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Solid results at record-setting Cape Racing Premier Yearling Sale

The 2024 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, powered by Tattersalls, concluded on a sultry Thursday evening at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) with an aggregate of R64 895 000 attained. Of the 136 yearlings catalogued, 123 made it to market, with 119 sold at an average of R545 336. The median amount was R400K.

These figures compare favourably with the 2023 auction, with positive shifts in all categories. The resurgence in Cape Racing is evident: more horses were catalogued, offered, and sold this year, with the aggregate climbing strongly by 44%, up from R44 825 000 in 2023.

The average and median prices were significantly higher – from R443K to R545K and R300K to R400K, which reflect encouraging increases of 23% and 33%, respectively.
South Africa’s top sires were well represented. The star duo of Gimmethegreenlight (average – R913K) and Vercingetorix (average – R848K) sold 13 apiece and remained highly prized by local bloodstock gurus and discerning international buyers.

Trippi is another luminary, and his two lots bought in R4 million, which included desirable and sales-topping filly Clair de Lune (ex-Louvre), consigned by Drakenstein Stud as Agent and knocked down to Jonathan Snaith for R3.2 million. This beauty is a full sister to the G1-winning miler Trip of Fortune.

Other sires currently with commercial appeal are Rafeef (14 lots sold at an average of R537K) and the first crop of Hawaam (nine lots averaging out at R566K), with the progeny of Querari and One World also sought after.

Overall, vendors reported heartening results, with some seeing year-on-year boosts in receipts greater than 20%. Maine Chance enjoyed an excellent sale as their 14 offerings reached an average of R800K. Varsfontein always do a great job; their five babies averaged out at R845K.

Other studs to feature prominently were Klawervlei, who sold 21 yearlings for an income of over R10 million, family-owned Winterbach (six at an average of R437K), and Dr Marianne Thomson’s boutique farm, Ambiance, who got back R2 550 000 for their five yearlings.

Ridegmont sold 11 for returns of close to R7 million and made a telling purchase when signing Lot 110, a Gimmethegreenlight filly ex All Is Secret from a noted SA female line. This R2 million buy is consistent with their mission to procure top-notch stock and constantly upgrade their already powerful band of broodmares.

Other big-ticket items included Lot 134, a full brother to ace sprinter, Cosmic Highway by Gimmethegreenlight ex Cosmic Dream, which forms bloodstock bought off Maine Chance for R2.2 million; Lot 63, Pivotal Role, a colt by Hawwaam ex Princess Royal, also from Maine Chance, knocked down to Justin Vermaak for two bar; and Lot 90, Takenoprisoners, a Ridgemont- bred, Vercingetorix colt out of Takingthepeace which Yolo Thoroughbreds signed for at R1.8 million.

For racing queries and sales queries, contact Justin Vermaak at or Janine van Blerk at

Written by: Mark van Deventer
Images: Wayne Marks