally.

Trippi, whose recent high class fillies include recent G2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes/CTS Sprint winner Live Life, is the sire of Saturday’s well bred winner Quippi, while another daughter of Trippi was responsible for an impressive US stakes winner on Sunday.

Trippi mare Tuscan Sunset is the dam of Sunday’s Sweet Life Stakes winner Miss Sunset, a daughter of Into Mischief who made it three wins from just four outings when landing the Sweet Life by half a length at Santa Anita Park on Sunday.

The talented filly won her first two outings in a row before a poor last effort and is likely to go next in the China Doll Stakes, over 1600m on turf, on March 11th.

Miss Sunset’s trainer Jeff Bonde said of the 3yo, “She has talent. We’ll let her tell us how far she can go.”

Trippi is also sire of outstanding racemare and producer Miss Macy Sue, whose offspring include dual G1 winner Liam’s Map (whose first foals arrived at Lane’s End Farm this year) and the brilliant Not This Time –the second top rated horse on the 2016 US Experimental Free Handicap - and himself now standing at Taylor Made Farms.

South Africa’s reigning champion sire is also broodmare sire of impressive recent local 2yo winner Tribal Force.

Trippi, whose G1 son African Ruler lines up in Tuesday’s G3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap, is enjoying another cracking season with his runners scoring over the country and he is currently the third leading sire in South Africa, with his offspring having earned over R7.9 million in stakes this season. His top representatives this season not only include Live Life but the outstanding males Gold Standard and Trip To Heaven.

Sire of more than 130 stakes horses, Trippi has a single lot on the March Yearling Sale –a half-sister to 3 winners, whose dam is a four time winning daughter of champion sire Western Winter and G1 winner As Ever (Lot 155).



The brilliant, but sadly now retired, Not This Time, was the second top rated on the US Experimental Free Handicap, released in the US on Thursday.

The Jockey Club Experimental Free Handicap, published annually since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading two-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles.

This year’s list of eligible horses to be weighted included all two-year-olds of 2016 that started in graded or listed stakes races run in the United States and Canada.

Not This Time (who is out of a daughter of Drakenstein Stud’s reigning champion sire Trippi) was rated 125 pounds – just one pound off the log leader, and Eclipse Champion 2YO Classic Empire. The latter, who makes his return in Saturday’s G2 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes, won four of five outings last year including the G1 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity.

Not This Time, sadly now retired to stud, won two of four outings and was a close second (beaten just a neck) to Classic Empire in the G1 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup.

The Trippi grandson, who also romped to an 8.75 length win in the G3 Iroquois Stakes, is rated above such G1 winning 2yos of 2016 as Oscar Performance (BC Juvenile Turf), Practical Joke (Champagne and Hopeful Stakes), Mastery (Los Alamitos Futurity), and Gormley (Front Runner Stakes).

Not This Time (by Giant’s Causeway) is out of Trippi’s multiple stakes winning daughter Miss Macy Sue – who is also dam of Lane’s End’s exciting young sire Liam’s Map. That son of Unbridled’s Song won six of just eight outings including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and G1 Woodward Stakes.

Trippi, broodmare sire of the now Taylor Made Farms based Not This Time, has enjoyed another great run of success in 2017.

Not only is the son of End Sweep responsible for joint record holding yearling colt Charles (who was sold for R6 000 000 at the recent Cape Premier Yearling Sale), but he is also sire of recent $500 000 CTS Sprint winner Live Life.



Always keen for news from across the globe that has anything to do with the stallions we manage I was delighted to read that Wylie Hall’s most recent sibling, Fantasticlife scored well at Sha Tin over 1400m recently and then I came across an item in entitled “Witness Would Have Tested Caviar”. That’s an interesting comment because another of Wylie Hall’s siblings, the sprint champion Absolute Champion set the world’s highest rated sprint performance in 2006 in the Gr1 Cathay Pacific Sprint, beating Silent Witness in track record time – that was Absolute Champion’s second track record.

Tony Cruz’s observation that Silent Witness was the horse who could beat Black Caviar makes interesting reading:

It's the match race that could never have happened, but Tony Cruz insists he had the horse to do what no other was able to do - defeat Black Caviar.

Hong Kong-based Cruz put the polish on Australia-bred superstar Silent Witness, who owned the most famous winning streak by a world champion sprinter before Black Caviar came along. Silent Witness won his first 17 races and Cruz believes he had the attributes that would have tested the Aussie wondermare, who retired undefeated after 25 starts. "I still stick to Silent Witness, because he's a front-runner," he said when asked who would have won had they clashed.

"He idles in front. He has a high, top cruising speed, so when any horses come to him he can accelerate again. "He's got that advantage, really.”

His winning run was halted in the 2005 Champions Mile when beaten a short-head by his Cruz stablemate Bullish Luck.

After a third placing in the Yasuda Kinen, also over 1600m, he dropped back to the 1200m of the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama, Japan to record what would be his final victory.

His 18 wins came from 29 starts, with a further five minor placings helping him amass around AU$10.5m in earnings.



Twitter Facebook Facebook