Big buyers arriving in their droves for Cape Premier Yearling Sale
Four Frankel yearlings are set to go under the hammer
Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and China Horse Club's Teo Ah Khing are among the visitors adding international glamour to the Cape Thoroughbred Sales' Premier Yearling Sale, which starts its two-day run on Saturday.
Staged at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the auction has succumbed to Frankel fever, with four southern hemisphere-bred lots by the dual world champion set to go under the hammer among a catalogue of 237 lots.
Now in its sixth year, the CTS Premier Sale took another step forward last January, with strong participation from overseas and domestic buyers helping to achieve record turnover in addition to the highest price ever achieved for a yearling in South Africa.
Last year's renewal was headlined by MV Magnier signing in partnership for the top three lots on his first visit to the sale, including R6 million (£360,000/€415,000) purchase Silver Coin in association with Markus Jooste. Consigned by Gaynor Rupert's Drakenstein Stud, the son of Silvano is now in training with Joey Ramsden.
With the Coolmore team expected to make their presence felt once more, they are also joined by Cape Town regulars Peter Doyle, Anthony Stroud, Angus Gold, Amanda Skiffington and Mick Flanagan among others. Justin Casse, Mike McMahon, Kip Elser and Ben McElroy are also returning from the United States, while several make the trip straight from Magic Millions.
"We're delighted with the overseas presence at the sale, which has really grown from year to year," said CTS managing director Adrian Todd. "It's very clearly planted on the sales calendar across the world now, and our breeders have been producing better and better horses with every edition."
This year's purchasers will also have the added bonus of the yearlings being eligible to run in one of two races worth R5 million each, either over 6f or a mile, at Kenilworth in January 2019.
The inaugural running of the CTS Million Dollar race was won last year by bargain buy Illuminator, an R180,000 (£11,000/€12,500) purchase from the 2014 March Sale.
It is not just Frankel's offspring, led by his speedy-looking daughter out of Little Fastnet (119), that are set to light up the sales ring this weekend. The catalogue also boasts some of South Africa's best pedigrees. Early on in the sale, Drakenstein consigns Captain Of Tortuga (41), a son of champion sire Captain Al out of their three-time Group 1 winner Ebony Flyer, while Scribner (181), a brother to horse of the year Futura, should also be in demand from Antony Beck's Highlands Farm Stud.
A filly that could receive an important update just a week after the sale is Andreas Jacobs's daughter of Duke Of Marmalade, Santa Clara (187), from his Maine Chance Farms. Out of a half-sister to leading sire Silvano, her half-brother Horizon is the current favourite for the Group 1 Investec Derby. The latter topped the CTS Premier Sale back in 2015 when bought for R5.2 million.
One of the rarest yearlings on offer from the 58 strong Klawervlei draft is a daughter of Scat Daddy and a close relative to Alexander Goldrun and Medecis (125). The filly is the only yearling by her late sire ever to be offered in South Africa.
The sale starts on Saturday at 3.30pm GMT.