Singapore sojourn for Frankel filly after topping day two of Cape Premier
James Thomas reports from the final day of the Cape Town yearling auction
No matter where you go in the world, the name Frankel has become synonymous with thoroughbred excellence. The jewel in the Juddmonte crown has, of course, already sired winners in all corners of the globe in his relatively short stud career, and has now supplied two session-toppers at this year's Cape Premier Yearling Sale after Patrick Bernard Shaw went to R3 million (£177,630/€201,310) for the filly out of the Fastnet Rock mare Wandering offered by Klawervlei Stud on Sunday.
And in an illustration of the international appeal of Frankel, Shaw's Cape Town buy will first head to race in Singapore before moving on to Australia for a career in the paddocks. Shaw has now picked up two Frankels during the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, having also acquired the filly out of Mowaadah for R1.5m during Saturday's session.
"She'll go to Singapore to race and then on to Australia to breed in due course," said Shaw, "but for the moment we'll leave both fillies here and see how they fill out. Hopefully the quarantine protocols will relax and then we can ship them out sooner.
"Frankel was a fantastic racehorse and he's had a fantastic start at stud and hopefully that carries on."
The filly shares her page with the likes of Sagamix, Sageburg and Secret Gesture.
John Freeman, who displayed his own affections for Frankel when securing the sale-topping colt at R4m on Saturday, was back in action on Sunday to secure the first foal of South African champion Beach Beauty for R2.5m. The son of Trippi, already named Wild Coast, was offered by Gaynor Rupert's Drakenstein Stud.
"With Beach Beauty being such a champion, how could you not want her son?" said Freeman. "Trippi was a champion sire too and I thought he was a very good first foal, and that's key. Beach Beauty was a small little mare but this colt is very robust. It looked like very wise breeding to me. I've bought her for a client who's giving the colt to his son as a birthday present!"
Being by five-time Group 1 winner Beach Beauty and out of Drakenstein's champion sire Trippi the colt boasts obvious stallion potential, but Freeman noted that his quest for future sires was made all the more difficult by the fact that South Africa retires an incredibly small number of its own colts to stud each year.
"We've been looking for a son of Trippi that could go to stud for a long time," he said. "I manage 16 stallions, and five of those I bought as yearlings - including Dynasty - so that's my game, but we retire fewer colts to stud here in South Africa than anywhere else in the world. In fact, I've made a deliberate effort to prove that top South African racehorses make stallions."
Hong Kong continue spending spree
Cape Town debutants the Hong Kong Jockey Club dipped back into the market again during Sunday's session, when the operations buying team Nick Columb and Mark Richards secured a pair of colts by Captain Al, the first of which fetched R1.8m.
As the striking grey colt entered the ring auctioneer Andrew Miller told the audience: "You're the judges, this is your sale, I'm just the trumpeter so you tell me where you want to go," and it didn't take long for buyers to head straight for seven-figure territory.
"Given Captain Al's record he's an obvious choice for us," said Columb, "it's just a shame he's no longer with us anymore as we've come to the party very late, but in our view this colt was one of two very, very good Captain Als in this sale.
"He's a lovely horse, he's not tall but he's big and strong and obviously the mare's already done the job with two siblings by Captain Al so we're very happy to have got him. He ticked all the boxes, as they say!"
The colt, named I Am The Secret and offered by Klawervlei as agent, is out of Secret Of Victoria, a Group 2-winning daughter of Goldkeeper whose six foals to race have all won, including the top-level winners All Is Secret and The Secret Is Out, both of whom are also by Captain Al.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club also secured the other Captain Al colt they identified when they parted with R700,000 (£41,430/€46,975) for the Avontuur Farm offering.
"People in Hong Kong may not understand South African breeding yet but they can read a pedigree and can see the record of Captain Al so these colts will be well thought of," added Columb.
"We work predominantly on type, pedigree is important but we don't buy anything we don't like physically. They also have to show us they have a little bit of precocity because 88 per cent of races in Hong Kong are run over a mile or shorter so they have to have a turn of foot."
Shadwell show support for Soft Falling
The Mike De Kock-trained and Sheikh Hamdan-owned Soft Falling Rain flew the flag for South African bloodstock around the world during his racing career, having gone on to land the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket and the Godolphin Mile at Meydan after he'd won a Turffontein Group 1 as a juvenile.
The son of National Assembly took up stud duty at Wilgerbosdrift, and Shadwell have begun to throw their support behind him in the sales ring this week, having bought a filly for R500,000 on Saturday and a colt for R1.4m during Sunday's session.
"Obviously we know the stallion, he was a genuinely good horse, so we're keen to support him, provided we like the stock," said Angus Gold. "I liked this colt very much. We have six homebreds by him at the moment, we'll put four into training and might sell a couple. On the whole I've been very pleased with what I've seen by the sire and it's lovely to come here and see what he's producing from other people as that gives you the confidence to go back in and keep breeding to him."
The colt, named Los Rios and out of the Group 3 winner Valdivia, was offered by Highlands Stud, who also bred Soft Falling Rain himself.
"I thought this was an outstanding colt from the first time I saw him," continued Gold. "He's big and powerful and out of a good sprinting mare. Hopefully he'll have the size, strength and scope to go to Dubai if he's good enough. Now we just have to hope he can run. He came from a great farm so I'm delighted to get him."
Doyles score with Ronaldo
Cape Thoroughbred Sale regulars Peter and Ross Doyle were also among the internationals in action on Sunday, most notably when they parted with R1.2m for Ronaldo, a son of Silvano offered by Winterbach Stud.
The colt, who is out of the winning Noverre mare A Star For Maria and from the family of Canadian champion Never Retreat, will be trained by Lee Newton, who aims to commence his training career from the Mornington training centre in August.
"He's a very nice horse and Lee Newton will be training him, Lee was mad about him," said Ross Doyle. "He's by a very good stallion, I've bought one or two by him over the years, and we like Noverre as a damsire too. He was a very good specimen."
"I've done my apprenticeship under the likes of Dean Kannemeyer, Sir Michael Stoute and Richard Hannon - that's how I met Ross and Peter Doyle," explained Newton. "We've bought two now this week, this colt and a son of Captain Al, and we're hoping to rent 20 boxes at Mornington."
Despite the efforts of the likes of Shaw, Freeman and the Hong Kong Jockey Club all key market indicators showed significant year-on-year decreases, though not quite to the extent some had predicted in the wake of leading buyers Mayfair Speculators, the racing arm of troubled tycoon Markus Jooste, exiting the market.
By the close of trade 218 yearlings had fetched an aggregate of R110,750,000 (£6,554,970/€7,431,840) - a 29 per cent drop from 2017's figure, an average of R508,025 (£30,070/€34,090) - down 27 per cent, and a median of R312,500 (£18,495/€20,970) - a dip of 19 per cent.
Despite the drop in figures Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) chief executive Wehann Smith declared himself extremely satisfied with the two days of trade.
"There's no point in ignoring the elephant in the room, Mayfair Speculators were a really big buyer to lose," he said. "But it's been great to see the variety of buyers here, locals and internationals, and that's what really points to a new beginning for this sale.
"We'll miss Mayfair as a client but this is a time for new people to put their hand up and fill the void and I believe people are willing to do that.
"I'm hugely excited about the Hong Kong Jockey Club buying, that's wonderful for CTS but even better for the South African industry. The key for us now is to ensure they have a good experience getting this horses out of South Africa and to ensure they come back here next year and continue to purchase."
How we reported the Cape Premier Yearling Sale